A Letter to My Sophomore Self

A Letter to My Sophomore Self

Caitlin Hicks, Staff Writer

Dear Sophomore Caitlin,

Hi! It must be some sort of weird reading this, right? I’m a junior now, so still Caitlin, but only a little less motivated, a whole lot more sleep-deprived, and a tad bit more hopeless for my future. There are some things I do know now, though, and I know there are a lot of questions that you’d like answering, as well. I remember the anxiety and sadness you felt about these questions, so I’ll get right to it. 

Question One—Yes, it’s really not so bad, the idea of change. I continue to struggle and most likely always will struggle with the concept of growth… because why re-root a perfectly healthy plant when there’s really no need to? I suppose the reasoning behind this one lies in the reasoning that me and you cannot see. Most times, we are content in the coolness of the shade, and the discomfort we feel when we are relocated to the sunshine feels… odd, I guess, to put into words? But me and you, we adjust. We learn that the warmth feels so much better than the coldness. So, the advice for this one comes both literally and figuratively. Literally, in the sense that the basement you refuse to creep from is cold and dark, while the outside sunshine is warm and inviting—like seriously, please go outside—and figuratively in the sense that the space in life you were previously occupying was darkness. Familiar, and comforting, but darkness, nevertheless. It will take a minute to remember that the sunshine feels better on your skin, but once you allow yourself to root in the warmth and happiness of change, that is when you will thrive.

Question Two—No, it will not always be this way. I remember the distinct shrinking feeling that the table in the corner of the lunchroom currently causes you. In some ways, I figure that it could be the lighting, or the awkward way that it hugs the wall with the left end. But in most ways, I figure it is the fact that you have noticed these things, surrounded by the massively loud and incredibly awkward obviousness of the empty seats surrounding you. Sophomore year is lonely for you, I know. You have screamed and cried over the loneliness that you have felt, and you are by no means done feeling those things… I only mean that it gets better. As you grow in age, you will grow in comfort, specifically with yourself. The way you look, the way you talk, the way you interact. And as you grow to love this idea—this idea of you—you will attract others to you. Others that will love you and care for you in a similar way. And if you let them in, they will make you happy, and show you what it feels like to let you feel happiness. But only if you choose to let them in. So on this one, I’m going to have to say the lesson is that when it does end, and you feel happier and better, you have to let those people into your life. Because from them—comes change. Not the scary kind, don’t worry—a little uncomfortable and upsetting, but good change. 

I think all in all, my advice is to stay on track. Don’t get lost in your head or your emotions. Remember that the hard times don’t always stay hard, and that the sun comes out, even when you haven’t quite realized it yet, and there will be people to help you—plant your roots, grow them deeper, and make them stronger. But most of all, you are there, and you are enough.