Letter to Self Before Freshman Year

Freshman year of college is officially starting in a week. In the midst of frenzy anticipation and numerous temptations on campus, I want you to remember who you are, and why you are here.

Temptation is everywhere. New classes, new people, new professors. You are like a new born child, lost in the world of colorful candies and chocolates. Everything looks so delicious, and you want to bite of all of them. But remember, God has taught you temperance – do not be fooled by what “seems” – take the time and figure out what “is”.

It’s easy to get tempted: spending time doing unnecessary socializing just to please everybody; signing up for clubs that you don’t feel passionate about just because everybody is talking about it; staying up late and sacrificing your health because “everybody does it too”. Remember – you are not everybody. You are not you. Do not conform, for you are your own person. “Imitation is suicide” - Emerson. Don’t be so busy consuming everything and swallowing food down your throat that you forget who you are.

It’s never about what other people think or want from you; it has always been about what you want for yourself. That’s a lesson that most people always forget, but that’s a lesson that you should know by heart. Nerds and Twizzlers might seem colorful and attractive on the outside, but you know that they are not for you. Don’t be fooled by the glitter. Find the essence of what you are looking at, and then ask yourself, “Is this what my soul is seeking?”

It’s easy to get tempted: to join a particular organization just because it is “popular”, to take a certain class just because it will look good on your resume, or trying to please everybody and hide your true self so that you can seem “cool” and “social”. But every second you waste trying to be someone else, or trying to please someone else, is suicide. You are walking away from who you are supposed to be, and you are walking away from the journey to fully realizing your potential.

I know that you are still immature, and that you make unwise decisions. So let me remind you who you want to be, and what you are looking for:

Who you want to be:

You want to live in accordance with nature. You want to live the good life that God has revealed to us through nature. Beautiful, kind, humble, creative, productive, and you want to always remember who you are. You not want to absorb, but you want to create beautiful things, and help the world become more productive.

What you are looking for:

1. Meaningful, Good, Long lasting RelationshipsThink about high school, your most meaningful relationships were (1) Angela – your best friend, someone who shares your dream and life goals; (2) JuHo – someone who is willing to give it all in for something he loves. Your best friends are people who understand and SHARE your values. So when you socialize with people, don’t be fooled by what they wear, or what they say. Dig deep, search for their VALUES and motivations. Be attracted to who they really are, not what they seem to be. Know who these people are, search for them, and when you do – don’t lose them.

2. Preparing for your Career

This includes: picking the right major, exploring career paths, talking to wise professors and mentors, vising the career office, talking to your academic advisor. I know there are fields I want to explore: creating a startup, writing a book, making a social documentary, opening a restaurant, etc. Talk to people who do these things, and get advice. Plan your career ahead, and do things to set yourself up for a career that you will love.

3. Commitment to a Niche/Expertise

In high school, you were in a few clubs: cross country, MUN, Spanish club… But was there one that defined you? Yes. Youth Spotlight. Everyone knew you as the YSL girl. It’s something you loved so much that you would do work for it til 3 AM and not go to sleep. It never felt like “work”. Do the same in college! Establish your expertise in something that you are obsessed with. Writing? Tech? Start-up? Japanese? Whatever it is that you choose to do, commit to it, and your passion for it will shine through. Have something that defines you and your college career.

4. Be kind, humble, and spiritual.

Alexandra, negativity, stress, and worry are never productive. Take the time to connect with your soul and spirit every day. If you are busy, still try your best to connect with your soul every day. Listen to what God and Nature have to say, and listen to what your “Self” has to say. And, please be kind and nice to everybody around you. If someone doesn’t like you, like it go. Don’t let it bother you. If you are hated, or disliked, or discriminated, ask yourself – have I done anything wrong? And if you haven’t, then just smile and walk away.

Remember, don’t be a consumer of your university. Be the producer. Establish a peer relationship with your school. Rise on top of it, navigate the system, and you should have the power to CHOOSE and utilize resources in a way that FEED your OWN goal.

Alexandra, always remember that you are someone who understands what you want, and someone who knows what kind of person you want to become. That is amazing, and that is a gift. Knowing who you want to be will steer you towards clarity and wisdom, and help you clear all temptations and dangers. The road ahead won’t be easy, but whenever you feel lost, or sad, or confused, or not yourself anymore, please come back to this letter I have written for you.

Love,

Your clear-conscious “Self” - Alexandra.

Alexandra Huang