Hi future me! It’s past you here!
You’re currently writing this on the 3rd September in your bedroom. You said you’d get all the summer tasks done earlier but you haven’t. Plus you really don’t want your brother to move into your room when you leave. Your mum and dad promised to let you keep it when you move to uni but some how you know it’s going to get turned into an xbox/game room for your brother and his friends. The main reason you wanted to keep your room was because it was bigger and you really didn’t want your brother messing up your book shelves and alphabetically ordered DVD and album collection…in case you forgot. It’s little things like this which you seem to worry about.
Right now you’re feeling apprehensive yet excited to move on with a new chapter in your life and learn more about what you love and explore different types of photography and grow as an artist. You’re finally going on that course and following your passion and are one step closer to achieving your dream of being a photographer. Don’t let other people, especially family members, tell you that it’s ‘stupid’ because it’s a creative and not academic course…and that you could of gone onto do something academic and earn lots of money… Photography and art is what you love and what you’ve always wanted to do.
Right now, you are honestly feeling a bit overwhelmed by the initial first week…what will your flatmates be like? Will you enjoy it? Will you have enough money to actually live on? And will you make friends and find people with the same interests as you? You’re also feeling really sad and nostalgic about leaving behind your best friends which you’ve known for 7 years. Remember to keep in contact with them because they mean everything to you right now. Ask them how their day was and if they want to Facetime. Meet up with them in the holidays. Ask them if they want to go to the only decent place in town and get a coffee. Remember to call your mum and let her known how you’re doing, because although she says she’s okay about you leaving, deep down you know she’s not. Ask her if she’s doing okay and how the business is going. You’re ready to move out of the small town you’ve lived in the whole of your life and you want to explore new places and find new opportunities but at the same time you know you will miss living in a smaller town. You’ve always said you hated cities because there’s no nature …well I guess we’ll see if anything changes. You could always get a train you know.
Also just letting you know that a packet of crisps and coco pops does not count as lunch …you need to make sure you look after yourself and try to cook healthy meals. Use those 10 billion Jamie Oliver recipe books your mum gave you! and make sure you actually use that free gym membership. Those two running sessions with Dad in the summer did not count as your years worth of exercise. You want to try new things and you’re looking forward to joining societies and getting involved. You said to yourself you’d join a sports society and be more active. You also really want to join a geography society because you love geography. Please please please keep reading and going to museums and galleries and learning. Don’t forget to do things that make you happy. It’s okay to marathon those David Attenborough and Brian Cox documentaries and read in your room but make sure you actually have some sort of social life.
You’re starting to do that thing you do when you are venturing into the unknown and that is to panic and doubt yourself. You’re even worried that the colander you bought on that big trip to Ikea is in fact not suitable for draining rice even though dad said it was. Did you ever buy a new one? also did you end up buying a tin opener?? Right now at this moment in time you’re not very confident and that does hold you back and can stop you from talking to people and trying new things. I hope by next year this improves and you’re able to do all the things you wanted to do.
Right now some basic things are a challenge to you. Such as going to the doctors by yourself, booking a hair dressers appointment and even taking the bus or train. Dad can’t give you a lift back from Coventry forever you know. Just keep practicing it will get easier.
You want that First in photography, continue to work hard and don’t ever give in. Don’t get distracted by others and stop trying to please everyone and help them with everything, you have to learn to put yourself first sometimes. Be who you are, whoever that may be. You’re still trying to figure that out. Continue to write in your journal and don’t stop writing your blog, you really like doing that.
One last thing! This is probably the most important …Maybe try to stop talking about geography at parties or social situations and telling awful jokes which you found in Christmas crackers like 4 years ago. If you ever play the ‘ring of fire’ drinking game please don’t mention that that is where tectonic activity and earthquakes and volcanoes are found…
I hope you’re one step closer to achieving your goal of developing as a photographer and being more confident in yourself. I hope that you have found good people and friends that are supportive and you can be yourself around.
From past you!
Response to Self
Dear past Charlotte,
A lot has changed since you wrote that letter and moved to university to start your course. Things weren’t as bad as you though. You’ve had your ups and downs and gone through the homesick phase but you’ve got through it now. In fact in the holidays you want to go back after about a week, you want to get your independence back. The first two weeks really tested you and there was moments when you thought it wasn’t for you and you had no idea what was going on. You kept feeling really anxious and feeling panicky but now you’re into a good routine and have learnt how to handle things much better. Living on your own and managing your work isn’t as difficult as you thought. You know your limits but you’ve tried so many new things. In September you’d never of been able to take four trains home or even thought you’d be able to keep on top of the work. Before you came to university you said you felt like you hadn’t made the right decision, lots of your friends and family had told you it was a waste of your time but the truth is you did what was right for you. You followed your instincts and your heart and now you’re doing something you love and are surrounded by great friends!
By doing something you love and surrounding yourself around likeminded people you’ve definitely become more confident in yourself and are having fun while learning. Just think if you chose to study business at university like your A Level teacher told you to do. I don’t think you would of been happy or excited about your future or feel inspired at all. In your letter you mentioned how you wanted to do your best and I think you have. This year you’ve put yourself out of your comfort zone and tried lots of new things within photography and personally. Before you’d never have dreamed you’d be able to present in front of a class or have been able to print in a darkroom.
I have to say that although you occasionally have coco pops for lunch you are eating really well. You don’t even buy any snacks like crisps! When you go shopping you spend more money on vegetables than anything else and you actually enjoy cooking for yourself now. Although you’ve only been to the gym twice you shouldn’t feel bad though, I mean you do walk everywhere! At the time it was important to you to join all these societies but right now it’s quite an insignificant thing. You’ve had lots of other opportunities with people on your course and at the time it seemed like a big thing because that seemed like the only way to meet new people and friends.
If you were to see yourself now you’d feel really proud of what you’ve achieved so far. Just keep on doing what you’re doing and continue to work hard and it will all be worth it. Try and take up as many new opportunities as possible and try and get more involved with the photography world!
Your future self