A LETTER TO MY YOUNGER SELF
How are you doing? I hope you are enjoying your last days of holidays. I know you are nervous and excited for college, so let me reassure you that there is no need to worry. It is very easy for me to tell you that, because by the time I am writing this I have already been through the worst part (even though there isn’t a “worst part” after all), but believe me, you will be more than fine.
First things first: you should know how much you are going to love the studies you have chosen. Languages are your thing and that is everything that you will do. It may sound boring but you are going to have loads of fun. Don’t listen to the people who tell you that “there are no jobs for translators” or “Don’t study German, there are many people who already speak that language. You should learn Japanese”. You are now studying Translation and Interpretation and you have as well chosen German regardless of what everybody said and it makes you happy, end of the story. However, you will miss having a Literature subject or something like History. Languages are great but you have always loved reading and learning more about other things as well, which is something that you won’t have, at least in your first year. Use your spare time to learn about these topics you also like.
I remember you wanted to get a part-time job during college. Well, I’m sorry to tell you that this has not happened (yet). You did apply for some vacancies but there was no luck. Do not beat yourself up, it is fine, focus all your energy into studying. There will be more opportunities! I know you wanted to start earning your own money, but in the meantime you will need to learn how to manage the money you already have (which is very important as well), so here are a few tips. Stop buying food after every class! Yes, now I am punishing you. It is very tempting to spend your change in vending machines around campus, but you should not do it. Bring snacks with you for when you are starving after a long day. The same goes for your lunch: meal prep the night before and put everything inside a lunch box. I have to congratulate you for that, because you have never forgotten your meals and you are eating pretty healthy. Going back to managing your money, why don’t you put your spare coins in a piggy bank and start saving to go studying abroad? This is something you have always wanted and although it may take a bit of time to figure out when and where you want to go, it is good to start gathering a decent amount of money. Keep looking for a job, maybe you find one out of the blue. Looking into and understanding your financial aid is important. You can refinance your loans as well but it’s important to look up all you can on making smart money decisions now! One last piece of advice: take advantage of the discounts you have for being a student! You can have special prices transportation wise, as well as cheaper menus in some coffee shops. Always have your student card with you, you never know when you will need it.
Going to college by train is something you will find awkward at the beginning, but eventually you will get used to it. You will read a lot during the way to college (maybe you should invest in a good e-reader, paper books are kind of heavy) and some days you will get really tired, especially when there are no seats and it is 8 am. There is going to be a day when you will share the 20 minutes journey with your new friends, since some of them have to pick up the same train as you. It sounds great, doesn’t it? After the first week of college or so, you will start hanging out with these guys and are going to become very close. You will have lunch together, hang out after classes, laugh in the middle of the lesson when you were supposed to pay attention to the teacher, start sharing some adventures… You will soon realise that there are people who share the same interests as you and that they are actually very kind and friendly. Take care of them.
I don’t know what else to say, enjoy this time of your life and keep doing what you do.
Best wishes from your tiny-wiser self