Where will you be in five years?

Lauren Yanow

When I got home from work yesterday, there was a letter on my bed.

It was from me.

The return address read Homewood-Flossmoor High School, where I graduated from in 2007.

I ripped open the envelope and found a typed letter in my favorite century gothic font. The date in the upper right corner said August 22, 2006.

Lauren,

Today is the second day of your senior year of high school. Congratulations.

As I continued to read, I realized this was a letter I wrote to myself in my senior year creative writing class.

The assignment was to write yourself a letter, put it in a sealed envelope, and write your parents’ home address on the front.

I opened mine to find a meaningful and funny letter to myself. I wrote about my passions, friends, family, goals, and dreams. But the last paragraph stood out the most.

When you were 17, you hoped that in 5 years you would be done with college and either looking for a job or hopefully already have one lined up. If you are lucky enough, you have already landed a job with a fashion magazine working with layouts because when you were 17 that’s the only thing you could have imagined yourself doing. If not, keep working at it. You know what you are good at and you should inspire to do whatever your heart desires. Good luck with your future endeavors.

OK, OK, so I’m not working at a fashion magazine, but it’s safe to say that I work at a job worth dreaming about.

When I wrote that letter five years ago, the economy was better. There was no reason to think I wouldn’t have a job right of college. Reading it now, I realize what an accomplishment it is to have a job two months after graduation.

So, what did I learn from reading my letter?

Setting goals is important. But what’s even better is being able to look back and realize you accomplished the goals you set for yourself. Now, five years later, I’m getting ready to write myself another letter.

I hope that 27-year-old Lauren enjoys it as much as 22-year-old Lauren enjoyed this one.

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