A Letter to College Me

Hey College Steph,

Tomorrow you leave for college and begin a new chapter in your life. You’re scared, anxious, and excited all at the same time. It’s the first time you’re really leaving home which is crazy. Everyone is cheering you on so you bottle up the feelings and just smile.

As you put the last box in the car you’re thinking, how can they expect me to pick a major, something I’m supposed to want to do for the rest of my life? What if I let my family down or myself? What if I don’t fit in?

When you watched your sister go off to college she made it seem so easy. She’s always known that she wanted to be a teacher and she’s great at being a teacher. You’ve always been envious you’ve never felt that passion. When you get to college don’t be afraid to explore all the possibilities, it won’t be easy but you’ll find something you love. You hate asking questions especially in a large room of people or even asking someone for a one on one meeting. Getting comfortable with uncomfortable now will help you miles down the road.

I hate to tell you that your time at IUP won’t last four years. While you are there though you’ll be involved in extracurricular activities like joining a sorority. There will be this part of you that feels lost though, like you haven’t found your purpose. It seems like everyone around you knows exactly what they want to be. The others that don’t simply care about making a lot of money. That’s not your motivation though. You need to have a purpose in what you’re doing and that’s ok, it’s who you are and who you’ll always be. Embrace that and don’t let it discourage you. It’ll help you later on.

Leaving home for college will teach you so much about life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness that you need. In high school you’ve been stuck in this bubble but the world is a big place. You’ll learn that everything happens for a reason but you need to take risks to find out. Whether the outcome is great or disappointing, you’ll learn who you are by taking these risks.

Don’t worry, in the end you’ll end up graduating from Penn State where the people you meet and the experiences you have is exactly what you needed for where you’ll go next.

So tomorrow as you start driving down I-80 towards IUP know that you’re headed down a path that will not be black and white. There will be struggle and happiness but when it’s over and you’re holding your diploma you will be better because it happened.


24-year-old Steph

Stephanie Bartz

Stephanie is a spirited millennial tackling the advertising world. A Pennsylvania native trying to fit into the concrete jungle, she believes with hard work and dedication anything is possible. When she's not obsessing over every passing dog you can find her strolling through Central Park with her Nikon or cheering on the Dallas Cowboys.

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