NOTE: I feel like I should just put a covering statement on this letter. The style might seem to be rather harsh and self-deprecating, but as I wrote it to myself, it is the way I would treat myself when addressing the issue of goals and aspirations. And I have also covered not only academic achievements, but life ones as well, because I do not believe you can ever fully remove the two (for example, I think it would be difficult to be a stand-out student if you were unhappy with your life away from your work).
33 Sutton Mill Road
It’s strange to think that in a year, I’ll be looking back on this and thinking about all the things I have achieved, rather than as I am now, looking forwards and blindly clutching for the things I hope I will achieve. I just hope that when I’m looking back on this I’m not cringing with the naivety of my aspirations a year ago.
We both know that going to university was for a mix of reasons. I’m looking for a change in my life, to gain new experiences, to finally move away from the terrible small-town mentality I’m starting to develop by stagnating here in Bedfordshire. You’ve had a whole year living in a city, away from the people who surrounded you throughout your childhood, so I really hope that’s been scaled back. There’s nothing wrong with enjoying the countryside and your roots, but I didn’t want it to take me over. I hope that’s something you’ve managed to put your foot down on. I couldn’t bear to continue to be seen as a proper country lass when we’re trying to be a professional.
Thinking on the country life, I hope you’ve made a thousand and one new friends who come from every single walk of life, culture and community I could ever think of. I really hope you haven’t had to go through the process of making friends and then being left behind again, but since we’ve had a lot of practise at making friends, I know you’ll have been fine whatever happened. But I really hope you’ve got a new lot of people who you can trust and laugh with. I would put something cliché about hoping you’ve found romance (and I really hope you have), but we both know that it’s tempting fate to put things like that in writing. Still, I have my fingers crossed for the year ahead, for all relationships.
In terms of the actual course and learning (which is what you are there for, remember!) I hope you have managed to expand and develop a lot more on media theories and applications, going on from A level. I’m also hoping that you’ve developed a little more flair for creating products, and put your new levels of tolerance into action when doing group work. Remember, group work is teamwork, and you’re never going to get away from that in the real world. It would be great if you had managed to create some amazing short film products – right now that’s just a dream I’ve been holding in my head, so I’d be so proud if you’d managed to make some. You know, something amazingly arty and wonderful and full of unusual shots and lighting and symbolism that we could analyse for hours. But similarly, I’m hoping that you’ve managed to improve your magazine creation skills – we were always lacking at A level, even with work on the school paper.
Speaking of which, I’ll be disappointed if you haven’t involved yourself with the student media societies and been busy with that all year. We must lead on The Linx! Speaking of which, I really hope you’ve had the chance to develop your directorial skills, which is something I’m desperate to advance with – I feel like I have so much to learn about it! I hope you get back into your essay writing mode quickly too, and that it only goes onwards and upwards from A level. I’ll be highly disappointed if your essays haven’t raised their game, or at least stayed consistent. Oh, and do try and learn how to use new editing software – iMovie really won’t get you what you want. Besides, you won’t be creating anything stunning without really fine tuned editing. Although, try and remember that you don’t have to do everything yourself – ask people for help and utilise members of your team so you don’t have a stress overload.
What do I want you to have read, seen, heard, done and produced? I hope you’ve seen films that are critically acclaimed but you always put off watching because you were too lazy (particularly foreign films, lazy). I hope you’ve kept an open mind about all sorts of new texts and that you’ve expanded your genre tastes much wider than our usual comfort zone of fantasy and fiction. I’d be pleased if you also watched more recent programmes, and more cult things that you can really get behind with all your media knowledge. I hope you finally got round to reading more zombie fiction and the rest of the John Green novels, not to mention all your media textbooks, and that you picked up a whole load more of inspiration for all your creative outlets. I hope you’ve produced essays that made you sweat and tear your hair and essays that you breezed through because you loved the subject, and I hope you’ve produced films so painstakingly edited you never want to see them again. And I hope you do everything a student should do, and I hope you do it with an open mind, willingness, and with the aim of fun and experience at the forefront of your mind. Most of all, I hope you haven’t let me down, although I’ll be considerably more understanding if it’s because an anxiety relapse, and not because you procrastinated so heavily with cat videos on YouTube.
Wishing you luck into second year and beyond
Your Past Self