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Dear young Mary,

I’m writing this letter to you in my room avoiding all of my homework and responsibilities… don’t do this. It is the year 2020 and the world is in a global pandemic due to COVID-19. We are all stuck in our homes until further notice. I never would’ve imagined this to happen because it seems like we’re in a Lifetime movie– but this gives me time to reflect, explore new habits, and hobbies I may not have had the time to do before being quarantined. So, I wanted to write this letter to you and give meaningful advice from what I’ve experienced at the age of 21. You’ve come a long way so far, and I applaud you even though you’re so hard on yourself. 

Here it goes: 

  1. I know you feel like the world is against you, or that you feel alone, but trust me when I say you are NOT alone. Growing up in your pre-teens without a mom was very heartbreaking and unfortunate, but I know it will teach you to be strong and independent because you have a whole army behind you every step of the way. 

  2. Don’t hide your emotions. Sometimes you get into these moods where you bottle everything inside because you don’t want to seem weak. But this is very unhealthy. It’s okay to feel sad or upset with yourself because we’re all human, however don’t mask it; let yourself feel these emotions instead of hiding them. 

  3.  Be comfortable, but don’t be too comfortable. This may be confusing to you because it’s still confusing to me. But what I mean is sometimes it’s refreshing to have some changes in your life (even small ones). For example, the relationships you may encounter teaches you a life lesson and the people you meet always have a purpose. 

  4. Everything and I mean everything happens for a reason. As cheesy as it sounds, I live by this mantra. Everyone has their own path, and it’s perfectly okay to have a different one. Don’t follow others, be your own person. 

  5. Be kind to others but don’t let people walk over you. That’s all I have to say. 

  6. Manifest. Saying positive affirmations and trusting that the universe has your back is such a powerful tool. So make the time to think, believe, and feel the desires you want for yourself. 

  7. Make time for family. We all get caught up in work and school but take the time to be with your family. Of course they will annoy you but they’re the only people who will have your back. 

  8. Take risks. Tell yourself “If I don’t do this now, then when?”

  9. Don’t look back on your past too much. You tend to talk about your past and the things that went wrong. It’s okay to do this and reflect on what happened, however it’s your past. All you can do is focus on how to be better and how to learn from these lessons for the future. 

  10. You’ll be okay.  

These are just some life lessons and experiences I’ve learned throughout my life so far. Obviously, I still have a long way to go, and everyday I’m learning to be the best but take it as you will. 



First generation Assyrian woman who is a California native. After living in NorCal all her life, she currently resides in SoCal attending UC San Diego as a Communications major in pursuit of a Bachelors Degree. Her goal is to eventually receive a Masters Degree in Broadcast Journalism and land her dream job as a News Anchor. Her interests include fitness, makeup, music, social media and video production. Follow Mary on instagram (@marymikaili).
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