I’ve officially been blogging for five years. Yesterday was actually the “official” anniversary, although I didn’t realize it until 11:30 at night. But I think it was rather apropos… blogging is just so much a part of my life that I don’t think about it as anything different. Five years is a long time and at the same time not that long.
And yet I can’t believe there was ever a point in my life when “The College Prepster” wasn’t a part of it. She (I honestly treat The College Prepster as a sort of character– otherwise I think I would go insane, although it seems very insane) has definitely turned into a little friend over the years.
So with five years of blogging under my belt, what’s the biggest thing I’ve learned?

You never know what something can become.

When I started blogging, I had no intentions, no goals, no plans, no expectations. At the time, I was in the middle of a pretty bad depression with serious (serious) anxiety issues. My entire self-worth growing up was basically how well I performed at school. Straight As, good girl. At Georgetown though, a combination of homesickness, super late puberty, and being challenged academically and socially in ways that I had never really experienced caused a spiraling of my life. (Or so it felt.)
The only way to really sum up that first semester was a major case of simply being lost. Who was I, if I wasn’t the best in the class? Who was I, if I wasn’t surrounded by my childhood friends? Who was I, in a taller, curvier body? Who was I, without my family?
I started my blog for a creative outlet and distraction from classwork that I disliked and created “The College Prepster” to display who I ultimately wanted to become. Happy, outgoing, hardworking, and put-together (in the grander sense).
Never did I intend to create something that other people would read. I guess I thought they could, if they wanted… It was on the Internet, not in a diary. But I didn’t really think anyone would want to. Social media took off, I grew up a lot, and The College Prepster settled into a nice little niche.
I’ve met my best friends through blogging. Had incredible experiences through blogging. Found a job that I absolutely love through blogging. But the major point here is that I had no idea what a creative outlet for a depressed college freshman would turn into.
This goes for…

You never know what emailing back and forth with someone can turn into. You never know who you might fall for at a dinner party. You never know a side project can become. Sometimes the best things in life are unexpected and grow from the littlest of moments.

If it feels right, go with it and see what kind journey you find yourself on.
A massive, massive thank you to everyone who comes back to this little space on the Internet to read these posts. It’s been so great getting to “know” everyone through comments and Tweets and Instagram photos (and even in person! for a handful of readers). Again, I could have never guessed the amazing people who would pop into my life, but I absolutely wouldn’t change it for the world. Y’all are the best!!!
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Jordan @ All The Small Things

This is such an inspiring post! I am so happy that you were able to find an outlet for the difficult time you were going through. That's very similar to the reason I started blogging, actually, though I started mine much later in life than you did. I love your blog, I love what I've learned from it, and I love what you've learned from it!! Keep up the great work…you're an incredible inspiration to me.

Pierce Gillette

Congratulations, Carly! I have loved following you over the past 4 years and am so glad that it has given you so much back! You deserve it!


Congrats Carly! You deserve all the success you have had and will continue to have. You are truly an inspiration and role model for me and many others.


Kristen Bruning

Wow 5 years! Congratulations! That is such an awesome accomplishment! It's amazing to see the difference 5 years can make. I love that you started off blogging not ever thinking people would actually read it and now you have such a huge following of people looking to you for inspiration and advice! I'm so glad that this blog has given back to you so much! you definitely deserve the success!


Connie B

I love this! I'm glad you've been so successful from this experience. I appreciate how real you are with your readers and you've become an inspiration to me. I can't wait for another 5 years of your blogging!

Constance || Prep Northwest

Amy Grant

Congratulations Carly! I so enjoy following along on College Prepster adventures and you've certainly helped me through some tough times in the past 18 months. I'm sure TCP will only go from strength to strength, whatever avenue you choose to take it down. #thisgirlisonfire
XO Amy

Carlene Thomas RD

Congrats on 5 years! Creating who you wanted to be on the outside is actually exactly what Diana Vreeland did! I'm reading her memoir right now and she had a really bad time in life and decided to become 'the girl'. And so she did.


Congratulations! Even though I just found your blog this summer, you've really been an inspiration and role model for me. And proof that anything can happen! This isn't the first post I've read of yours that has emphasized how many opportunities and blessings that blogging has brought you. I love your blog and look forward to the next five years!



Congratulations Carly!!
I love how you address your own anxiety issues because it really helped me to deal with my own – thank you so much! Without your blog I never would have started blogging myself, so you honestly changed my life!
xo Amy

3 Peanuts

Happy 5 years! In January is my anniversary…it will be 7 or 8 YIKES! I am so glad you have found your way and it seems found a lot of happiness too. I feel like I know you through blogging.



Congrats on 5 blissful blogging years! I hope to continue to follow your adventures. Also, thanks for the wise words! Life can be so unexpected and so are the opportunities you can find along the way!

Julia D.

Carly, I've been reading your blog for years and uplifting posts like this are what keeps me coming back. Congratulations on five years. Here's to many more.

Julia Jean Kennedy

I remember the first post of yours that I read – your "intense study tips" post! been obsessed since. Thanks for your honesty and humble personality – it shines in your blog posts and makes your blog such an easy read because I feel like I'm talking to my best friend. ps – love the cleaner design! happy five years!


"You never know what emailing back and forth with someone can turn into. You never know who you might fall for at a dinner party. You never know a side project can become. Sometimes the best things in life are unexpected and grow from the littlest of moments."

Loooove this and so true!! You really just never know… anything can happen!


Congrats!! You're such a inspiration, especially since I'm a college freshman dealing with big changes and have a blog of my own. I can't wait to see the next few years through The College Prepster!

Katie McC

That is the cutest dress ever. I felt the exact same way during my first semester at FSU. I transferred as a Junior and although I was older I was stuck in a freshman dorm and forced to make all new friends. ( I knew no one who went there besides a few friends from highschools who turned WILD in college and I knew I did not fit in with them). The first semester was deff the hardest but I wouldn't trade my time away at school for anything. It's what shaped me into the person I am today and brought me closer to God than I could have ever imagined. I love following your blog and being able to relate so much. Congrats on the 5 year anniversary and I can't wait to see what you have in store. =)

College Girl

Thank you for writing such inspirational things on your blog! As a current college freshman, just finishing my first semester, I am kind of in the same place as you seemed to have been when you started this blog. It's reassuring and inspirational to see how far you have come from that and what you have done with this outlet. Congratulations on the 5 year anniversary of The College Prepster!

Poised Preppy

Congratulations on blogging for five years, Carly! That is such an amazing accomplishment, and I sincerely hope that you'll continue it long into the future. Even though I've only read your blog for about a year and a half, I have been so inspired by the way you turned your life around and made it all that you wanted it to be. Thank you so much for providing young women with such an empowering role model! Congrats again, and don't stop blogging! 🙂
P.S. That dress is SO gorgeous!

Poised and Preppy


Thank you so much for this, Carly! I'm totally bookmarking this post because it's so inspirational. Congratulations on all of your blog success! The best things come to those who work hard & write from their heart – not just what they think other people will enjoy. Absolutely love your blog. xx

xo, K


Congrats on 5 years! That's so wonderful! I've been reading for quite a while, now, and can honestly say that your blog is truly one of my favorites! Best of luck in the years to come and cheers to 2014!! 🙂