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The film series “To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before” recently concluded with its final film, “To All the Boys: Always and Forever.” This film, aside from the adorable aesthetic and characters, made me realize that I miss handwritten letters. I miss the longing of waiting to hear from someone because you can’t get an instantaneous response. What ever happened to the romantic love letters we would send our significant others? It’s been replaced with a heart emoji and seemingly meaningless characters typed on a phone.

The value of human connection has been cheapened by the internet. It’s convenient for telling people the simple things but doesn’t have a lot of heart for telling the more special and sentimental things. You can’t keep a text message the way that you can keep a letter.

I think about when I was younger and would write to my friends – the excitement of putting messages in my own handwriting and decorating the letter with just the right amount of stickers and doodles. I also remember the excitement of opening a fresh letter. It doesn’t matter if it was mailed from the street over or another state, I enjoyed it nonetheless.

There’s something about physically writing that makes a message all the more meaningful. During this pandemic, it’s been even harder to keep up with in-person communication. We can compensate for this by going old-school and writing letters.

I encourage you to write a letter to someone that you haven’t spoken to in a while, whether it be a grandparent, a distant friend or an aunt. They’ll appreciate the gesture so much.

Here are some ideas to get you started:

  • Write about how things are going with you.

  • Tell them why you appreciate them.

  • Tell them a memory that you have with them that you look back on fondly.

  • Organize a time to set up a phone call or Zoom meeting.

  • Ask how they are doing. This will likely ensure a reply!

  • Share some of your favorite quotes or poems.

  • Give them a list of movie/TV recommendations.

  • Send them a drawing/painting.

  • Send them photos that you have taken with them or just ones you took for fun.

  • Write about activities you hope to do with them post-pandemic.

  • Go even more old-school, and send them a mixtape.

After you write a letter for someone else, take the time to write one to yourself. Write one to yourself to open next week, next month or even next year. Talk to yourself the way you’d talk to a friend. Update the future you on your life now, and tell her what you wish for her. Happy writing!

Catherine Hogan is from the UD class of 2023. She loves psych, lit, and running and is currently majoring in communications with a journalism and English lit minor in the hopes of becoming a writer/editor for a newspaper. She likes her coffee black and it took her forever to get her driver's license.
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