A Letter To My 25-Year-Old Self From Right Before I Turn 21
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A Letter To My 25-Year-Old Self From Right Before I Turn 21

I feel like I always expect so much out of birthdays. Like, in my head they're this big, life changing thing.

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A Letter To My 25-Year-Old Self From Right Before I Turn 21
Anna Hernández-Buces

Hello Self,

Happy birthday! I hope you're having a good time. Right now, it's five days until my 21 birthday and honestly, I've barely even noticed. This semester has been...different, to say the least. Nothing has changed with my course load, but it just feels more.

In case you forgot, your days consist of waking up 20 minutes before classes start, turning on your laptop to log onto Zoom, and then not leaving your desk until the afternoon.

I've been so busy I nearly forgot I'm turning 21 on Monday. Mom is coming to visit! I'm really looking forward to that.

I feel like I always expect so much out of birthdays. Like, in my head they're this big, life changing thing. I'll wake up the morning of and I'll be a completely different person: changed for the better and prettier and happier. (I think that's what happens when you watch '16 Candles' when you're a kid.)

This year, though, I'm trying not to have any expectations. It always ends in a little bit of disappointment when I wake up and nothing magical has happened. I think, though, that this is the first year that I don't need anything magical to happen.

It's been an odd year for us, Anna, but ultimately I think it was exactly what we needed.

I don't know how things are going for you, 25-year-old Anna, but things are going really well for nearly-21-year-old-Anna. Year 20 was a roller coaster, so here's to hoping 21 is a smooth ride. Speaking of which, remember that bucket list we made? How much have we completed?

So far, I've gotten on the Dean's list and finished a sewing project. I hand sewed a dress. That's how bored I was during quarantine: I hand stitched an entire dress, skirt and corset and puffy sleeves.

Not bored enough to learn how to use a sewing machine, though.

I hope the Grand Plan™ is going well. I really hope by the time I'm 25 I have my own alpaca farm. I think that would make me the happiest person on the planet. But even if I don't, I know I'll be happy.

I've spent a lot of time working on myself, relearning how to like myself and be confident in who I am. I don't think that's going to change in the next few years.

I don't have any advice to give you, 25-year-old Anna. I just hope that things are going well. You still don't know how to go with the flow, but I hope you learn.

Life isn't always going to go your way and you need to learn to be OK with it, take it as it comes, and just enjoy it.

Happy Birthday.

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