Now that summer is here, I am sure we all have a million things we would like to do before school starts once again—whether it’s getting in shape, or finding a job, or just reconnecting with our old pals. Keeping track of our goals can get a bit tedious and difficult when we have so much on your plate. Therefore, it is always a good idea to just sit down and think about all the things you would like to accomplish.
While I was keeping track of some of the things I would like to do this summer, I thought of a fun little activity that I did in 6th grade which was: Writing a letter to your future self. For this activity, our 6th grade teachers gave us a piece of paper and we were told to splurge out all of our goals, dreams, fears, and things we wanted to achieve in Junior High. When it was the last day of 8th grade, we got these letters back and were given time to really reflect on what we accomplished and what we didn’t.
You may ask—writing a letter? What? Who writes letters anymore? But hey, really. This simple activity can be very insightful and even though it may seem weird at first, I can guarantee that it will teach you a lot about yourself, your goals, and the dreams you wish to accomplish. After college is over, you will be a completely different person. You will have new experiences, meet new people, and do many things you never would have expected that will shape the rest of your life. Just try to imagine the future you reading this letter you wrote to yourself so long ago. You will get to compare how you used to be and will truly be able to realize how much things have changed and much you have grown.
So why not take out a sheet of paper and start writing your letter to the future you? In your letter think about a specific time period to write to and how things may have changed. Then start writing! Imagine who you will become, where you might live, what goals you will have fulfilled, and so forth. I won't tell you what I wrote in my letter, but I will give you some ideas on what you can write about. My letter followed some of these ideas:
- What do I want to accomplish before I graduate from UIC?
- How do I feel at this moment in life?
- What are some of my hopes and dreams for the future me?
- What personal/health/career goals would I have accomplished?
- What are the positives and negatives in life at the moment?
- What are my current challenges?
- How will I overcome my challenges?
- What questions/concerns I have for the future?
- What advice would you give to yourself a couple years from now?
At the end, seal your letter in an envelope, write a date for when you will open it, and put it in a safe place. If you are afraid you will lose this letter, then what you can do is go to http://www.futureme.org/ and type it out there as well! This website will email you your future letter on any day you choose. You don't have to have any specific time restrictions—you can send this to yourself perhaps after the end of this summer, or 1 year, 2 years, even 4 years down the line! I have written two letters and have set them to be sent my senior year in college, and one after my sophomore year so that I can really sit down and reflect back.
When you open this sometime in the near future, you might gain additional insights about yourself and your journey in the past few years that you were unaware of. Writing a letter to yourself may seem cliché but answering these questions today, might lead you to a whole new world tomorrow. You never know—it might be satisfying to read about yourself a couple years from now. Happy writing!