For those of you who don’t know, I am a senior Advertising Communication major graduating this upcoming May. I’m your typical college chick for multiple reasons: I love my friends, love food and stay busy with class projects. One area where I may not be your typical college student is that along with 18 credit hours, I stay busy working for Edge Magazine, the Gannon Marketing and Communications Department and part-time at Erie’s beloved Sara’s Ice Cream Pub.

Along with these three jobs, for the past four years here at Gannon I have been a part of the Women’s Basketball team with an Atlantic Region Championship under my belt. So as you can see, I stay busy but I like it.

Over the past four years, many days have gone by along with experiences, events and friendships. All of these have led me to the exact moment of where I am right now. Looking back on my college career there are a lot of times where I wish I could go back in time to make a different choice or to say the things I really wanted to, but I can’t, and I’m sure that I am not the only one. Now please don’t think this is going to be a list of all of my regrets because it isn’t. No regrets here.

But if I could, here are some of the things that I would tell myself if I could go back in time.

If I could go back in time, I would tell myself that the boy I’m hanging out with right now is not more important than my friends. Friends will be around a lot longer than he will, so ditch him instead of ditching my girls for a movie night. And that same boy I am crying over is not worth the tears and another one is coming around the corner. So be patient.

If I could go back in time, I would tell myself not to stress over all the school projects that are about to come all at once. Know that they will all get done in time and meet the expectations of each project description. And listen to that friend that says, “What are you going to remember 40 years from now? That project you are stressing over or the good times that you are going to have with your best friends?” (Shout out to you Momo, you were right). All of the fun memories that I will make with friends outweigh the stresses coming from the outside world.

If I could go back in time, I wouldn’t let myself put up with the nonsense that I took for four years straight. I wouldn’t let myself be okay with accepting degrading and hurtful comments from someone on a daily basis. That no matter what they say, I AM strong, I AM good enough and that I DO deserve to be here. That no one has a right to take my accomplishments away from me so do not let that person diminish me.

If I could go back in time, I would tell myself not to have that fight with my best friend. That things are going to be said that hurt feelings on both parties. The fights aren’t worth it. But even if that fight does happen, know that it will be okay in a couple days. That this friend is for life and I can’t live without her. To tell myself that I have officially found my better half in friendship form.

Lastly, if I could go back in time, I would tell myself that choosing to attend Gannon University at just 17 years old will be my best decision yet. That the friends and memories I am about to make the next four years will be with me forever. All the laughs, cries and stress I am about to endure will be worth it. So if I could go back in time, maybe I would tell myself not to worry, that everything coming is about to make you a very strong, independent woman.

College truly has changed me, but the change is for the better. I have learned that making mistakes is how you learn and there are going to be a lot of people who want to see you fail, but you can’t give in to that. I learned to actually not care about what others think of me and to be myself wholeheartedly and unapologetically. I learned to keep moving forward and to not let anyone or anything stop me from where I’m headed.

The decisions you make are meant to happen and understand that though your life may not be the pretty picture you painted as a kid, but it’s still a picture that’s worth looking at.