A Letter to Myself

Last week I was organizing papers from graduate school and I found a letter I wrote in the first semester to my “future self”. It was an assignment given to a group of undergraduate students and I decided to write one. This might be cheesy, but I want to share the letter I wrote back.
Here is the card I would select for the letter:

Dear Stef,
The first year of graduate school is tough- some of the most difficult months of your life. You are more homesick than you care to admit and should probably reach out to other folks in your cohort. You find out later most are feeling the same way. The transition is far more difficult than you expect and things will happen here and at home that are out of your control. You call mom crying and try to pack up and leave (I think it was the third week in October), but hang in there. I can honestly tell you it is worth every second.

You are smart enough to be here (write that on a piece of paper and put it somewhere you can see it). Next week you will get your first Theory paper back and question your ability to be successful, but you work hard and get an A in the class. On the subject of classes, it is okay to speak up in class and share your thoughts. Your perspective is valued and worth being heard.

In a couple of weeks you are going to contemplate if you should attend iSAHE (an international interest group for CSU SAHE students).  You find yourself torn between finishing reading for class and the meeting.  The meeting should 100% win because it is one of the best decisions of your life. You step completely out of your comfort zone with the support of SAHE and travel to 11 countries over the next two years. Yep, you've never traveled out of the US and you are about to see many parts of the world!

You might want to spend some more time with engineering students as they are a big part of your future (Google Colorado School of Mines).

Stop worrying! Next year you are going to switch assistantships and you will meet students and colleagues who reaffirm your passion for higher education. The experience is a complete whirlwind, so try to cherish and celebrate this time of growth in your life. Over the next two years you will create, innovate, and inspire.

Continue to follow your dreams,
Stefanie Lucas-Waverly

P.S. You might wonder about the –Waverly. After three years of living apart Brett finally moves to Colorado in July ‘12. He supports you so much throughout this journey, so make sure to encourage and be there for him while he is in school. See I told you, great things are ahead!  

Stefanie Lucas

Student Affairs - the First Years

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