Stay in one place your whole life. Always order vanilla even though the menu is four pages long. Become the type of person who sends back lattes. Save up your money for a plasma TV instead of a plane ticket. Talk a lot about things you know nothing about. Have an affair with someone you don’t even find attractive.
Refuse to forget your ex. Make it impossible for yourself to do anything without remembering that you used to do it with them. Hug your knees under the sheets and think about how safe you felt when they held you at night. Remind yourself daily of how empty you feel. Find new ways to make yourself sad.
Get drunk all the time. Consider no Saturday night, national holiday or extended happy hour complete without a vodka-induced breakdown. Graduate college but keep drinking like you’re still in it. Notice that cheap beer tastes watery and stale when you drink it alone but drink it anyway. Look at old Facebook photos wasted and wonder where everyone went.
Never drink. Never do anything that could potentially be “bad” for you. Treat your body like the temple it is and say no to carbs, yes to wheatgrass, go to bed at ten sharp and turn down cake on your birthday. Take fifteen different dietary supplements. Monitor carefully. Succumb to nothing. Miss out on everything.
Compare yourself constantly, to everyone. Allow the standards of image-obsessed, age-obsessed culture to make you feel decrepit at 25. Scroll through skinny girls on Tumblr feeling wistful and inadequate. Pull at the skin on your hipbones, stomach, and underarms in the mirror. Sigh a lot. Sigh all the time.
Don’t fall in love with anyone or anything. Put an impenetrable wall between yourself and other people. Add a fire-breathing dragon and eight yards of barbed wire. Be suspicious of everyone’s motives. Hold grudges long after you’ve forgotten what for.
Fall in love with everyone and everything. Run after the next best thing like it’s a bus you’re perpetually late for. Throw your heart into every other stranger’s hands and be genuinely surprised to be hurt. Refuse to learn. Refuse to ever learn.
Today one of my Wellesley Siblings, Adey Assefa ‘13, has passed away, and although I didn’t know her on a personal level, Adey was the type of person who could brighten your day just by one of her beautiful smiles. She always seemed to have her head held high while walking with a smile that could light not only her path but the path of everyone around her.
So on this day, I would like to say how I love my Wellesley siblings. From the ones of you who I have seen only in passing to those of you I can go to when I need a shoulder to cry on, I love you all, forever and always.
As much as I may like to complain about Wellesley and how I could, for instance, have much higher/better grades at another institution; there is a reason why I chose Wellesley. When I walked onto this campus, I felt this feeling of love and most of all I felt home, and I knew no matter what that I had to come to Wellesley. And my dad, who came with me to visit, saw that too. By coming to Wellesley and thus by meeting all these wonderful people, I have blossomed into the woman I never thought I could become. Because regardless of all the ups and downs and the mistakes I have made, I couldn’t see myself at any other place than Wellesley…there really is something uniquely special and precious about this place.
So to my Wellesley siblings that are here and to those that are to come, I love you, and I am here for you, and I treasure you and cannot wait to explore the world and spread that Wellesley love wherever we go.
Take this day to hug a friend, to smile at someone you usually might not have, and to tell those close to you how much they really mean to you because as long as we like to think our lives may be, tragedy strikes everyday. So live life to your fullest, accomplish today what you would usually put off until tomorrow, and most of all love those around you for love truly is the key.
Patrice Nicole Caldwell
Wellesley College Class of 2015
P.S. If you have the ability to chose, when choosing a college (career, etc…) it is not so important to chose the place with the highest honors as it is to chose the place where you can see yourself becoming the person you truly want to be :)
The first time I tried to end my life my father had just finished brutally pounding my mother. I felt horrified, angry and helpless. I don’t remember the specifics of that particular attack, but I do remember my response.
When a group of dog rescuers arrived at the market to show the dogs available for adoption, somebody had left 12 puppies on the street – 8 of them were approximately 5 weeks old.
In shock, the rescuers didn’t know what to do. The group had recently canceled several adoption days at the market because of bad weather, so they were over their capacity with puppies still needing to be adopted out. Also, the abandoned puppies were so small that they needed to be fed every two hours, including at night.
That’s when a spayed stray dog approached, lay down beside the shoe box where the puppies were sleeping, and began caring for them.
She wouldn’t let anyone get near the babies.
Very carefully, the rescuers placed the puppies closer to her.
She began caressing them and offering the warmth of her belly to the newborns.
The maternal instinct kicked in and…
after a few hours, she had milk and was feeding the puppies.
The rescue group named her Vida, which means “life” in Portuguese.
25 Things To Do Before You Turn 25
1. Make peace with your parents. Whether you finally recognize that they actually have your best interests in mind or you forgive them for being flawed human beings, you can’t happily enter adulthood with that familial brand of resentment.
2. Kiss someone you think is out of your league; kiss models and med students and entrepreneurs with part-time lives in Dubai and don’t worry about if they’re going to call you afterward.
3. Minimize your passivity.
4. Work a service job to gain some understanding of how tipping works, how to keep your cool around assholes, how a few kind words can change someone’s day.
5. Recognize freedom as a 5:30 a.m. trip to the diner with a bunch of strangers you’ve just met.
6. Try not to beat yourself up over having obtained a ‘useless’ Bachelor’s Degree. Debt is hell, and things didn’t pan out quite like you expected, but you did get to go to college, and having a degree isn’t the worst thing in the world to have. We will figure this mess out, I think, probably; the point is you’re not worth less just because there hasn’t been an immediate pay off for going to school. Be patient, work with what you have, and remember that a lot of us are in this together.
7. If you’re employed in any capacity, open a savings account. You never know when you might be unemployed or in desperate need of getting away for a few days. Even $10 a week is $520 more a year than you would’ve had otherwise.
8. Make a habit of going outside, enjoying the light, relearning your friends, forgetting the internet.
9. Go on a 4-day, brunch-fueled bender.
10. Start a relationship with your crush by telling them that you want them. Directly. Like, look them in the face and say it to them. Say, I want you. I want to be with you.
11. Learn to say ‘no’ — to yourself. Don’t keep wearing high heels if you hate them; don’t keep smoking if you’re disgusted by the way you smell the morning after; stop wasting entire days on your couch if you’re going to complain about missing the sun.
12. Take time to revisit the places that made you who you are: the apartment you grew up in, your middle school, your hometown. These places may or may not be here forever; you definitely won’t be.
13. Find a hobby that makes being alone feel lovely and empowering and like something to look forward to.
14. Think you know yourself until you meet someone better than you.
15. Forget who you are, what your priorities are, and how a person should be.
16. Identify your fears and instead of letting them dictate your every move, find and talk to people who have overcome them. Don’t settle for experiencing .000002% of what the world has to offer because you’re afraid of getting on a plane.
17. Make a habit of cleaning up and letting go. Just because it fit at one point doesn’t mean you need to keep it forever — whether ‘it’ is your favorite pair of pants or your ex.
18. Stop hating yourself.
19. Go out and watch that movie, read that book, listen to that band you already lied about watching, reading, listening to.
20. Take advantage of health insurance while you have it.
21. Make a habit of telling people how you feel, whether it means writing a gushing fan-girl email to someone whose work you love or telling your boss why you deserve a raise.
22. Date someone who says, “I love you” first.
23. Leave the country under the premise of “finding yourself.” This will be unsuccessful. Places do not change people. Instead, do a lot of solo drinking, read a lot of books, have sex in dirty hostels, and come home when you start to miss it.
24. Suck it up and buy a Macbook Pro.
25. Quit that job that’s making you miserable, end the relationship that makes you act like a lunatic, lose the friend whose sole purpose in life is making you feel like you’re perpetually on the verge of vomiting. You’re young, you’re resilient, there are other jobs and relationships and friends if you’re patient and open.