Dear 18 year old me,
Here is some things I want you to know before you embark on your first year of university.
The main difference between high school and university is anonymity. Transitioning from a high school where everyone knew you to a 21,000 strong institution will be a major jump. But it will suit you just fine. You can be whoever you want and do things you would never have done in high school.
High school is in the past. No-one cares about what grades you got for NCEA or what friendship group you belonged to.
You will realise that university is not just about going to classes, completing assignments and getting good grades. This is NOT the university experience you were waiting for. In your second year, you will move out of home. This may be a scary thought right now but it will be an experience you will not regret. Some of the strangers who you meet at the start of the year as your flatmates will become your friends. It’s because of these people that you made lifelong memories.
The loneliness you felt last year will slowly go away.
Although your social anxiety around hiding away from new people will remain the same, you will push yourself in classes and talk to new people. That’s awesome! Your efforts will pay off when meet two people doing the same major as you. They will turn out to be lovely people who can make you laugh when you’re down. They make classes fun just by being there. They are incredible people who make you dread leaving university because you won’t see them as much anymore.
Lastly, you will write a blog. Years of struggles to communicate your thoughts and feelings will pay off when you decide to make the leap and write daily entries about your life. Remember all of those times where English teachers in high school told you your writing ‘had potential?’ Well, it turns out that they didn’t say that for nothing. In the end, all you needed was self-belief. This will never change.
Olivia from the future.
P.S. I want to thank you for 18 years of not drinking. It has done your liver much good!