A letter to my younger self: it will be alright

Maggie Dougherty

Editor in Chief 

 

Dear  Maggie,

I am just writing a brief note to let you know that everything will turn out okay. When you came to Wooster, you were totally undecided on what you wanted to study; not S.T.E.M. — that’s your sister’s vibe — but something to do with people, maybe? International relations, language? You wanted to study abroad, but you didn’t know where. Someplace far away, someplace very different. You came to Wooster to be brand new, to get away from Charlottesville — you couldn’t stand the thought of going to one of the same three state schools where everyone else went; you needed to get away from those people. 

You definitely made mistakes along the way. That semester when you overloaded way too much while editing News for the Voice, and found yourself suffocated by anxiety and depression for the first time in your life? You were doing classes you normally would have loved, but just barely finding the motivation to complete assignments because that meant getting out of bed. You realized you weren’t immortal, and you had to unlearn internalized stigmas you had regarding mental illness — it can happen to anyone. 

You found people who supported you, and found ways to establish boundaries with others who couldn’t. You applied to the first study abroad program that felt right, and never looked back. You hopped on a plane to Amman and you made sure not to miss a single opportunity when you were there. You learned to be more go-with-the-flow, to take every shot you could. 

You are used to being successful, and I think if I told you that you’d be leaving college without a job, without a plan for grad school, with only a vague idea of where you’ll end up, that you might have had a panic attack. You might have thought yourself a failure. 

But I am telling you now, it’s okay that you don’t know. Even if you haven’t found a job or a concrete life plan during your time at Wooster, you have all the skills you need to land on your feet. You’ve done work you’re proud of and you’re more confident for it. Wooster isn’t perfect by a long shot, but it’s given you the space to critique it and grow, and it was the right place for you to find yourself. I can tell you now that you have succeeded, ironically, precisely because you aren’t afraid now of the uncertain path lying before you. Take care of yourself, and try not to worry too much what others think along the way. It’s all going to be just fine.