By now, there are things you know you want to do, goals and aspirations you have, values and beliefs that you stand by… believe it or not, these things will change over and over again no matter how strongly you feel about them now. When I was in fifth grade I wanted to be an FBI agent and then in high school, I wanted to be a jewelry designer. The take-away lesson here is that years from now, your daily thoughts and activities will most likely be very different. In order for us to know ourselves better, it helps to understand the changes we make on and why we make them.
There is a great difference between plans and goals. Both are important to have as long as you feel successful for trying and less discouraged when your plans change course.
THE FUN PART: Write a letter to your future self. This letter can be about anything. Or better yet, partner up with a friend and write out a list of questions that you will each answer. Now, this part requires patience but, seal the envelope and mark it with a "Do not open until:" date, preferably five to ten years into the future. Put this envelope in a place where you will know where it is but you won't be tempted to open it early.
Writing a letter to yourself is a fun way to assess your growth, it is not meant to evaluate any failures. And someday when you read it to yourself, you'll get a pretty good laugh and the urge to get in your car and cruise down memory lane with the music you once swore would always be your favorite.
Besides, it could be fun to have a moment with your future self, reading about the embarrassing slang you used, your school-girl crush and the terrible music you once listened to. Who knows, maybe some of those things will stay the same. Regardless, you'll be glad that you know yourself a little better.
If you don't know what to write about, print out this survey and fill it out for your "Letter to Self":
1. What is your favorite outfit?
2. What do you want to study in college?
3. Who is your current crush?
4. Who was favorite teacher so far?
5. What is your favorite band?
6. What is the last movie you watched?
7. Who is your best friend?
8. What are you looking forward to in the future?
9. What do you do on weekends?
10. What is something about you that takes time for other people to see?
11. List three things you love about yourself.
12. What is a personal item that you hang onto?
13. What is a fond memory of yours?
14. What makes you angry?
15. Do you have any bad habits?
16. What do you do to get ready in the morning?
17. What is your favorite comfort food?
18. What is your favorite book?
19. What is your favorite subject in school?
20. What is your most embarrassing moment?
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(Marina Orievsky studied Communication at the University of Washington where she put her focus on journalism and social media. She has worked with Revolution Inc. and Papersalt since January 2012, contributing blog material about life lessons and about her personal experiences with transitioning from teenage years to adulthood.)