“All of my life has been a series of tasks in preparation for this day, my first day of college. I spent the last few years nervously anticipating this. I spent my weekends studying and preparing for this as my peers were hanging out, drinking, and doing whatever else it is teenagers do to get themselves in trouble. That wasn’t me.”
Tessa’s thoughts reveal her conscientious personality and the hard work and planning she did to get to college. Up until now, she has focused on her goals rather than concerning herself with parties and fitting in. However, by the end of the novel, her plans have completely changed; school and her internship become second place to her relationship with Hardin as she embraces a different persona.
“I have no idea what college will be like, and, unexpectedly, the question that keeps dominating my thoughts is: Will I make any friends?”
Tessa’s question is quite a normal one for any college freshman to be asking on move-in day. Everyone has a desire to be accepted and in meaningful relationships with friends. Tessa’s thoughts foreshadow the key role friendships will play in the novel’s events, as Tessa seeks friendship and acceptance from a group that is unlike her in every way. In her desire for friendship, Tessa makes uncharacteristic decisions, allowing her to be influenced by the lifestyle of Steph’s group and their opinions of her.
“In my home, tattoos and piercings are not a normal thing. I always had to have my hair combed, my eyebrows plucked, and my clothes clean and ironed. It’s just the way it is.”
By Anna Todd