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Letter to my Freshman Self: Payton-Luv

April 22, 2022

By: Payton-luv Stine

Hey you, me, I...

I don’t really know how to begin a letter to my past self without a super cliche opening or some other cringey *remember that time* so I decided to skip past those and just say hi!

I don’t really remember feeling disappointed about not getting into my first-choice school, but I remember opening my acceptance to NYU on the beach during spring break...and jumping up and down with my friends about it!

I don’t really remember my first day of classes, but I remember orientation week and meeting the class I would (kind of) call mine. Class of ‘23 at heart always.

I don’t really remember the linoleum floors of my freshman dorm but I remember the friends I made there. We went out last weekend together :)

I don’t really remember feeling awkward or nervous raising my hand for the first time in a college class but I remember the satisfaction after I submitted my first paper. That satisfaction only grows.

I don’t really remember everyone in my classes but I remember that crazy curly-haired girl I met at the US open and getting so lost trying to find our way back to campus. We’re going to Madrid this summer!

I don’t really remember the nights I had to keep myself awake studying or cramming for an

assignment, but I do remember playing pool on my first date with my boyfriend. Yes, it’s who

you think it is ;).

I don’t really remember taking an exam a week early but I remember the trip I took that weekend to be mermaids with Kylie at UCLA and you know who’s the date to winter formal in Big Bear. We, unfortunately, did not see any big bears.

I don’t really remember being sad about leaving my family but I remember the girl's trip Mom, Mimi, and Catt came to visit.

I don’t really remember how bad my feet hurt wearing my mom’s old thigh-high boots out for a friend’s birthday dinner, but I remember going to the Nutcracker for the first time in New York City that night. My inner little girl’s dreams came true.

I don’t really remember the exams I didn’t do well on but I remember presenting a branding strategy to the CEO of a company I love and feeling so excited about it. That strategy has been a talking point in quite a few interviews. I don’t really remember how hard a long-distance relationship was, but I remember going to One Love Cali Fest and seeing Rebelution together!! We’re going again this year.

I don’t really remember being anxious about all the plans I didn’t have that everyone else apparently did but I remember getting my first internship and calling my dad immediately. You read that right, calling my dad. I don’t really remember what inspired the couple of months I thought I wanted to be a veterinarian but I remember living in Key West for a month and taking care of animals the whole time.

I don’t really remember the days spent in my apartment doing mindless work but I remember visiting home and swimming in the ocean with the babies. They are so not babies anymore. I don’t really remember the day I packed up to leave for Spring break 2020 but I remember getting my first apartment with Brecker and beginning a new adventure together a few weeks later. I feel like explaining that one to you would take more than a letter. I don’t really remember the horribleness of online school but I remember convincing Breck to just go look at a dog from the shelter. Her name is Marlene and she’s currently keeping my feet warm. I don’t really remember struggling to motivate myself through online Foundations of Finance but I remember going on hikes every weekend with Mar. She’s a very good trail leader.

I don’t really remember how annoying summer classes were that year but I remember my best friends coming to Vegas for the most hilarious week. Park City, Vegas, and Laguna, 7 days, two cars, ten 20-something-year-olds. You do the math.

I don’t really remember what my accounting professor said in every class but I remember swimming across a river in Hawaii. The pictures were worth it.

I don’t really remember having to do zoom class from a cabin in Duck Creek but I remember accidentally skiing double blacks the next day after 6 years of no skiing. Don’t worry we make it down the mountain without any falls!!

I don’t really know what it was I missed the weekend of Brecker’s graduation but I remember watching him walk across the stage and feeling so proud. P.S. Pricestack is now called Preflect.

I don’t really remember the stress of moving back to NYC a year later, but I remember the first weekend we spent together back in the city in Central Park with Marlene. That was when we still had the patience to put booties on her every walk.

I don’t really remember how big of a pain it was to cook in my NYC apartment, but I remember creating some of my favorite recipes ever there. Yes, we cook every day wuttt.

I don’t really remember the slides of every class, but I remember the amazing friends I made and the adventures we had together. Professor Hollender’s class will literally change you. I don’t really remember writing papers I wasn’t excited about but I remember going to Elton Johnin my favorite purple coat with my favorite person.

I don’t really remember all the mental breakdowns over career changes and job searches but I remember the feeling of relief when I officially chose an offer. P.S. it’s a good one.

I don’t really remember all the times I thought it wasn’t going to work out but now I know it did.

We did it :) a year early, a degree to be excited about, a job to love, a home to be had, a boyfriend you never saw coming, a dog to give all the snuggles, and a group of friends to last forever. You got this.


About the Author:

Payton-Luv Stine is one of the Spring 2021 Co-Content Directors. She is a senior at NYU Stern studying Marketing and Sustainable Business and minoring in Animal Studies.

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