|Photo by Ian Harris, 1969.|
Dear younger self,
You’re a student now and you probably already have some expectations of your after-graduate life. You might think the same rules should apply later. And even everyone says the rules are going to change after you graduate, you don't feel that way. You think you'll simply take all the good things with you from college while having a precious freedom from the responsibilities and rough times you’re going through right now. But the battle *will* get bigger, so enjoy this time. Worries won't take you any further, hard work will. And you know you work hard - so when you fail, don't feel hopeless, there is no way you cannot succeed at something when you keep on trying. And every time you fail at the exam, you'll appreciate your progress and success more than ever, and the lessons from failure will show up as more valuables than any. Don't think ever you're not good enough and don't forget to appreciate yourself when you succeed easily at something. Cause if you don't appreciate it now, later you'll forget to appreciate yourself.
You'll forget what it took you to get to the end. You'll feel like you're at the beginning all over again. People will try to devalue your accomplishments, especially those who never had a chance to have the experience you have right now. I know you don't seek status and you're not an intellectual snob, but don't let anyone devalue what you're going through right now, because all of your knowledge intellect and hard work is something that will get you to the end, not a goddamn blind luck. Later they will try to make you feel like that’s what it is, like you're born privileged and you will have to prove again and again that you're capable even harder than before. So this is the time to learn how capable you are, how strong you are, and how valuable you are. You'll learn that through failures and through accomplishments, until the very last end.
I wish you didn't throw all those books and papers that made you feel overwhelmed with studying, because it's all a certain reminder of your personal and intellectual growth. But you will throw them, thinking that's something to break free from, thinking that the purpose of this journey is to get to the end the fastest you can, and it's not. The final paper won’t show a thing you’re going through right now. No need to rush, keep your notes tidy, diploma won’t run away anywhere.
Another thing: please take care of your body. You don't have to be health obsessed, but do not forget to eat, drink, and rest. The beauty comes from inner balance. I know the cigarettes and coffee are your sanctuary, but please take it easy, because right now they don’t feel as good as they use to. It turned out to be more of a burden than a pleasant social ritual.
Accept the journeys you think you'll have time for later. You might not. Travel when invited. That is more precious than any party you'll go to. And don't get angry easily, the people you know now are the most innocent then they'll ever be. Later you'll understand how low people can go. Right now, enjoy true friendship because that is more real than any true love. You'll recognize these people through late night conversations, common laughs and common tears. Don't bother yourself with the ‘’right’’ guy. Those things might trick you really easily showing up as something true and real, but you'll forget each one of those stories just as you'll forget all the butterflies and tears. But you will never forget the best humans you'll meet at college. Wise and simple words from some professor and a respectful smile will stuck up in your heart and help you later in life in ways you wouldn't believe. The rest is an illusion, this is what is real. You'll forget many things and you'll wish to go back to same place you're at right now, but that will never be possible. Don't blame yourself for that, don't blame anyone for anything. You're doing your best and your decisions are the best you could make with the choices you're given. I wish you could understand that you have time for everything even if you think you don't. You're safe.
One more thing, don't be afraid of affections and sympathies. Don’t be afraid to walk away from people who give you negative vibes. Trust your intuition. Forcing things will never get you anywhere. It's all about patience and small steps. Love the moments; love the place you're at; appreciate kind and simple people; Love every single day, even when you feel alone. This is the time and place where you'll meet the smartest, the most pretentious, the most lovely and the realest people ever. And you're one of them, even if you'll forget it at times, later. You’ll remember it again, at the right moments. Don't be angry if you get less of what you expected. You have no idea that some so called bigger things suck real time. What you have and what you know now is enough.
You'll realize what you've learnt and how you’ve grown only later, when it's all over; some people will never forgive you or love you for that because they were never able to get there. And the life will continue to be hard at times, and you’ll continue to learn; to keep on searching for the right words, right moments, right places, right people; you’ll keep on trying hard. And you’ll learn really fast that wherever you are at the moment, whatever you’re up to, some things are just not meant to be, while other things happen uninvited. Sometimes all you can do is try to keep your smile and curiosity. You're not alone in this. Stay stubborn and strong & have fun, the game has just begun.
Yours truly, your older self
Special thanks to Earnest, who offer a service to help students manage their student loan payments, for wanting to hear our story.
Invitation to Inspiration