A few days ago, I had received a letter from myself. Before you scratch your heads and wonder 'how could you receive a letter from you," let me explain. When I was a senior in high school, one of the final assignments from my AP Psychology class was to write a letter to me as I'm graduating college. Back then, the year 2016 seemed so far away and so out of reach. And now that it is here, Hamden High School seems so far away.
In that letter, I asked if I was still friends with my high school friends, if I was seeing someone (I'm not) and discussed some high school memories. Now, as I look at the letter written in purple sparkling ink, it feels like an entire lifetime ago. Next month marks four years since I put on that yellow polyester gown and walked the stage at graduation. Out of all of the people who I've mentioned, only one of those people still remains to be a person who I talk to on a regular basis. It seems like my life has blossomed and changed completely since then. My list of accomplishments are an ever-growing list that doesn't seem to end-I've worked as an Opinions Editor, I currently hold positions at my local paper, have met several politicians/musicians and have travelled to different parts of the world. I've learned that my true calling in life is to hold a pen to write the stories of people who do great things, and that the best way to express myself is through the written world. I learned that sometimes you outgrow people, even though you have a textbook's worth of history with them. I learned that the friends that truly love you are the ones who are not only there for you when they are needed, but they also provide an outlet of entertainment as well. And finally, I've learned to stand up for what's right for you. This means that sometimes this can cause a relationship to end, all in the name of staying true and honest with yourself.
I hate it when people say that "I wish I can go back in time to do that one thing over." I don't believe that is true. I think to be the person that we are today, you need to have lived through the cards that you were dealt with. In this experiment that we call life, you are the variable that is constantly changing. While I have another semester before I rock another polyester gown, I am still not the person who I was when I started. As expected, I learned some things and met new people. But, I also went through hardships and I went through periods where I've experienced exponential growth. Thanks to that growth, I am the person who I am today. I'm turning 22 in a few months, am learning to control my anxiety on my own and have a lot to look forword to. I said goodbye to dreams and ideas that I never thought I would get the courage to do so, and opened myself up to the new beginnings.
This is similiar to how it was when I graduated high school. It was a new beginning, something that every 18 deserves to have.
Here's to new beginnings. Here's to laughter, to working hard but knowing when it's time to stop. Here's to the graduates, the members of the class of 2016 who will enter a new phase of their lives, whether it may be to more education or the work force. Here's to the couples, whether it's for the ones who are just starting out or the ones reaching milestones.
And most importantly, here's to you.
Cheers to new beginnings.