Dear Future Self

Letter writing is an underrated art. It’s easy to overlook something that requires one to deliberately set aside time to complete, especially in a chaotically busy world. Because of the necessary time and effort, letters are so invaluable.

Before you start your first round of college courses, sit down and write a letter to yourself to read when you graduate. Write down what you expect to take from your time in school. You’ll be surprised at how much more you actually end up learning about yourself and your field of study. Tell your future self about the things that motivate and drive you. Remind yourself of the things that intimidate you and even worry you about college and the challenge you’re undertaking. One day you’ll look back and see that you are so much more greater than those doubts and fears, and you will see how you’ve grown and achieved your goals despite them.

Even though you’re an adult and have life experience, college will refine you. You’ll face challenges you considered in the abstract sense; but, as with anything, you don’t know how you’ll react until you’re in the situation. You’ll learn to think with a new perspective and gain fresh, valuable professional insights. Just like iron sharpens iron, you will be tested and improved during your time in college.

Writing a letter will flesh out and give a voice to your thoughts and feelings. You’ll be able to see more clearly the progress and change you’ve made. Graduation is a proud time. There’s definite satisfaction to earning a degree. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, roughly 33 percent of American adults have an undergraduate degree and only 12 percent hold an advanced degree. Certainly relish in your achievement once you’re there, but the best way to measure growth is to have a documented baseline.

Take a few minutes to self-reflect, plan and dream, anticipate the challenges and victories of this upcoming season in your life, and then write it down. You’ll appreciate it on graduation day.

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