Dear Past Me | Teen Ink

Dear Past Me

March 5, 2022
By coco-deng BRONZE, Great Barrington, Massachusetts
coco-deng BRONZE, Great Barrington, Massachusetts
1 article 11 photos 1 comment

(cw: mention of self harm)


Dear Past Me: 

   In high school, Brown was the only school you wanted to apply to. You were so uncertain about yourself and the world, but you had a wonderful advisor who went there and you wanted to make him proud more than anything. You went to his office hours almost daily, and I still remember the classroom’s purple plastic chairs and the wind in the jacaranda tree outside. When you were so anxious and angry at yourself and you marked your wrists with a boxcutter, you panicked and called him and it was the first time you’d ever opened up to anyone. He was your mentor, and you vowed that you would go to Brown one day so that you could be like him. 

   I still want to be like him. He is still my mentor; I zoom with him often, and we talk about life and school like how we used to. But past me: in these two years, I have transcended you in ways you never could have dreamt of. Everything which you were too afraid to love for fear of judgment—art, weird clothes, Taylor Swift—you love unabashedly now. And guess what—you’ve realized that you love women, too. What, you thought everyone stared at women all the time? Past me: I’m finally applying to Brown now, but I’m doing it for myself, not to impress or imitate anyone. You have so much to offer. Please don’t ever think you need to be someone else. 



The author's comments:

This essay was written as a transfer essay for Brown University, under the prompt: "We are confident that the information you have submitted will give us a full picture of who you are. However, if there is something we have not asked that you feel is crucial to our understanding of your candidacy to Brown, you may address that here. (1500 charas)" 

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