A letter to my freshman self...
They say hindsight is 20/20 and in our case that really is true. Who knew? Not I!
I remember the drive to Cornell when it was time to finally start school your freshman year. I remember how excited, anxious, nervous, and unsure of yourself you were. I remember how worried you were about finding and making friends (with good reason, it took you a year). I remember how strongly you wanted to grab Cornell by the horns and take it by storm only to find that no one really wanted you in their program, as their research assistant, or was really interested in your opinion at all. I remember the late nights spent praying for a way to be made because you had the will and I remember looking up what it would take to transfer back home and enroll at U of M (not that your parents would've ever let that happen). I remember it all.
And, I see where you're at now, a creator of SLCE programs, five continent mami, Google scholar-able shawty, and writer to boot. Crazy thing is, that's not even all of it.
If I could go back and do Cornell all over again, if I could somehow get this message to you, I'd tell you to just keep applying, going, and trusting the process. I'd tell you that you've been misunderstood your whole life, Cornell won't be any different - so don't let that stop you. I'd tell you to remain hungry and to always be humble + grateful. But, I'd also tell you to give yourself a whole lot of credit, because you're so incredibly intelligent, even when it feels like others don't see that. I'd tell you to be careful who you share yourself with, friend and romantic partner alike, because some will see your heart and take advantage of it. I'd tell you it's okay to grieve and mourn the losses as they come and that the anxiety will go away eventually. I'd tell you that what is for you is for you so don't stress a rejection and don't hype an acceptance. I'd tell you to insulate your shit because everyone that asks how you're doing doesn't really hope you're doing well. I'd tell you it's okay to be a bit cynical after being hurt, but to make sure you let love in when it comes around again. I'd tell you to stay prayed up and always follow your God-given intuition as it will never steer you wrong.
I'd tell you that you're going to do it all baby girl. Dreams you didn't even know you had are going to come true. Keep the faith. Keep putting yourself out there, even when you worry you've gone too far. Keep working smart and being a good person. Listen to your framily, they truly do have your best interest at heart. Keep in touch with people from home. Don't ever forget where you come from. And most of all, take time to smell the roses every once in a while and celebrate yourself. Don't be afraid to spend a day in bed binge watching Netflix and forgetting (ignoring your responsibilities) it truly is restorative to the soul.
You're going to be more than just okay. You're going to be - already are great. You'll become just who and what you needed when you were younger.
With highest hopes for you, I can't wait to see what you accomplish,
xoxo, Gabby (2016)