A Letter to My Future Self


Max Fitzgerald, Associate Editor in Chief & News Editor

Hey Future Max!
I hope you’re doing alright, and that the world isn’t as weird then as it is now. I can’t even imagine what being in college is like, but hopefully it’s going well!

As I write this, we’re nearing the end of our senior year in high school, after over a year of dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic. You’re sitting at home, typing away on your computer at the kitchen table, listening to your brother’s math teacher via Zoom class background noise. You had the option to do school “normally”, but you decided to stay virtual and learn from the comfort of your own home without risking your health.
Still not sure if that was the right decision–spending almost seven consecutive hours in front of a screen, but hey! Definitely not the worst that could’ve happened–at least you’re getting a prom this year! And an actual in-person graduation, if all goes well.
School, especially in this past year, has felt like an uphill battle for me.

I’ve been struggling consistently with motivation, mental health, and concentration, even outside of academia, and sometimes I really didn’t feel like any of the day-to-day classwork was worth it. Now that it’s coming to an end, I can’t say that my opinion has changed. Hopefully college is better.
Speaking of which, how’s all that going? Have you decided what you want to do yet? I certainly hope so. Feel free to travel back in time and let me know if you get the chance. Do you still live at home? Are you in an apartment with friends? Are you in a dorm? Are you still even in Wisconsin?

It’s weird, thinking about how much can change in the span of five years. Like, technically according to law, because I’m 18, I’m already an adult. But it certainly doesn’t feel like that. I don’t know if it ever “feels” like you’re an adult or if one day you just wake up, put on a tie, drink some black coffee, do your taxes, and finance a loan or something.

I can’t imagine us ever really meeting that traditional adult stereotype, but hopefully, at the ripe old age of early-twenty-something, you’re at least a bit more sure of yourself in that respect than I am now.

Before I leave you to return to your adult responsibilities, I want to remind you of how far you’ve come. Surviving in this world is no small feat, yet you’ve managed to do so for two whole decades.

I wish I could say that I’m ending high school the happiest I’ve ever been, and that I know our future will be entirely bright, full of nothing but sunshine and rainbows, but we both know that’s a lie. This has been a trash year full of awful experiences, and it wont be the last of its kind. There will always be bad days, maybe even bad months, but you’ve gotten through them all so far, and you’ll get through those to come. Don’t let those bad times overshadow the good, and remember to give yourself a pat on the back every so often for making it to adulthood. You did it, dude.

Out of the night that covers me,
Black as the pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be

For my unconquerable soul.

In the fell clutch of circumstance
I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeonings of chance

My head is bloody, but unbowed.

Beyond this place of wrath and tears
Looms but the Horror of the


And yet the menace of the years
Finds and shall find me unafraid.

It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate,
I am the captain of my soul.

William Ernest Henley