Right now, you are beginning your freshman year of college and trying to figure out where your life is going. As your future self at 23, I can assure you that, while you won’t have it all figured out by any stretch of the imagination, you will have a better idea of where you want to be, and that’s absolutely fine. The fact that you will have gotten to this stage is something to be proud of, even if it doesn’t seem like it.
The main lesson that I want you to learn from this letter is to follow your gut. If something doesn’t feel right, trust your instincts and distance yourself from whatever it is. On the flip side, if it feels right you better charge forward like you are in an Olympic marathon, and don’t stop until you reach the finish line. Whether it is for love, degree programs, clubs, friendships or any other part of your life, you will not want to go through the regret that I have by not following this basic advice. Take my word for it.
At the time I am writing this to you, you are claiming English as your major. It’s pretty clear that this isn’t what you want. You are a good writer, but this major isn’t suited for you, and you are already thinking about making a switch. Spoiler alert, you settle on communication and journalism. It has fascinating areas of social science study, and it has a practical application in the real world, just what you want. English is a great field, but it isn’t your field. Spare yourself the wasted time trying out more “glamorous” and “extravagant” majors, and just skip to communications. You won’t regret the additional classes, experiences and connections this will offer you.
Furthermore, I also want to tell you to not spend so much time worrying about the “what ifs” in life. Life is full of what ifs, and you will drive yourself insane thinking about the million-and-one possibilities that can occur. Things have a way of working themselves out in their own distinct way, and if you try and force a solution it will blow up in your face.
I wish I could tell you that life is all smooth sailing from the time you turn 19 to the day the universe ends, but I can’t. Things will get great at certain moments, then get bad, get OK, then even worse than before. That’s just what happens when you make bad decisions and ignore your instincts. Yet, even in your darkest hour you will make it through. Even if it is by the skin of our teeth. Be it heart break, betrayal or whatever else you have done, you’ll survive and come out stronger than before.
Yourself at 23