top of page

A letter to my younger self

By Cara McCarthy

If you could see me now, you would probably be surprised to learn I have become a well-rounded, mature, and strong young woman.

But, as you know – that hasn’t always been the case.

Cara, let’s be honest. Growing up, school was never your strong suit. You would rather play games and watch TV than do homework or read a book.

If only you could see us now.

As a freshman in college, you will be terrified – and that is understandable. You don’t know whether these will be the worst four years of your life, or the best.

Spoiler alert! They are the latter.

I know college may seem intimidating right now. You are entering an entirely new side of life you have never seen before, and you are pretty much alone in doing it.

I’m here to let you know that won’t last much longer.

You knew college was going to be a life-changing experience. But you had no idea what FSU had in store for you.

You are going to do amazing things in the next four years. You are going to End your life’s purpose – something you’ve been searching for since you were a little girl with pigtails.

You will learn the most important lesson a woman can possibly be taught: who you are.

I know you have no intention of being as heavily involved in your University’s community as you will be. But trust me, the long nights and stressful situations are worth it in the end.

In a few short months, you will make the best decision you have ever made and End your forever people while doing it.

The Gatepost is not only going to make you a better writer, but it will make you a better leader, student, and person.

You’re scared, and that is OK. What is not OK is your worry that there is no one out there who will appreciate you for who you are.

Hold on to the people you are about to meet, because they understand you better than anyone ever has.

You will fight harder than you ever have in the next four years.

And while it may seem impossible now, you are going to perform an extraordinary service for your community and learn a lot about yourself in the process.

Don’t be afraid to make those connections. Make them with your friends, with your coworkers, and most importantly, with your professors.

They aren’t as strict and intimidating as they may seem. They are people, too, and you get lucky enough that they are some of the most genuine and compassionate individuals you will ever meet.

Get to know them, ask them questions, send those emails you are afraid may sound irrelevant.

And for the love of all that is good – don’t be afraid to ask for help. Don’t be afraid to ask for that extension.

But most importantly – don’t let yourself give up, because you have a small habit of doing that


Cara, college is a balancing act and as you know, sometimes you can be pretty clumsy.

The mistakes you make are not the end of the world.

The friends you lose along the way are less important than those you will make in the future.

And everything will be OK.

And one last thing: Don’t take a single day for granted.

Recent Posts

See All


Commenting has been turned off.
  • Instagram
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
bottom of page