College is just beginning, and you’re onto great things. You’re intelligent and full of potential, and I can’t wait to see the way you’ll change the world. You know I love you to Pluto and back (cuz the moon just isn’t far enough), and I think you’re a bad-ass, strong, incredible young woman with more strength and drive than any one human should ever be able to possess. You’re beyond ready to take on college and kick some butt. But when you’re out there growing and learning and becoming a “totally different person” with your new friends, please don’t forget the caring, beautiful soul you already are.
College is an amazing time to discover what (and maybe even who) makes your heart flutter. You’ll learn about friendships and your passions and compromising, along with anatomy and chemistry and researching cures to cancer. You’ll become more independent, have more freedom, and be able to make a lot of choices on your own. I know you’re more than capable of making the right ones.
I mean, don’t get me wrong. You’ll screw up. Maybe a lot.
But you’ll make it right, as much as possible, and I’ll always be here when you need to scream or cry or figure it all out without judgment. I’m not ever leaving you, no matter how many miles separate us.
While you’re on this incredible journey, I hope you’ll remember to pay attention to where you’re going and who you’re becoming along the way. You’ve chosen a challenging career path and a challenging school, and I wouldn’t expect any less of someone destined for greatness like you are. However, you need to be sure that you’re not just doing well but you’re doing good for the people who matter. You need to be sure that at the end of the day, you know that you like who you are and how you treat your fellow humans. Your attitude and your humanity each minute and each day will matter more than any single test score or drinking game or college boyfriend ever could.
Don’t just be brilliant, shine a brilliant light for the people in darkness. Don’t just be fun, bring joy to everything you do – especially the thankless, boring work. I know you don’t want the lecture, so I’ll be brief but remember that you need to be able to wake up each day and do the work that will keep you on track to becoming the very best doctor you can be. There are lives that you have the potential to save – don’t throw that away for one awesome night. You deserve better than that, and so do the countless people who will need you in the future. They deserve someone who loves deeply, cares genuinely and listens without judgement. They deserve someone knowledgeable and intelligent who will fight for them, when they need that warrior most. And you deserve to be that person. I know you want it, and I know you can do it. Don’t lose sight of that dream. And be yourself. It’s always enough.
When you’re overwhelmed with the newness of college life or that 2am decision you wish you could take back, give me a call. I’ll be there. In the meantime, do me a favor and don’t forget to shoot me a text every once in awhile, okay? You know I worry like you’re my baby girl, and I miss you infinitely. Take care of yourself, darling. We all need you. Don’t forget how loved you are.
Hugs (even though I know you hate them),
A high school best friend