Professor Joshua Belknap | Co Req ML | Spring 2022

4/27/22 FREEWRITE: Letter from past or future self

Letter to Past Self or from Future Self

Write a letter to your past self or from your past or future self. Or just make a list of what would want to convey. This is yourself, so take whatever approach suits you. You might consider, though, talking to your self kindly, as you would to a friend or younger sibling whose development you want to foster. Think about the rhetorical features of a personal letter when you write (but also consider the fact that the actual audience will be your professor and classmates, as you’ll be posting the letter on OpenLab) too.

Knowing what you know now—as a reader, writer, and student—what would you tell yourself of the recent past? (perhaps your pre-pandemic self, yourself from the beginning of college or from before some other turning point)

Now, imagine your near-future self (perhaps from the end of the semester or as you graduate from NYCCT) looking back at you now. What do you hope he/she/they will say to you? What do you hope they’ll be thanking you for?

Or perhaps your past self has some wisdom or admiration for you. What would he/she/they have to say? How might your past self be of service to you now?

Post your future or past letter to yourself here in the comment section below.


  1. Geovany Flores

    Dear , self I’d like to remind you that no matter how difficult things get along the way in college, don’t give up and always look forward rather than back because things will get harder than they are now, always remember that there are many people around you in case you need assistance, and don’t forget to take advantage of the resources that the college provides because if you don’t take advantage of them now, you won’t have the opportunity to do so in the future. As your future self, I remind you that it will be a great adventure, and you may lose some friends along the way, but don’t let that deter you; the most important thing is your career. since English is not your native language still you have learned a lot since the first year you got into the United States. Always be positive and from the beginning of each class/semester put all your efforts so your grades will never go down and one day you’ll see that all those nights without sleeping, the days you got stress will pay back someday and no matter how successful you are never forgot about those who are around you even of your enemies. You are still young and might not understand life but as long as you enjoy what you do that will be the key for everything. Despite the fact that English is not your first language, you have learnt a lot during your first year in the United States. Always be positive and put forth your best effort from the start of each class/semester so that your grades never drop. One day, you’ll see that all those late nights, stressful days will pay off, and no matter how successful you are, never forget about those who surround you, including your enemies. You’re still young and may not comprehend life, but as long as you enjoy what you’re doing, you’ll be fine.

  2. Laziza Naimova

    Dear future me,
    I just want to tell and advice you several things that is going to happen to you in your educational journey. You’ll attend NYCCT while the pandemic continues and you’ll have your first semester classes all online. It is going to be hard until you get into it. The biggest difficulty for you during your first semester is going to be the time management. You’ll not have enough time to do a lot of work at times and you will submit your works late sometimes. However, the first semester is going to be the harsh one because it is going to be the first time you attend college. Many people who attend college first time are almost always be nervous throughout the semester and you’ll be one of those people. Therefore, I want to tell you to never give up and never think that you can’t make it or that you’ll fail your English class because you’ll pass all of your classes with high grades. At the end of the semester you’ll be happy that you moved forward and that you attend college. And all of these difficulties will worth it.
    Looking back at future me, I hope that she (myself) will be a successful Dental hygienist who graduaded from NYCCT and have a great job. I hope that she will say all the kind words to me and she will be thankful for my advices that I gave her right before she started college. Hopefully, she will say, “Because of your advices, I became a successful Dental Hygienist who didn’t gave up in the past and continued her education,” “I really appreciate what you have told me in the past, Thank You So Much!”
    Sincerely, your past self.

  3. Carla Dormil

    Dear past self,

    Where do I even begin?

    I want to tell you about the difficulties that I have been through, you’d probably be overwhelmed, so let me tell you what I‘ve.

    I’ve learned so much through my life journey, I learned that it’s okay to lean on someone if you keep them whether it’s a big situation or a small one. I’ve learned to Lean on my family; I mean that is what they are for, and also cherish them above all else. I have made an effort to help others even if I don’t like them, and I always remember to do it with care and a big smile on my face.

    Remember, do not blame yourself for the things that you can’t control, it is not your fault bad things happen. Be yourself, you don’t realize how amazing you are so be the best you can. Moreover, recall living day by day and seize every moment of it no matter how slow it can be, it is still precious time, don’t waste it.

    Thank you, past self for making me who I am to say and I’m so proud of you.

    Sincerely yours,

    Carla Dormil

  4. Esmeralda Ensaldo

    Dear Past Self,

    I’m writing this letter just to give you a brief preview of what my life has been, meaning what your life is going to be and some advice. First of all, I want to say enjoy the time with your friends, hang out more with them, perhaps after school. You will want that time you have now to enjoy with them, I can assure you. Also, you will have a lot of time to be home in a couple of years. Actually everyone will be home for a couple of weeks/months. Don’t worry about school for now, you can worry about that later. You’ll get the hang of things, at the end it is a matter of time to get used to new things. I guess that’s all I had to say. Hopefully this will be of help, so things go smoothly in life. By the way, you will have another nephew!

    Your Future Self

    P.S. you haven’t learned how to swim.

  5. Adam Bajwa

    Dear Adam,
    This is me Adam from the future, as I have graduated from college now and have learned a lot throughout my college life. The pandemic is going to hit and everything in everybody’s life will change. The schools and colleges are going to shut down and everything will be done remotely and at first it will be hard but after some time you will get familiar with it and not find it hard. After some time things will start to get better and you will start going to college in person. You will find things hard while you attend college in person. I made a lot of mistakes and I achieved a lot of things as well, this time is never coming back so I would advise you to be serious with studies during college time. Don’t waste time doing useless things, do something productive and no matter what don’t lose hope and never give up. I know you will make mistakes but also learn a lot from those mistakes so just don’t give up no matter what. Just be consistent and don’t be absent from the classes. Attendance plays a really big role to be successful in college.

  6. Tayef Rahaman

    Dear Future Self,
    I’m assuming you’re reading this on some sort of graphene screen strapped around your wrist or glued to your face. Cool! Fancy! High-tech! Right now your life is one giant crossroads. It’s exciting. It’s frustrating. It’s temporary. I hope you have a few more things figured out by now. But I also hope you still have some questions. Keep asking them.
    I’m sure you’ve got a lot going on right now, and that’s good. Just don’t lose track of what’s important, what’s worth making time for. Spend time with people you love. That’s first and foremost, always. Pick up the phone. Make some plans. Get outside, even when the couch is calling. Camp in the woods. Build a fire. Stay up late. Climb a mountain. Go for a sail. Trust that things will work out, or change them if you don’t like the charted course. Eat good food cooked from scratch. See live music. Travel abroad with someone you care about. Immerse yourself in a good book. One more thing is Despite the fact that English is not your first language, you have learnt a lot during your first year in the United States. One day, you’ll see that all those late nights, stressful days will pay off, and no matter how successful you are, never forget about those who surround you, including your enemies.

  7. Sabina Akhi

    My dear future self,
    My experience in 12 grade-was a lot of drama and overall good but people like to start a lot of drama and like to-talk about people. But it was going good-overall i hope it stays like this for every year.Yes i am satisfied with my grade but want it to go up so i can be in Honor roll and-so i can make my mom and dad happy. My teacher help me by giving me more work andExtra credit so i can bring my grade up. My teacher Los help me by trying to study with-me after school and giving me more homework and class work.My weakness was all this drama and trying-not to get in fights and when the teacher goes fast but i was good at when i did not get-into fights.But my weakness is me trying not-to talk about people because they talked about me but i kept quite.I struggle with-trying to focus on my work while people
    You are now nearing the end of the first semester of college. You are passing 2 semesters very fast. You are realizing your past goals. Everything that has happened has taken me to this moment. Don’t change a thing. Everything worked out exactly as it should. All the puzzle pieces fit, all the paths make sense. All people are meant to be. All the successes and failures and the heartbreaking and heartbreaking moments were all precious. No regrets. I am and I am and I will always be and that is the most important thing.

  8. Emely

    Dear Future Self,

    I’ve finally arrived at one of my destinations. I graduated college with a degree in my dream career. I’m a registered dental hygienist! A dream that seemed unbelievable to me and others. A dream that I thought about every day of my life. It’s hard to look back at how things used to be in the beginning. There were plenty of sleepless nights, hopeless days, and unsupportive thoughts. It’s braved the way you endured and overcame the circumstances that came your way at such an early age. I have to say thank you, thank you for staying up late when you felt that you needed to rest, thank you for working hard on those days that you didn’t feel like working at all, and thank you for believing that there was still hope. Just like you overcome all those obstacles, doubts, and fears; you can achieve anything that you dream of. I was aware that things weren’t going to be easy, but I stayed consistent. I worked hard to endure any obstacle that came my way. I reminded myself that things were going to get better eventually and there’s something we can’t lose, and it’s hope.

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