It’s All About Winter Term
As of now, Winter is not really a thing in my life, since I’m in Italy and the weather is at worst 50 and drizzly and at best 60 and sunny. However, I did spend last Winter in the throes of the Arctic madness that is Dartmouth, and while desperately searching my computer files for my 6 page bucket list I thought I’d lost, I came across this document. It’s a letter I wrote to myself at the start of Winter term last year, and I think I gave myself some real (if banal) advice that I needed to hear again. I said:
“It’s all about winter term. I’m using 14 pt. so you know I’m serious. It’s going to be dark. It’s going to be cold. And you’re going to be in the best place in the world, with some of the best people, so get out there and fucking make the most of it.
Don’t feel sorry for yourself when you have to go out in the 15 degree weather. You look cute with pink cheeks.
It’ll be dark in the mornings. Get up anyway, and just do it. The worst part is getting out of bed, but you have things to look forward to today, girl!
Your body. Take care of it. You were lucky for so long and it just stayed nice without upkeep, but that time is over. You know how it feels to look in the mirror and not like what you see. And you know how the opposite feels. Do some abs, do some cardio, go the the gym for god’s sake. It’s right next door. Don’t care so much about getting sweaty. You think people are going to like you less if they see you one day with sweaty hair, or every day with ten extra pounds?
The day. Seize it. I know you’re scared sometimes of the opportunities and of growing up, but you don’t know what you want to do so what’s the harm in pursuing different things? If your initial inclination is yes, then don’t wait around coming up with reasons why not.
Don’t swear so much. Be classy.
Boys. They like you. Be friends with them. Be friendly. See where things go. You’re in college, and you don’t want a boyfriend anyway, so what are you all stressed about? Just have fun and don’t overthink it.
Don’t just be friendly to boys, be friendly to everyone! Adults too. No one is going to dislike you for talking to them. Or at least a huge majority of people won’t. So what’s the problem? You think you’ll embarrass yourself? What’s more embarrassing than sitting in the corner and not talking?
I’m not saying no foco ice cream or whatever, there aren’t any rules, just try. Try to eat healthier. Be reasonable. I know you will be.
Drink water, girl!
Don’t be antisocial. Give yourself some down time, yes, but you’re not going to remember the nights you laid in bed and watched Netflix.
On that note, make some memories. Do some wild stuff. It doesn’t have to be drunken wild or any stereotype, just some things you won’t forget. You’re in a great place with great people. Do some great things to match.
Don’t be afraid of doing work. You like to learn and you like school. You don’t mind reading or writing or talking to people, so stop branding it as a chore.
Don’t get discouraged if you’re not the absolute best. Focus on doing your best rather than THE best. But if you can be the best, be it. No shame.
Write some poetry or some creative stuff. Put down facebook.
In that vein… spend less time on Facebook. There’s no reason for it, you’re just filling the void. Fill it with something else! Not food.
Try not to procrastinate so much.
Don’t short change or take advantage of your friends. Remind them that you love them sometimes, and do special things for them.
Help strangers. Meet new people. Make new friends.
Play in the goddamn snow. It’s fun. Trust me.
Get more sleep, unless there are memories to be made. But find balance. It’s all about balance.
You’ve got this. You rock. Be confident and know that you deserve to be where you are. Keep deserving it. Make it yours. I love you, I respect you, I trust you. You’re smart and talented and beautiful and yada yada. :p Own it.”
I couldn’t be happier with my 13W, and I made a lot of great friends and great memories, but it can always be more. There is always more to do and to see, and there are always more people to meet, and sometimes it serves us well to remember that.