Gregg, Susan and I at graduation, May, 2000.
You are going to have trouble making friends. This is totally normal and means nothing about you personally. It only means that for your entire life, you’ve been surrounded by peers with similar interests, intellectual pursuits and IQs, and now you’ve got to sort through the guy who likes to talk about mulching his garden and the woman whose fascinated with different kinds of decorations to glue onto her eyelashes (and you didn’t even know you could glue things onto eyelashes), so have some patience.
Wear real pants. Not those stupid overalls, and not sweatpants. Real pants have zippers.
Everything everyone told you about how where you go to college determines your fate and your intelligence is false. It turns out the Ivy League kids aren’t any smarter than you, and the kids who started out at community college aren’t any dumber than you. You’ll have to get to know them to find out, which is a good thing.
Big underpants are never a mistake.
You’re not imagining it: those people really are racist.
Exercise regularly and cut it out with the ice cream every night. Your body is no longer pickled in alcohol and caffeine and your metabolism slowing will make your Freshman Fifteen look achingly nostalgic and cute.
Don’t be so hard on yourself. Really. Don’t.
Clean the bathroom more often. Gross.
You’re not tweezing your eyebrows enough. Seriously, they’re not conjoined twins.
Read the books you want to read and the TV you want to watch and don’t feel guilty about it. That’s like feeling guilty for having a personality.
Gregg will be even more awesome than he is at 22, but it’s going to take a lot of time. Also, since you’re here, tell him to get rid of that dumb goatee and to stop accepting orange-flavored vodka from people as presents. You’re going to have to move several bottles of that stuff before dumping it because orange-flavored vodka? Really?
That thing you want to do but think you can never do it or make any money from it? Do it anyway.
Don’t be afraid of anything in the real world (besides snakes and spiders and frogs) (frogs are still scary to you, fyi). But don’t be afraid of technology or your superiors or standing up for yourself. Mistakes feel awful at the time, but in the future, you’ll see how important and life-changing they were.
You are smarter than you give yourself credit. You are also prettier than you give yourself credit, and when you look back at photos of yourself in fifteen years, you’re going to kick yourself for not seeing what Future You can so easily see.
Working for your dad is a mistake. Not the character-building kind that I mentioned above. Ignore that and take the job with the professor instead. Seriously.
You’re still going to really like ramen from a packet, especially the “beef” flavor, which, FYI, doesn’t have beef in it.