Author: Tanvi Varma
On Thursday evening, I received a text message from my mom that said:
“Look what just came in the mail.”
Since I was in the midst of doing my Spanish homework, I had to stop to think about what it could be. It had to be something important otherwise my mom would not have texted me about it — I would see her later that week in any case. I kept thinking, and was about to ask her when I suddenly realized what it was. Before I could answer the question, my mother sent me a screenshot of a letter.
Here is some background information. A year ago, around the same time in November, each student was asked to write a letter to themselves. The letter would be sent exactly a year later so that we could see how much we have changed. When I read mine, I was tearing up because the advice was so touching and relevant. I could imagine a younger version of myself saying it.
Dear Future Me,
In a year from now, you will be getting this letter. Hopefully, wherever you are, you are happy. That is the most important thing. Here are some pointers for college:
1. Don’t be Boy Crazy: Boys will come and go, but grades are going to get you into college. You want to go to graduate school—you have to strive for that. At some point, you will find the perfect guy, but now is not the time. If you have a weak moment, read Savor the Moment. But do not forget your goals.
2. Always be honest and ask for help: Wherever you go, you are on your own and you will be pushed to a higher standard. Your high school attitude will not work in college. Ask for help when you need it—do not wait until the end when it is too late.
3. Be Yourself: You are amazing just the way you are—yes just like the Bruno Mars song. Do not change yourself for anyone. If they do not like you for you, then that is their problem. Also, do not talk too much about yourself and do not apologize profusely.
4. Work Hard: Try your best. You can do it Tanvi! Nothing is impossible. You did it in high school and you can do it again.
The High School You
The high school me definitely knew all the right things to say for the college me.
When did I grow up? Where did the time go? There are nights when I close my eyes and ask myself those questions. In a week, it will be Thanksgiving, and two weeks after that, the end of the semester. I have just about completed an entire semester of college, and it feels as if I just started.
Reading this letter gave me the encouragement that I needed. There are moments when it is very helpful to have a reminder, that does not come from one’s parents, of one’s goals and hopes for the future. I never expected college to be as stressful and overwhelming as it turned out to be, but reading this letter reassured me that I could achieve and strive to do great things here at Occidental.
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