Dear Annabelle from the start of 2014.
Firstly I apologise for writing this post. I swore I never would write a letter to my past self, because I think they’re pointless. I doubt that knowing what I know now, I would have done anything that differently.
However, this has been a very important year, where lots of things have changed. I’ve grown up so much and learnt a lot, and this just seems like the most effective format to convey it all. (Also, I’ve had this sort of conversation a lot recently.)
So here they are, the 6 things I’d like to have told myself at the start of 2014, if I would have listened (and time travel was possible).
- Friends: I know right now you’re terrified of spending the whole year alone, but you don’t need too. You will make lots of lovely friends, who you now can’t imagine your life without. In fact, now that you are separated from these friends, you miss them like crazy.They will teach you so much, and introduce you to many new ideas and ways of thinking (not to mention books, tv series, and films). The friendships you will make at the JSH are like nothing you have ever experienced before. You live with your friends, so they become like a second family that you got to choose. As the year goes on, you will end up being closer to a core group of friends, and it will become clearer why you became friends with them in the first place, even if you didn’t realise it at the time. These people are amazing, and awesome, and you will experience the ups and downs of the first year away from home together.
- Boys: At this point, I know you think that boys are like a foreign species. Despite having two brothers, having attended a girls only school for the past 11 years, you are understandably a little terrified to be going into an environment where you will be living with them for the next year. Relax! They aren’t that different (or scary). In fact, one of your best friends will end up being one of them.
- Parents: Unsurprisingly, your relationship with your parents (and the rest of your family) is going to change quite a bit this year. At the start, it will be hard- the first time you go home you will start counting down a month in advance. But slowly, you will get used to not living without them. You will maybe only Skype them once a week, even though you started off doing it every night. Living in a different city will be good for you, allowing you to start to become your own person, living your life on your own terms.
- Schoolwork/ Study: You will find that the work that you’re doing at university is a huge step up from what you were doing at school (where you were practically spoon fed). At first you’re not going to know what has hit you, and it will seem scary and overwhelming, but you’ll get there. You will also hit a few speed bumps, where you realise the importance of attending every lecture and tutorial. You should do the readings! They will make everything so much easier to understand (and a lot more interesting). Also, remember the importance of handing in your assignment on time. Late penalties suck!
- Give yourself (and others) a break: Now I’m getting deep, but this one is very important. Your growing up, so inevitably you’re going to make mistakes, as are the people around you. Remember, that just because you do something stupid, or not very nice, it doesn’t make you a bad person. All you can do is apologise and try never to repeat the mistake again. Although in saying that, remember that just because you didn’t mean to hurt someone, doesn’t necessarily mean you won’t. You can’t control the way the things you do, or say are interpreted by others. All you can do is do your best to do the right thing, by yourself an others. Everything else is beyond your power.
- In General: My final point is that your life is just beginning and things are going to go up from here. It won’t be smooth sailing, there will be speed bumps, but this year will be the best year of your life so far.
Now that that’s over, all I can say is I can’t wait for next year. Hopefully I can do a lot more writing.
Lots of Love,