A Letter to Myself

Dear Present Me,

You did it! You were able to go through 2018 with flying colours. You thought it was impossible at first but you have overcome all the challenges.

Remember the time when you wanted to give up? Remember the time when nothing seemed to be going your way? Remember the time when one problem piled up after another? Remember the time when you were overwhelmed with all those responsibilities thrown your way? Remember the time when you did not know what to do anymore?

All those situations made you start doubting yourself on whether you made the right decision. You were swimming in a pool of negativity until you got a message from the tarot cards in English class that said, “juggle it all?”. It was all just a game but maybe it is a sign that the answer to your problems is time management. There might be a way to balance your responsibilities and academics without sacrificing your personal time. The message served as a wakeup call that you should stop procrastinating.

Life is full of challenges. Sometimes, life wants you to learn things the hard way. Life can be cold. Life can be heartless, BUT life is a gift. Life can be beautiful. Life can be full of opportunities. Life can be a teacher. Life can be your trainer that can train you how to fight battles. Life can teach you how to get what you want no matter what it takes. It is all just about your mindset.

Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you react to it. – Charles R. Swindoll

You used to not worry about anything but school work. When you were hungry, there was food on the table. You also need not worry about cleaning your room because somebody else would do it for you. You don’t need to worry about bills, because it has always been taken care of. You need not worry about budgeting, because it was never your responsibility to begin with.

Now that you are living alone away from your family, you have to take care of so many things that you just used to take for granted. You need to prepare your own meals. You need to clean your room. You need to make sure that all your bills are paid on time. Suddenly, you needed to grow up and be a responsible adult. At the same time, you need to make sure that you do good in your academics. You wanted to make the most of your university experience but all those too much responsibilities were taking a toll on you.

Remember the times where you got really low grades for the midterms and almost failed? You went home utterly tired and sad only to be welcomed by a lot of household chores that were still left undone. You took pity on yourself but you fought with your negative emotions and made them into positive ones. You did your best to make the situation better. You studied harder than before and complained less about the subjects. You started advance studying and actually started reading the textbooks. You began using a planner to keep track with your list of things to accomplish.

Eventually, little by little, you started passing the exams and even getting perfect scores in some. You even started bearing the responsibilities of the group when none of your groupmates contributed anything. You realised that complaining will lead to nowhere and that there is nothing you can do to change others but you can take matters into your own hands by doing the tasks for them. Even though it is added responsibility, at the end of the day, it is you who learned and gained the most from the experience.

When the final grades finally arrived you had that smile on your face that showed how your hard work had paid off. I am proud of you for your determination. I am proud of all that you have accomplished.

Now here you are, just a few days left before the end of the year, feeling grateful of all the things, that happened this year. Think of the things that you learned. Think of those people that supported you. Think also of those who did not believe in you. Think of all the things that you have to go through. In the end, you were able to surpass them. Whatever obstacles you had to go through this past year, you saw how they made you into a better and stronger person. You will say in the future, “hey I’ve been through that” and will be proud of it.

All those experiences helped create the person that you are today. They were also determinant factors on what kind of person you will become tomorrow. Each of those experiences, whether good or bad, no matter how small or big, contains lessons. On the surface, you improved as a student. But in reality, it did more than just that. The experiences shaped your personality, your attitude and your values toward life especially in overcoming future challenges that will come your way.

As you go through life in the coming years, always remind yourself the following:

1. Never Doubt Yourself

Anything is possible as long as you put your mind and heart on it. You need to believe in yourself even if others don’t.

2. Little Things Make Big Things Happen

Success is not a one time effort. It is a product of all the small things that you do consistently on a daily basis.

3. Think Positive

Life’s challenges can be overwhelming. If you dwell too much on the negative, it will be difficult for you to accomplish things. Complaining will not get you anywhere. Instead, always look at the bright side of things.

4. Turn Challenges into Lessons

Every problem has a silver lining. Sometimes, we need to face challenges to become a better person.

5. Don’t Procrastinate

It is so tempting to just play video games, watch television or just spend time on social media. However, you will not be able to accomplish anything by wasting too much time on those things. Whatever you need to do, do it now. Don’t wait until tomorrow.

6. Take more Responsibilities

If others are not doing it, just do it. More responsibilities mean maturity and growth.

7. Be Grateful

There are so many things to be grateful in life. All you need to do is to remember how fortunate you are.

On this note, what better way to end the year than saying thank you to all the experiences and to all the people who made 2018 very memorable for you.  You are fortunate to have wonderful parents who are always there to support you. Say thank you as well to all the teachers for all the knowledge they have imparted and all the challenges that they gave. Be thankful to your friends who kept you grounded. And most of all, say thank you to all the people who forced you to become a better version of yourself.

Times passess by so fast, you are only a few days away to a new year. You are now ready and excited for what 2019 has in store for you.

Signing off, your 2018 self.

Alexandre Jonas is a sophomore student taking up BS Management in Ateneo de Manila University. University life and living away from home has taught him how to become a more mature and responsible adult.

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