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A Letter for When I Graduate College

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.

Dear Future Me,

I can’t imagine what you’re feeling right now, but I hope its happy ones. At the present time, I’m writing this letter in Leddy Library under the ridiculously loud ventilation system, feeling very confused about the future. Life right now seems a little uncertain, especially about what to do immediately after graduation. Hopefully by then we’ll have somewhat figured it out. There’s a lot of people telling me about my options right now, and they’re mostly valid, but I’m just having a hard time deciding.

When we first decided to major in International Relations, we had very ambitious and lowkey righteous dreams of helping the world at a macro level. You probably will remember the burnout, disillusionment, and apathy that I’m currently feeling from all the work and change of environment. I’m also pretty sure that you’ll remember the physical pain that I’m feeling from the fibromyalgia flare ups. I also have no doubt that you’ll remember all the stress I’m feeling about the future in general. I hope that by the time we graduate, these things won’t seem as significant as they are now. While present me doesn’t have the same passion and love for my major, I hope that it might spark back up in the distant future. It’s okay if it doesn’t though, since you don’t need to love everything you do. I just hope that the respect and contentment I have for IR stays the same through time.

As of right now, we’ve met a decent amount of people and made some nice friends. I’m hoping that by the time you’re reading this, you’ve met more people and experienced more things. So far, we’ve only been to the Ambassador bridge and the Devonshire Mall. I really do wish that we’d have gone to more places in Windsor over time. Windsor is way too gigantic to be considered a town, so I’m pretty sure there’s lots of things to do. I’m also itching for tattoos right now, and I wonder if I’ll have the guts to get them done. I also hope I have the money to get them, because oh my god, things are so expensive here. I doubt that we’ll get over the whole exchange rate thing even by the time we graduate, but I’m up for any surprises.

I wonder who’ll show up to graduation. I have a vague idea of who will definitely be coming and who won’t, but I really hope that our grandfather will get to see us graduate in person. Maybe you’ll have the courage to thank him for supporting our education up to this point, even if he wasn’t obligated to. We chickened out when we left Malaysia to come here, so maybe you’ll get the guts for it then. I wonder if we made him proud for achieving his dreams for him. It must feel weird being the first in our generation to get a degree, and the second person in the family to have one. I hope you don’t feel the family pressure, but instead are grateful for the opportunities you’ve received.

I don’t really have much else to say. Maybe it’s because we’re not much of a dreamer, or maybe the exhaustion is making it hard to look forward to things. If things go as planned, this letter will be reread in about a year’s time. A lot can change by then, and I know I’ll probably have to deal with a lot of things. But I don’t think I’ll be sad or disappointed if nothing much has changed, since growth is a slow and nonlinear process. I do hope that I’ll learn better coping mechanisms and habits to make life a smoother experience, but I shouldn’t expect much from an inexperienced adult. I do hope that I’ll still be smiling at the end of it though, and also with more tattoos.


Present Me

Daphne Chen

UWindsor '23

Daphne is majoring in International Relations and Development Studies with an Economics minor in UWindsor. Her hobbies include painting, reading, writing, and learning about niche topics among other things. She hopes to one day be able to make a small difference in this world, but she doesn’t know when, what, and how.
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