To the Person I Was Four Months Ago

by Michelle Stone about a year ago in college

This is a letter I wrote to myself four months in after starting college. Spoiler alert: It's kind of cheesy.

To the Person I Was Four Months Ago

To the Person I Was Four Months Ago,

You’re a day early to class; I figured I should give you that heads up to save you the embarrassment you felt on that day sitting in a classroom with a teacher that isn’t yours halfway through the period ask who you are. Don’t worry, you make it to the right class the next day, and with a teacher who is a lot more relaxed and considerate in your perspective.

I know you don’t know what to expect. It’s your first semester of college in about four years, and even if you don’t want to admit it to yourself, you’re overwhelmed. That feeling of being overwhelmed doesn’t go away, either, and you really need to focus on yourself and the class. I know you have your heart set on this outside project and you think it will push you in the right direction, but you’re not in the right mind frame for it. You just started taking medication again; the dosages are a bit weird and it's making your mind a little unfocused. Look on the bright side, though, you actually are attending class and taking care of yourself. Just take it slow, rethink it before you decide to try to take it up. And if you are really so inclined to know, no, you don’t try it again and that’s okay. You have four years of school left, eventually it will happen. You also realize one of the first projects you have to accomplish is a team effort and the mini heart attack from that information will be fun to experience. Yes, I know, I was horrified at the time too. But the good news is that the teams aren’t as terrible as you would think, and the group you manage to stay with ends up getting about 70% on the overall big semester essay. That's right, you keep these same people for the rest of the semester too—I know, it’s so relieving not having to change groups constantly, and the consistency is comforting.

Yet, I have another warning for you about this: Don’t. Be. The. Leader.

You’ll find out through the semester it’s easiest for your team to just... sort of... hand you the majority of the projects and assignments in the groups. That doesn’t seem bad now as you are reading this because I know you, independent in everything. It’s a habit you’ll break and find yourself shifting and sharing work. Also being the leader every time; even if it was important and necessary in the military, it gets kind of annoying here. Relax.

You’re going to end up learning a lot of good hints and tricks to writing, which is exciting and nice because it kinda makes you rethink being a Geology Environmental Scientist and back to being an English major like you always end up doing. But this time, it feels real, like you can do it... and it works out amazingly in that Literature class you are taking during this semester too. By the way, I know the Literature class seemed like fun before the semester started, but you are going to end up hating it. Luckily, you have this English class to help get through the terrible times that Literature class offers; it really does help get the work done more efficiently and easier so pay attention.

And before you know it, it’ll be May and one more month until June and can you believe you are going to be halfway through the year? Right now as I’m telling you this, I can’t. Overall I’m just happy that there isn’t too much of freezing temperatures that make your hands burn or constantly make your teeth chatter together with shivers. You would think after so much time in these classes and school you would finally get yourself together. Sorry to inform you, but you don’t.

It’s coming close to the last week of school and you don’t end up walking into the wrong class again, don’t worry. But you do end up forgetting to bring a jacket from home, when it so obviously started to pour down the rain and you had to rush to the school store to buy a sweatshirt. You’re still going to be feeling overwhelmed because even though you learned a lot of helpful antidotes from this class, you’re still going to feel insecure about your writing. Everything feels the same, just shifted with more experience. It doesn’t feel okay now, but I’m sure with more practice, time, and just generally, getting back into the rhythm of coming to school again, you’ll manage to feel okay.

Remember to breathe, it’ll work out somehow in the end.

Sincerely, The Person You Become Four Months Later

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Read next: The Unconventional College Life
Michelle Stone

Los Angeles, CA. Aspiring writer. 

See all posts by Michelle Stone