Letters to myself


May 14, 2024

One of my first assignments ever in college was to write a letter to my future self. In that letter we had to talk about what we wanted to get out of college and why we were here at Georgetown. I vaguely remember sitting at my desk at home and writing out that letter, it felt kind of weird to be writing it out because my whole life I had thought that college was the natural next step, why did I need any more of a why as to why I should be here and what I wanted to get out of it? I was going to get good grades and a good job and that was it. It’s a letter that I’d honestly forgotten about as I moved through college and now here I am days before I graduate from Georgetown and I decided to take a peek at that letter.

Being the kind of person I am who absolutely adores a full circle moment, I decided to make that letter writing a tradition. Every single semester of my college career I’ve written a letter to myself reflecting on the semester that just passed or the semester ahead; sometimes these letters are long and full of reflections and sometimes they are just a couple of paragraphs of me rationalizing some stress or anxiety I was going through. In my final days before I graduate, I decided to print out every single one of those letters and sit with a big matcha latte (of course) and read them. That was definitely an emotional rollercoaster and as I was reading them, I thought that there were some things that I wanted to reflect on here on this blog!

I’ve said this so many times on this blog and I probably sound like a broken record, but college really has been a journey in growth in many different ways. Reading through four years worth of letters to myself made me feel very emotional because it was like reliving that growth over again and made me remember some small moments that I had forgotten. I’m really glad that I documented those four years worth of emotions and growth so well, and I’m sure that maybe in a few years time I’ll take a look a those letters again.

While some of those letters are way too personal to share on this blog (and honestly some of them are a little incoherent) I thought I would share some snippets from my first letter way back in Fall 2020. It was kind of crazy to read this letter back as honestly I didn’t really remember what my answer to why am I at college was beyond getting good grades and launching my career but I was surprised to see how much of what I wrote way back in 2020 aligned with how I’ve lived out my four years here.

In that letter I wrote,

I chose to go to Georgetown over any other school because of the experience. I wanted the opportunity to go to classes that stimulated my interests, to build those connections with friends in the dorm, to join lots of clubs and attend lots of events. That is what I hope for my time at Georgetown.

Me, August 2020

I thought it was interesting to read that back now as I really do feel like I lived that out. Coming to Georgetown was a really big deal for me as at the time that I made the decision to commit, I had no family our here in the United States; I was making a decision to step outside my comfort zone so that I could have this experience and I am so glad that I decided to do that. Sitting here now as someone who is about to graduate in a few days, I still struggle to feel fully proud of myself because that just doesn’t come easy to me but it does make me feel proud to know that I had such a rich and beautiful experience from my four years at Georgetown, which is what my freshmen year self had hoped for.

I also like that even back then my personality came through in that letter and I still write the exact way that I did back then. In that letter I said,

I want to become confident in myself, not be scared and change myself to fit in. In 4 years when I look at this entry hopefully I’ll have great friends, maybe I’ll have found love?! (future Yasmin, don’t worry if you haven’t – you’re very picky) Hopefully I’ll also have grown out of my acne by then and I hope I still love matcha!

Me, August 2020

I love that I wrote this back then because the friendships (unfortunately, not romantic love) that I’m leaving college with are one of the most valuable things that I’ve gained from my time at Georgetown. As I read all four years worth of letters I noticed this thread woven through them of friends becoming family and supporting me during my time here; in some of my letters I expressed disappointment and heartbreak as friendships ebb and flow but I also expressed gratitude and so much love. I wrote about this a little while back but while I’m nervous about the form my friendships will take after college, I’m so glad that I’m graduating college with them.

As I compare my first letter to some of my last letters from my senior year, I feel like I’ve really seen myself grow up. I went from just writing about my experience and how I went through college to really thinking about where I fit into the world. The letter I wrote to myself at the end of the fall semester of my senior year is one that I think I’ll look back on in ten or fifteen years and think, “this was your first taster of adulthood.” It was a time of experiencing situations in the world where I couldn’t change anything and that made me feel almost helpless for the first time; it was a time of self reflection and a whole new kind of challenge that I had never faced before. But just as those challenges in those first letters from freshmen year seemed insurmountable, I’m sure that these are reflections and challenges that I’ll look back on a few years from now and feel some sort of growth and clarity about. While I don’t know that I’ll keep writing letters this regularly to myself in my postgrad life, maybe I’ll make it a yearly thing? Something I do on my birthday? It was such a fun special emotional rollercoaster to read back on them!

Signing off as an undergraduate for the last time,

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