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An Open Letter To My Soon To Graduate Self

"Managing school workload, extracurricular involvement, a healthy social life and planning for my post grad life is all a tad overwhelming, but with it comes the prospect of a fresh start. "

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I am exactly 48 days away from achieving one of my life goals: graduate from an American college. This dream started 4 and a half years ago when I first arrived to Drury University as an excited and appropriately naive freshman. I had dealt with feeling insecure plenty of times before, being a Third Culture kid has its own baggage, but never had it been as prevalent as the night I slept in my freshman dorm for the first time. It is a feeling I remember well, being scared was definitely part of it, but excitement and enthusiasm for the future were also there. My family was too far away to reach out for a comforting hug, so it was time for me to embrace my future, however uncertain it was back then.

That same feeling has made its way back into me as graduation approaches, unexpectedly perhaps, but it is most definitely there. It is, after all, another noticeable moment in my young life. I am leaving the place I have called home for 4 years, leaving the place were I discovered myself and my passions and last but not least the place I met people who I will remember forever. Although the feeling is familiar in nature, it also has a new side to it. I am also wondering whether I regret anything, should I have done my college experience differently? Should I have stayed a history major, or is my current International Relations/Journalism combination the way to go? Should I not have joined the Greek system? Should I had invested more time in showing who I cared for that I cared for them? All these questions leave me feeling desperate to be able to cling to something permanent at times, and that is before I begin wondering about my future.

Due to political instability in my home country of Venezuela, relocating there is out of the question for the time being. Moving to Ecuador, where my parents are currently residing, is also not a possibility due to my inability to obtain residency there because of my age. The dream I had of staying in the United States seems to be limited to my 1 year work permit associated with my visa. My dual nationality would allow me to move to Europe, a place I have never been too and a place that escapes my understanding at times. So what do I do? Where do I go? Who do I call for help?

As I struggled to answer all these questions I turned to my mother, the backbone of our family and the person that keeps me balanced and focused. After explaining my thought process she told me something so simple and pure that it all clicked instantly.

She told me:

"Trust yourself, because you are wonderful and unique. Have faith in your future, not only because you want it but because you deserve it and you will not rest until you achieve it. That is who you are."

I got it. Sure it all seems like it's about to change, but as long as I know who I am and what I am capable of there is no reason I should worry. I don't regret my choices, they made me who I am today however wrong they might have been at the time. If I have to move elsewhere to start a new life, I will do it, I have done it before and can do it again. Doubting the future does not help me achieve it, and nor does contemplating past decisions I made purely because I can't change them now. Managing school workload, extracurricular involvement, a healthy social life and planning for my post grad life is all a tad overwhelming, but with it comes the prospect of a fresh start. My foundation as a person, which I gained through my family values and my friends at school, have made me who I am today. And no matter where I go or what I do, what I leave behind will always be there because it is who I am.

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