A Letter To My High School Self: Ariana, Syracuse University

A lot changes between high school and college. Living away from your family (sometimes far, far away), leaving behind old friends and making room for new ones, gaining roommates and professors and a few hangovers — over the course of just a few years, you look back on your high school self and realize just how different you were way-back-when.

Because we can’t actually travel back in time and impart wise words on our 17 year-old selves, we’ve decided to do the next best thing. Over the coming days, you’ll see letters on the site from the CC staff writing to their high school senior selves. If you’re getting ready to graduate and are looking for a little guidance before setting foot on campus in August, take notes. We’ve been through it all and want you to learn from our experiences — for better or worse.

Dear Ariana,

First of all, writing this letter is kind of difficult. I can’t give you advice to change anything because I’m rational enough to know that won’t fix a single thing. And, I don’t even think I would want to.

You have so much growing to do. You’re amazing the way you are and I’m so glad we had this period in our lives. You’re still platinum blonde and wear heels to school every damn day. You’re also a lot more hip than you realize. At least by Syracuse standards, which is what you’ll have to start grading yourself by in like four months.

Stop trying to run away from who you are. You’re brunette. You’re quite short. You actually really enjoy party music now (I wrote this listening to the Ellie Goulding Pandora station. I know, you have no idea what that means). It’s alright. Accepting this stuff will make you stronger. Going back to brunette will be one of the hardest things for you to do. Years later we still miss the attention and the uniqueness of being platinum blonde. But it’s good; you feel like yourself.

And, you’re not going to be friends with a bunch of art students or whatever you think is going to happen. College isn’t high school. You join a sorority (like you planned) and start wearing flat boots and leggings to class. It’s completely normal and okay. You stopped trying. You started living. Hell, you live in a sorority house your junior year. It’s wonderful and close to campus.

By the way, you’re an idiot. You don’t want to be a fashion writer. You don’t actually love it like you love the entertainment industry. I’m sorry to break it to you, but we’re probably going to end up in LA eventually as a magazine’s entertainment editor [if all plans work out]. Weird, right? But, don’t worry we won’t realize all of this until we’re like two semesters deep into French. Magnifique.

But, thank God we did figure it out. Now, I literally don’t stop writing. Sometimes, it drives me a little crazy, but this summer it’ll all pay off. We’re interning at Teen Vogue in the web department come June. Yes, you’re very seriously going to be working at Condé Nast. Please stop crying.

I’ve been avoiding talking about your relationships. Considering your high school friends, you’ll grow emotionally inseparable from some and from others you’ll grow apart  [but still Facebook stalk]. Excluding Ashley you’re wrong about basically anyone you guess right now. I’ll let you be surprised. But, don’t worry Ashley visited you at school two weeks in a row this month. One day she’ll be your maid of honor.

That is, if you ever end up getting married. No, you don’t have a boyfriend. Stop crying again, you just calmed down. There will be one boy that got away. Maybe if you read this now, you won’t let that happen. I think he’s your only real regret in the last three years. But, that’s okay too. I promise you’re insanely happy despite that. There will be quite a few others.

Your sisters at Syracuse will also have a huge part in your happiness. They’re our everything. You’ll have a pledge class you love with all your heart, a Little you would do anything for and countless other amazing friends within your chapter. You very seriously don’t understand how important these girls are. I can’t believe we survived without them in our life.  Oh wonderful, now I’m going to cry.

All in all, I we did pretty damn well for ourselves. You were right, Syracuse is as fantastic as you had hoped— it’s actually better. Although I’m only at the third one, I can promise you: get ready for the best four years of our life.

Love,

Ariana

P.S. Even though you’re not nearly as rebellious as you could be, one day you’ll realize just how amazing, resilient, and generous your parents really are.

Ariana Romero is a student at Syracuse University. That would probably explain why she once had a load of laundry filled solely with orange tee shirts. Follow her on Twitter @ArianaRomero17 where she mostly talks about Game of Thrones Robb Stark.

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