I have always avoided doing one of these “write a letter to your high school self” prompts because I think my senior year was really personal to my own experiences and I’m not sure how applicable it could be to others. However, lately I have been realizing that so many of us have lived the “same” life and share really important narratives that would be unfair not to share. Just as a precursor: I went to a high school in a suburb in Massachusetts, and although my school had its downsides, I loved high school (it’s embarrassing to type that out)! I feel like this is an important precursor to know before I dive into my letter.
Dear high school senior Surya,
Please take a deep breath. Whatever you are stressing out about right now may feel so much bigger and stronger than you, but you are resilient. I know everyone is telling you this now, but yes, you will get into college. The college you will go to will give you a community that loves you so much. I don’t think you understand what community really means right now. A community isn’t just the people you live near or the people that you are “forced” to be around. When you find true community, you feel this warmth in your chest. It feels like the best hug ever, and you recognize that feeling immediately. Your community will check in on you; they will show up for you; they will protect you; they will love you regardless of what you think about yourself. The people you are going to meet and the community you will find yourself in feels like a dream. You never knew people could be so loving and genuine until you went to college, and you are so deserving of that. Your mental health is in shambles right now, and I know you feel like those feelings and thoughts will last forever but it’s not true. I don’t think you would be able to comprehend how strong you are right now. College doesn’t make those feelings of sadness and hopelessness go away at all, but the resources for mental health here will make you feel seen and nurtured. Our pain right now is temporary and even when it comes back, there’s going to be someone there to catch you when you fall. You may feel lost, confused, and like you are going to college because you have to, but you will find your purpose. Explore your interests right now and find what makes you feel alive! Develop your passions and stop doubting yourself all the time, seriously. You are capable of so much, and you are worthy.
College sophomore Surya