A Letter to Myself

by Denisha, a Patriot BloggerPL Denisha

Dear Me-From-One-Year-Ago,

If for some reason the Doctor (from Doctor Who, of course) shows up at my doorstep in the TARDIS to go off on time-travelling adventures, then I’ll be sure to go back in time and give this letter to you and everything will make a lot more sense. If not…ah, we all know the Doctor will show up (right…right?!)…  Anyway, you’re a sophomore this year…how cool is that?! (it’s very cool, I promise) You’re going to love it at Mason. I know you’re getting anxious about starting college this year, but don’t be. It’s going to be fantastic, I promise. I know you might be a bit skeptical about Mason, but let me tell you that it’s like a second home to me now. It’s a great school, and you’re going to do great things there and have unforgettable experiences that will only make you stronger.

I wish I could say that I’ve had the most exciting summer, full of travels around the world and whirlwind summer adventures and full of stories so that I can answer that “what did you do this summer” question with something more exciting than “lying around binge-watching Sherlock and other British TV shows” (on the bright side, I learned that Benedict Cumberbatch is fabulous!) but…I can’t. My summer was really a lot of this:

And this:

However, some exciting things did happen this summer, and it’s making me even more excited to begin another school year at Mason!

A lot of different opportunities knocked for me in terms of the coming year, and I gladly opened them. I somehow managed to land myself an internship at USA TODAY (I still can’t believe it!) in the USA TODAY College department along with my job, so this is going to be an exciting year, and blogging about it is going to be so much fun! It was the most humbling thing to be chosen out of I don’t even know how many applicants, and it’s going to be so great for getting some experience in journalism. Also, I’ve just become the secretary for ALD and I get to be a copy editor at Connect2Mason  Fourth Estate (yay for news mergers!) again, so I will definitely be busy. I’m also hoping to start a bible study for the floor I’m living on (or even the building, if enough people are interested). And, recently, one of my past professors contacted me to discuss taking on an undergraduate research project through OSCAR for the spring semester, so that was an unexpected and very pleasant surprise. So I’m definitely feeling extremely blessed and humbled about these opportunities and I just hope and pray that I do my very best (breathe, don’t freak out, breathe, Denisha!).

And, Mom has agreed to let me do a semester abroad in London for the Fall 2014 school year, so a lot of this year will be spent getting ready for that (now I have to practice my probably-offensive British accent…I can’t wait to say ‘flat’ and ‘telly’ and other British words!). I was so excited when I found out about Mason’s study abroad programs for London. They place you in an internship related to your major and you take a few classes to get credits towards your degree…I looked up one of the past applicants that they had on the website, and one of the girls (who is from Chesapeake also; it’s like a sign for me to go next year!) who went to London was a global affairs major and got to intern at the British Parliament. Yes, please! I mean, I’d like to intern at The Guardian or BBC, but the fact that she got placed at an internship there is VERY cool.

Currently, I’m back and all moved in on campus (I know, so early!) for desk assistant job training that starts on the 12th. It feels so good to be back on campus, though. I did experience my fair share of homesickness when my mom left after getting everything set up in my dorm, but it is definitely good to be back. Although, it is weird considering that none of my roommate/suitemates are going to be here until the 24th, so it’s just me in the dorm right now (which meanssss karaoke all day every day!). Packing this time around was a lot easier (I decided NOT to bring my entire room this time…a good decision). Just a little packing tip: bring enough hangers. It sounds like a weird tip, but I ended up packing my entire room last year. I had about six containers worth of stuff plus two suitcases, and over half of that stuff I didn’t even use last year. Yet, in all of that, I didn’t pack enough hangers. So I was left putting two pieces of clothing on some hangers and messily putting clothes that should be on hangers inside drawers or on the shelf above of the hanger rod… and then I realized that half the clothes I had, I don’t even wear and could probably be donated to Goodwill or another clothes drive. This time around, I learned to be a lot more savvy about what I pack. You don’t need those two boxes of books or DVDs (hey, that’s what Netflix is for, right?). You could easily just pick a couple of your favorite books or DVDs to take with you in the chance that you actually have enough free time to watch/read them. You start discovering who you really are as soon as you start packing for college and deciding what you want/need to take with you. (Which could potentially make me a hoarder with all the stuff I brought last year, but we won’t dwell on that…)

Oh! And I know that you’re still not sure of what you want to do, but that’s okay. There are going to be many times when you’re feeling like this:

But there’s a community of people around you to help you figure that out. You want to make a difference, but you don’t know how. But what I learned this year is that making a difference doesn’t mean making a difference in the world of 7 billion people. It could mean making a difference in one person’s life, or ten, or ten thousand. We were taught that with knowledge, determination, and faith, we could be anything we wanted…right? Little by little, I’m learning valuable skills that will hopefully open many doors of opportunity upon graduation. Mason creates entrepreneurs, but you have to meet them halfway. You have to be determined, become educated, cultured, innovative. You’ll figure out what you want to do on your own time and in your own way, but you have to seek it out, don’t just wait for it to hit you or wait to have an epiphany (although, I’ve heard that does happen!).

Why am I telling you all of this, you ask? (or maybe you didn’t ask and you aren’t curious at all) Well, I just want you to breathe. Everything is going to be fine. It’s going to take some adjusting, but you’ll get through the year. Enjoy yourself and make the most out of your college experience. Be smart. Be reckless. Be smart when you’re reckless. College is full of new experiences. Don’t miss out on them because of constantly thinking about the future or the past.

This is going to be a great year. 🙂

Oh, and don’t forget the hangers.

From, Me