Somedays, I'm reveling in the fact that I'm not 21 yet while a majority of the people I spend my time with are hitting 23 and 25 and I don't even have a horizontal drivers license.
So Britty, here's to you and everything that you have coming for you in the next few years.
Today, you'll walk across a stage in front of an arena full of people [most of which are dressed in awful brown and gold robes] and get this little piece of paper that certifies you should be ready for the real world. Here's the truth: you've been a part of the "real world" for 18 years, and while these next four years will certainly be a change, they're really just a continuation of what you've been doing. So don't stress. But here's some advice.
1. This next semester is going to be full of a lot of changes, and I'm not just talking about your education and where you live. You won't go to sleep as early, and somehow, you'll still be expected to make it to 8:30 classes. You're going to start craving weird things like quesadillas and grilled cheese--but that's because that will be basically all you have in your fridge at any given point in your life.
2. Embrace these changes--and fall in love with the independence you've been given. I'm not saying you should run wild and go crazy, because you're the good kid and that was my job and mom and dad may have a heart attack if you try and tell them that you're hanging out at a fraternity house too, but have some fun. When your roommates say "McDonald's?" at 2 am, go with them. There is NO SHAME in watching a movie three times in one day or finishing an entire season of Grey's Anatomy in a week. Midnight sledding down Old Main hill is something everyone should do, and swimming in the TSC fountains is basically a rite of passage. Go watch True Aggie Night, and for the love of all that is good in the world, watch an Aggie Basketball game (or two or twelve or all of them).
3. Use the independence wisely. You're so smart....but don't let that be a crutch. Spend lots of time in the library (and ask me where the best places to study are. I know where the best rooms are and could probably use the study time too). Go to the gym, because the freshman 15 is a real thing and you can make the Fieldhouse your friend. SI's are a really good thing, and so is meeting with your professors/advisers/TA's. I promise it will make a difference.
4. Try something new...like play a new sport [Campus Rec classes are the BOMB], join a new club [*cough*go through sorority recruitment*cough*], or go to a party [like the HOWL or Mardi Gras so you can hang out with me]. The moral of the story is: you're going to meet so many people up here, so you better learn to love it.
5. The most important thing [in my opinion] is to not forget what's important. Call mom, because you need it more than she does [trust me, I'm sure she gets tired of the dozens of phone calls about frosting and stain removal and books to read but she won't tell you that]. Eat lots of fruits and vegetables and take some vitamins too because you DO NOT want to be sick over finals week. And, [I'm basically begging you here], HANG OUT WITH ME. At least until you know where all the buildings are and I've thoroughly embarrassed you by being too loud--as usual.
But really, Britty, today's a big day. You're a real adult now, and I've never been more excited to share something with you. We may have moved past sharing a room, matching outfits, and twin baby dolls....but I can't wait to share my love for USU with you and watch you fall in love with the Aggies like I have [I'm also stoked to have you up here because now you can kill spiders for me and make me food because you're the brave, smart, domestic one, right?].
Congratulations you brilliant Dart, you. I am so proud of you and everything you've learned, done, and become. You've always been one step ahead of me, doing things a hundred times better than I can, and I'm lucky to have an example like you. Thanks for being my kinder, smarter, more creative, and more stubborn partner-in-crime. And I cannot wait to have you with me where the sagebrush grows. See you soon, Future Aggie. :)