Imagine opening a letter from yourself as a high school student, addressed to the current version of you.
10, 15, or even 30 years ago, what did you care about? What were you curious about? Did you have fears about the world? Goals of being a lawyer or a ball player? Boy bands you wanted to see in concert? Friendships that you hoped would last forever?
Do you even remember the high school version of you?
On this week’s episode of Rightnowish, we combine forces with students from Oakland’s Fremont High School, as they share letters to their future selves for KQED’s annual Youth Takeover Week.
This episode is a slight deviation from our Pen’s Pals series, as everyone featured in the piece is local. But the themes of writing letters, shifting perspectives, traveling and pursuing goals remain.
We hope this serves as a time capsule to the students who shared their words with us. For the listeners, we hope this takes you back to when you were in high school– what would you have written in your letter to your future self?
Below are lightly edited excerpts from this episode
Citlali Udovic Sanchez: Dear Future Citlali,
Remember me? I’m our past self. I’m writing to you now to give you a piece of advice. Take advantage of everything we’ve worked so hard for. I am so hopeful that you are using everything we have learned in all of our experiences as reasons to keep going and not reasons to quit. I am so grateful for you.
Brenda Chales Pablo: Dear Future Brenda,
Never forget the joy of dancing. Remember the joy you felt being on stage performing for a big audience? Remember how you would forget about absolutely everything once you stepped onto the stage at Fremont High School? Choosing dance as an elective will always be one of the best choices you’ve made in life, because dancing has become such a big part of it.
Joshua Watan: Dear Future Joshua,
I hope you never forget the thrill of playing football and working out every day and how it made you into a stronger and more disciplined person. If you ever do forget, remember to kick it with your former teammates and friends and just reminisce about the high school experience.
Tauryana Hickman: Dear Future Tauryana,
I hope when I get older, I will still enjoy playing video games and sports. I love basketball. It’s my joy and, and it’s my comfort zone. I was told I would make a great lawyer and that motivated me. I’m very good at debating and that’s something I could see myself doing.
Diana Tieng: Dear Future Diana,
I hope you never forget the joy you had in high school and how it made you feel. If you ever forget. Remember to look back at your camera roll to feel that memory again. Stay in contact with your hometown friends and make sure they’re ok.
Rebekah Chavez: Dear Rebecca, future me,
I hope you’ve let go of everything that was holding you back, everything that made you feel like you wouldn’t be successful, everything that hurt you and made you feel like nothing. But no matter how much worry and hope I have, I know that you’ll do and be something great and you’ll be really proud of yourself someday,
Victor Familathe: Dear Future Victor Familathe,
I hope that you are in a better position now. I hope that there are more opportunities and triumphs in your future than there were in your past. To accept both parts of yourself is to truly live and it is the only way to live. I must learn to live with the bad, to appreciate the good.
Rightnowish is an arts and culture podcast produced at KQED. Listen to it wherever you get your podcasts or click the play button at the top of this page and subscribe to the show on NPR One, Spotify, Apple Podcasts, TuneIn, Stitcher or wherever you get your podcasts.