A Letter to Myself Four Years From Now

At the very beginning of ninth grade, my school took my classmates and me on a retreat as a way of introducing us to the changes that would come with the transition to high school. One of the activities at this retreat was to write a letter to ourselves, which we sealed in envelopes and gave to our advisors. Our advisors kept these letters and gave them back to us to read on our last day of high school, right before graduation.

I remember being shocked at how inconsequential my letter seemed to me when I read it as a soon-to-be high school graduate. I talked about trivial things, like what my favorite bands or TV shows were at the time. I made a list of all the things I love, and I found out that not much had changed. I talked about how I was a bit scared to be going to high school, but not too much. I think I mentioned that I thought the activity was a bit stupid too. I opened that letter expecting some sort of high school angst, my secret feelings poured onto the page like in a diary entry, but I got insignificance instead.

But, was it insignificant? My favorite bands and TV shows when I was fourteen...that stuff still matters, right?

I am now a soon-to-be college graduate. I know that I will be unable to remember everything from my time at Kenyon. I will probably remember the big things, like the amazing friends I made, the professors who mentored me, and the papers I wrote. But, I want to write another letter to myself, one similar to the one I wrote back in ninth grade, and trust myself not to read it for another four years. When I do read it, I hope to smile while looking back at the insignificant details of my life that I may have forgotten. Here it goes: Dear Twenty-Five-Year-Old Jessica,

This is the last Her Campus article you’re ever going to write, and you’re going out the easy way. Instead of racking your brain to write something funny or pouring out your heart on a serious topic, you’re going to write about the topic the comes the easiest to you: yourself.

You are writing this article while sitting at a table on the top floor of Ascension, a place where you’ve written a ton of Her Campus articles as well as drafts of countless papers. You’re about to go to dinner, and then to the KAC later tonight. You only have three days of undergraduate classes left, and, at this point in your life, you have no intention of going to school ever again.

Taking note from fourteen-year-old you, I have included a list of things that you currently love. You love dogs, roller coasters, and Agatha Christie novels. You love watching softball games, especially while you work out on the elliptical. You love your friends and your family. You love the snow, but you also love the beach. You love fried food, Snapchat, and telling stories about your summers at sleep-away camp.

You wish that you could rock snapbacks like you see lots of girls do on Instagram. You wish that you knew how to waterski. You wish that you had neater handwriting.

You don’t really have a favorite band anymore, but you are always down to jam out to old-school All Time Low or Paramore in your car. You don’t yet know all the words to You Need Me, I Don’t Need You by Ed Sheeran, but you’re getting there.

You haven’t sat down and watched TV in a really long time. Netflix and YouTube are your main modes of media consumption. You still haven’t watched the final episode of Friends because you’re afraid you’ll cry. You are currently rewatching that old reality show, Kid Nation, with your roommate. You love Jenna Marbles, mostly because you love her dogs.

Your alcoholic beverage of choice is any alcoholic beverage that doesn’t taste like alcohol.

You’re pretty happy right now, but you’re ready to move on to this next stage in your life. You’re ready for a change.

I hope that you’re happy now and that you’ve carved out a little niche for yourself in the big, scary world. I hope that you’ve figured out how to do your taxes without your dad looking over your shoulder. I hope that you’ve lived up to at least some of the expectations that I’ve set for you. But if you haven’t, I won’t be too angry.

With lots of love,

Twenty-One-Year-Old Jessica


Image Credit: Feature, 1, 2