Although some may regard it as a waste of time, writing a letter to your graduated self is not only enjoyable but can also have some interesting consequences. While it is a simple exercise in and of itself, you should try to take it seriously in order to get the most out of it.
Before you sit down to write the letter, spend some time brainstorming ideas. And once you’ve completed it, set it aside and only open it after you’ve graduated. You may be wondering what the point of this is. This is a time capsule that will allow you to communicate with your future self.
Memories fade and become distorted over time, making them untrustworthy by the time you graduate. It is far preferable to put pen to paper and write down all of your hopes and dreams, visions and aspirations, as well as ask some thoughtful questions that only your future self can answer.
Your current thoughts and consciousness will be stored in your words as you write your letter. And as you read it after graduation, months or years later, you will gain a new perspective, allowing you to see how much you have changed since then.
Why Should You Write a Letter to Your Graduated Self?
There are several primary reasons why you should do this exercise.
- It Assists You in Putting Your Goals in Order – As you begin writing the letter, you will begin to consider all of the actions you will need to take to see your goals realized within the timeframe you have set. As a result, writing this letter is a way to address both your future and present selves. It allows you to more thoroughly analyze your goals and consider why you enrolled in college in the first place.
- Builds Gratitude – One of the most beneficial things you can do for your emotional health is to cultivate gratitude. It can help you realize what you have and reduce stress and anxiety. You will be thanking yourself in the future if you express gratitude in your letter.
- Increases Self-Awareness – Most of us have been in the awkward position of watching an old video or photograph of ourselves when we were younger and feeling embarrassed by our own naivety and lack of self-awareness. This is a good thing because it shows how far we’ve come since then. You’ll be astounded by how much you’ve changed as well as how little you’ve changed at the same time.
- Similarly, when you open the letter later, you will be able to assess what matches and does not match in terms of expectations. More importantly, you will be able to ask yourself why those things are similar or different. Our goals and aspirations change dramatically as a result of unforeseen circumstances, events, or shifting priorities. Reading your letter will show you how your path has changed, whether for the better or for the worse.
- It helps you get back on track – Where do you see yourself in a few years? What kind of person do you want to be? You’ve recently graduated and may be unsure of what to do next. It may even feel as if your best days are behind you. This exercise will assist you in getting out of that mindset and repositioning yourself toward what you hoped to become.
What Is the Best Way to Write a Letter to Your Graduated Self?
Before we get into the specifics, consider this simple resource that may be of assistance to you. FutureMe is a website that allows you to send an email to yourself in the future. Similarly, Five Year Letter will do the same thing, with the exception that the letter will be printed, placed in an envelope, and mailed to you on the date you specify. Of course, you can do it yourself if you remember to open it or resist the temptation to open it before graduation.
That being said, here are a few key steps to get you started.
- Be Casual – Because you’ll be talking to yourself, don’t feel obligated to use a formal tone. Write as if you were speaking to a close friend. This will also help you express yourself more effectively. Also, when discussing your current self, use the first person, “I.” When referring to your future self, use the second person, “you.”
- Describe Your Current Self – Use several lines to describe yourself as you are right now. Mention your most recent achievements, interests, and favorite activities. This will allow you to see how you’ve changed in the interim.
- Include Your Fears – Consider and include any current fears you may have. Take as much time as you need to organize your thoughts and discuss any family issues, your fear of changing careers, not succeeding in life, or anything else that is bothering you right now. This way, you’ll be able to tell if you’ve overcome them after college.
- Identify Your Objectives, Hopes, Dreams, and Aspirations – Write about what motivates you right now, as well as what you hope to achieve with your college degree, just as you did with your fears. Don’t forget to mention larger goals, both personal and professional.
- Ask Yourself What You Want to Start, Stop, or Continue Doing – Maybe you want to stop arguing with your family, quit smoking, or stop biting your nails. Perhaps you’d like to continue going to the gym or begin volunteering. Include them in your letter and question your future self about them.
- Give Yourself Some Advice – Think about what you’re currently struggling with and what advice you might give yourself in the future. You never know when you’ll need it.
- Ask Yourself Questions – The questions you should ask your future self should be about how your college experience brought you closer to your goals. Is it bringing you any closer to your dream job? Has it assisted you in making new friends and connections? Do you have faith in what you’ve learned? Did you have a good time doing it? Inquire about anything and everything you hoped to gain from your college experience, as well as the next steps.
The key to all of this is to be completely honest about everything. Don’t be afraid to put your heart and soul into it. Furthermore, this is not a one-size-fits-all exercise. You can’t go wrong as long as you’re sincere and serious about it. You’re the one who’s writing it, and you’re the one who’ll be reading it.