Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Letter to Me

Here is a draft of what I think will be my final piece in my multi genre paper. It's a letter that I've written to myself at age 18. What I wanted to do in the final piece was give the reader the impression that I made the right decision to become a teacher and I'm happy with what I've done, even though it was quite a gamble. I didn't want to spoon-feed that sentiment to the reader, but I wanted it to be obvious enough that there was a sense of closure. I was actually surprised at how easy it was to write a letter to my younger self. I had to be choosy with the "advice" I dispensed to make sure it stayed on focus with the rest of my multi genre paper. I felt like I could write SO much to tell my younger self what to do. But, as I reflected on the last 6 years of my life, I decided there was a lot that I had to learn on my own, with no help from a future self. I actually think this could be an interesting assignment for a future classroom. Writing a letter to yourself is a very self-reflective exercise and turned out to be very thought-provoking for me.

July 8, 2009
Dear Ashley,

I realize it’s pretty strange to receive a letter from your future self, but don’t freak out. It’s just me… well, it’s you, actually. Right now you’re about to turn 18, head off to Saginaw Valley State University on a full ride scholarship, and start some of the most enjoyable years of your life. I won’t give away too much of what happens, but I will give you some advice. Trust me on this- I know you better than anyone else. Shove your stubborn side away for the next few minutes and just read.

  1. You’ll only be a graphic design major for 2 semesters, so just have fun with it. You’ll learn a lot of valuable tools even though you decide not to continue down that path. And when that prof gives you your first C ever, just give him the finger (not literally), smile, and be on your way. Having fun on your projects is WAY more important than getting an A, even if it kills your GPA. And it will.
  2. While we’re on the subject of GPA: Go to class, even if you’d rather go to the mall. Believe me, your life will be less stressful if you just put forth a little bit of effort during your first year of college. It’s ok to skip sometimes, but it’s a hard habit to break.
  3. Save more, spend less. This is the first time you’ll be living within 10 minutes of a mall. Seriously listen: SAVE, SAVE, SAVE!!! Buying something on sale is not saving money. Keep that in mind.
  4. No matter what they say, taking 5 shots of Captain Morgan in an hour is NOT a good idea. Trust me on that one.
  5. Actually… disregard #4. You will never want another drop of Captain Morgan for the rest of your life, which is probably a good thing.
  6. Spoiler Alert: You will change majors from graphic design to finance. In the future you’ll wish you had switched to something else, but you’re going to learn some valuable lessons as you suffer through those miserable marketing and economics classes.
  7. My last bit of advice is going to be vague, but just tuck it away in the back of your mind. After you’ve graduated from college and entered the world of commercial banking, don’t doubt yourself if you feel like you don’t fit in. Trust your instincts because they will help you make the best decision of your life so far. Even though you will be faced with a lot of skepticism and uncertainty, don’t let it discourage you. At times you’re going to feel overwhelmed and want to quit, but stick with it. You are going to be so pleased with the decision you’ve made and the work you’ve done.

That’s all the advice I’m going to give. I could write pages and pages about what you should and shouldn’t do over the next 6 years, but that would rob you of the fun of figuring it out for yourself. Enjoy yourself, take school (a little) seriously, and trust your instincts and you will be successful. You’re going to have a blast!


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