Dear future me,
It’s me, I mean you, but circa 2020. It’s been a while…ya know…since your senior year of college, and I don’t know if you remember (even though I’m currently promising myself that I won’t forget), but life sucks right now. Your senior year was taken away and although it seems SO superficial and trivial, I’m devastated and can’t get over missing senior formal, senior bar golf, all of the senior traditions, and GRADUATING. Frankly, COVID-19 has ruined my life (I REALLY hope you’re still overdramatic and can empathize with me). However, I have learned so much about myself, good and bad, in the last month of quarantine. The purpose of this letter is to remind you of these things I’ve learned, how to apply them in your current life, and what I would’ve done differently, so here we go.
The first and BIGGEST lesson I have learned from COVID-19 is to not take anything for granted – I learned this the hard way because COVID-19 has stolen a lot from us, and in this case, I took everything for granted. Learning in person, having a meal plan, living with people my age, my senior experiences, my overall college/educational experiences, my friends, being surrounded by influential and intellectual people at all times, and even the little things such as walking to class. Although I have taken things for granted before and learned from my mistakes, this is the first time it’s been in a large capacity. A death or freak accident in our family would have taught me the same magnitude of this lesson. So, apply this lesson in everything you do. The little moments will always matter, because they make up the big experiences. Appreciate everything.
The second lesson I have learned from COVID-19 is to find the good in everything. You’re such a realist, and you’ve always been. You see both sides in everything and play the game of life by the saying “it’s the principle of the thing.” But, if current me can find the good in COVID-19, then current you can find the good in your present-day life. A lot of good things have come out of this. I get to stay at home and take care of my family who is financially stable enough to still support me. The deadly pressure of finding employment right after I graduate is almost non-existent. My classes have gotten somewhat easier, I have more time to do work since most of them are asynchronous (really appreciative of this one because I’m in 18 hours as a second-semester senior ~R.I.P.~), AND I can pass fail my required computer science course. Also, I have more time for myself and my hobbies. So, in wrapping up this lesson, be more optimistic. This doesn’t mean you have to be Positive
Polly all the time, but apply it throughout your conversations, thoughts, and feelings. By the way, I don’t think you could’ve learned this lesson any other way unless the world became a different dimension where good things came out of bad events in every single occurrence.
The third and final lesson that I have learned from COVID-19 is to appreciate yourself. Girl – you are AWESOME. You can do anything you want. You are quite literally defying the laws of nature in 2020 by being a healthy, successful, beautiful, talented, smart UNC (almost) graduate. COVID-19 has taught me this lesson because it made me realize that although I say I “take time for myself” and “treat myself,” I am always simultaneously doing something for others and can’t catch a break. COVID-19 has been my break, and you need more breaks. Actually take time to really appreciate yourself, and you know that cute little self-deprecation thing you do because of comparison? STOP. IT. You know momma always said, “comparison is the thief of joy.” You could have learned this lesson through victory after victory, but that will never happen in this life we live.
Don’t get me wrong, everything still sucks. But there is good that has come out of it. If I could do anything differently, I would do almost everything differently, starting from the day I graduated high school. However, you wouldn’t be the person you are now, without this happening. Keep this letter and reread it, a lot. Be humble. Be appreciative. Be optimistic. Love your people. Most importantly – love yourself, because I love you.