I honestly feel that this year has been an eye opener for me. Well, really the last couple of months have had me bugging my eyes out. I thought this would be a good time to reflect and to talk to the 18 year old Danielle. The 18 yr old Danielle was in her first year at AUM. She turned 18 on her first day of college. She cried home to her mom, scared about doing something different and just wanted to go home. She felt like she was country girl-who felt fat and that others would see right through her. She felt that she would be lonely and never make new friends. This is what I would tell her.
Learn to love yourself at whatever stage. Danielle you are beautiful. You have a great personality. That is what will shine through more than anything. So what, you have a gap or you think you have your daddy and grandma’s hands or that you have thick eyebrows (you will be introduced to waxing in 2006 and it will be Amazing!) You are gorgeous, at 270-280-310 (yes, you will get to 310 but you will work it off.) and don’t let anyone dim your light. Don’t lower yourself for the sake of fitting in. You will learn latter on but fitting in isn’t really your style.
Don’t sweat the small stuff. It really is small stuff. You have so much anxiety. We still have it but it’s about different things. Learn to loosen up. Yes, sometimes you stutter because you get too excited. You may say inappropriate things (well, we still do…that’s just who we are.) It’s okay. Life will go on. You may have a bad day but you will also have good days, days where you will laugh hard enough to cry. You will have joy in your heart.
Don’t forget to live. Stop waiting for the right circumstances. Stop waiting for you to look a certain way or feel a certain way. Just write down some goals and go for it. You will have friends who will be supportive of any idea you have, they will be your biggest cheerleaders. It is okay to see an event on campus and go, even if you don’t know anyone.
Think about what goals after college. I know that feeling that you’re having. You’re on a high because you said you were going to college and you have made that a reality. You are going to learn that getting your degree is the easy part. School comes easy to you. The hard part states after you walk across the stage. You think that people will be throwing jobs at you: nope, it doesn’t happen. SO, take this time to start to see what you like or don’t like. Don’t be scared to apply for internships, in and out of state. This goes back to the prior point—don’t be too afraid to take risks. Also, know that being afraid is not a requirement to not pursue your goals. Do it afraid!
I hope that I didn’t scare you with this letter. I want you to feel empowered. You will go places you never dreamed of. You will learn how to drive and get a car! Won’t he do it!! (That’s will be one of your phrases). I want you to feel empowered. I want you to live life, not go through it. Allow your eyes to be open. Live life and have Faith in God, in all situations. Don’t be afraid of what others will think of you. Heck, who cares what others will say. There will be nothing you can say or do to stop them anyway. Don’t forget—you are beautiful, inside and out. You are worthy to have good happen to and for you.