Dear high school self,

Hello from the future! Here are a few words of encouragement and caution written by, well….you, but as a university student. As someone quite familiar with your personality and habits, I am aware that taking these words of advice will not be easy (I’m still struggling with some of this myself), but if you succeed, they will serve you well.

With that rather unconventional introduction out of the way, let us get straight to business.

Now, we both know that you hate presentations, but they are, believe it or not, one of the most practical parts of high school. You will have to present multiple times at university, so keep striving to become a better presenter. Learning how to present without notes is something you won’t regret. Hint hint: spontaneous group presentations are a part of your future. And you never know, you might be required to recite poetry from memory one of these days….

With that being said, don’t be too preoccupied with the future. We both know you enjoy planning ahead, but spoiler alert: your plans will change…drastically, so don’t try to map out the next six years.

Most importantly, avoid becoming so intent on reaching your goals that you lose track of everything else. Don’t get me wrong, your ability to be focused and accomplish what needs to be done will take you far, but it can also become a source of regret if you aren’t careful. You will have many opportunities to earn good grades, but limited opportunities to participate in the story of other people’s lives.

One of the most helpful things you can do, especially during the stress of final exams and projects, is to refresh your perspective. Try looking at things from outside of yourself, and don’t be afraid to ask some existential questions. Quite often the reason for your stress is that you’re viewing your life, or even a specific moment in your life, as the entire story instead of a small part within a larger narrative.

Well, I think that’s all I can tell you without breaking any guidelines for the disclosure of information to persons in the past. Keep on honing those study skills! I for one know that you can succeed! 😉

Your future self