Opening the time capsule: a letter from my high school self

I wrote this letter to myself right before I was set to graduate high school in June 2014. As I am now approaching college graduation in May 2017, I thought it would be nice to look back on my thoughts during this period. So much in my life has changed since writing this. My interests and goals have changed entirely. I have not changed a single word in this piece. The only thing that has drastically changed are my writing skills.

Dear future freshman,

My classes did help me grow in a way, because my thinking and knowledge improved and grew. Yet, some classes were filled with a bunch of busywork and told me WHAT to think, not HOW to think. On the other hand, I learned important communication skills that you need in everyday life through group work and class presentations (as much as I hated it). I don’t think I learned what I wanted to but I gained a lot of knowledge in subjects that I enjoy such as Shakespeare and how the human body works. I would have liked to take more electives regarding film and mass media, but I’ll make up for it in college. Aside from taking the required classes in order to graduate, I also took a class called Yearbook for about three years, starting from sophomore year. This class really inspired me to go into the arts for my college major. Yearbook also allowed me to be myself and express my personality through the pages I was creating. My teachers did ask the right questions to allow me to understand certain topics. Without these questions, we wouldn’t be able to think effectively. Some questions were boring, but some questions were also interesting to answer. The questions weren’t just yes or no questions, or questions about facts. But rather, they influenced discussion and increased our critical thinking, which ultimately inspired ideas and allowed us to become who we are today. One valuable and interesting lesson I learned during my high school career was from my 11 IB English teacher, Ms. Lilly. While I was sitting in her class one day, she gave us insight on her rebellious childhood and the fact that she rocked a mohawk as a young teenager. In a way, she implied that you don’t have to fit in, in order to be successful. You don’t have to pick a college major that promises you a secure job, because even then, you don’t know if you’ll get the job. People don’t have to pick an impacted major just because their parents are forcing them to or they’re scared they won’t find a job with another major. Life is about taking risks and following your passions, not playing it safe. That’s exactly why I’m pursuing a career in the film industry. I realize it’s competitive, but I’m willing to take the risk to do what I love. I believe a job that you love waking up to every single morning is better than a high-paying job that you absolutely hate. As of now, Ms. Lilly is doing what she loves and is teaching English as well as philosophy to her high school students. I think the only thing that remains unanswered that I will pursue once I leave Newbury Park High School is my other interests. I realize that my focus is on film, but I could be interested in other things like biology and math (just kidding, not math). But other things that I thought I was bad at, I could actually be good at. Also, I kind of want to join glee club in college or some sort of singing group. I’ve been told that I sing well but I don’t know if I can be better than I already am. So I’ll just have to find out once I start college next fall. Beyond teachers and academics, my parents, especially my father, have been important and supportive during my high school career. He would always give me pep talks in order to bring my grades up, and succeed in my classes, yet I was reluctant because I’m known to be a procrastinator at heart. However, without my father’s pep talks, I’d probably have a worse case of senioritis than I already do. I’m going to take the mistakes I made in high school and fix them in college. I just didn't care in high school, but in college, I’m going to re-invent myself and become a person that actually cares about my studies. As I prepare to move on from high school, I consider myself to be intelligent, mature, educated, and confident that I will become the person I hope to be as I move on to college.

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