2020 was a year that most of us wish to forget. Despite the challenges brought on by the COVID pandemic, there is a sense of hope among many of us about the coming year.
This campaign, A Note to Your Future Self, invited 10 international students in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia to share their hope with us in the form of a letter to their future self one year from now.
Each letter contains unique individual reflections, future plans and most importantly, serves as a reminder of all the things that truly matter.
A note from Assistant Editor:
The letters presented in this campaign have not been edited for authenticity.
- Letter by Nisarg
- Letter by S
- Letter by A
- Letter by Chi
- Letter by Shahmir
- Letter by Long
- Letter by Quynh
- Letter by Angelyn
- Letter by Vi
- Letter by Esther
NISARG, a 22-year-old international student in Melbourne, Australia.
Nisarg has just finished his first year of university study.
Hope you and the dog you will have adopted about 10-11 months ago, are in good shape and health, physically, and mentally.
I commend the hustle you went through with resilience for the last two years to reach the point where you are right now despite the circumstances that you had to live through. This would not only help us earn and save some $$$, but also help us learn the habit of being resilient and consistent, that we always wanted to develop. Now, we should only look to invest that resilience and $$$ into creative projects that give us satisfaction.
Speaking of satisfaction, I hope you have performed at least 6 open mics by now. I know it would have been hard looking, interacting, creating content that people would laugh at, and especially trying to deliver it in the best way possible after coming out of lockdown after 9 months.
Thirdly, I hope you made sure you meet new people and get to explore new places. Remember? That was something that excited us the most before we came here.
Regardless of what conditions you’re in right now, I’m proud of you, and I love you, and I will always do so. Keep your values intact, and keep hustling, and for sure, things will fall into place.
S, a 20-year-old international student
S moved back to her home country during the COVID lockdown in Melbourne
“Hey there future self,
A year has passed by and I hope you know how much you’ve overcome in the past year! I hope that by this time next year you’ll be doing the things that you plan on doing and if you have not, it’s alright too. Always remember that whatever happens, you’ll have your family and friends supporting and you’re never alone.”
A, a 25-year-old international student in Melbourne, Australia.
A is graduating from his Master’s degree in 2021
“From many heights to lowest Tsunamis, civil wars, trade wars and now pandemics. all sorts of unknown to come…
In this journey, focus on the positives.
Find a purpose and live a positive life..in peace.”
CHI, a 20-year-old international student in Melbourne, Australia.
Chi is determined to overcome peer pressure.
Family, friends and yourself shouldn’t be either a pressure or an excuse, alright?
SHAHMIR, a 20-year-old international student in Melbourne, Australia.
Shahmir is graduating from his Bachelor’s degree in 2021.
“Hey you or rather me,
I just wanted to say I hope you made some progress in achieving your goals even if it is a very small step, that step counts so don’t give up and keep pushing forward.
I also want to say that plan more even if you think that going through with it is impossible, plan your life, your aspirations in work and remember that this hard work won’t only benefit you but rather everyone you love.
Never regret your decisions because every failure helps mould you into a better person.
Remember to keep in touch with family and friends even if you’re busy and also most important of all remember to be a better person, a better muslim and hopefully the perfect version of you that you can be.”
LONG, a 20-year-old international student in Melbourne, Australia.
Long has decided to defer his study to move back home and start his own company.
“Dear my future self,
I hope this letter finds you doing well.
It is now 2020, where I am taking my very first steps towards our goal. The goal to make our life less meaningless, by helping people, taking social responsibility, fulfilling our political ambitions and shaping a greater Vietnam.
So far this year I have read 11 books, made some new friends, formed serious relationships, and many of them are crucial for years to come. During the journey I have had thoughts as well, for you to contemplate because your mind is probably wiser than me.
I still remember the moment in March when we both decided that we must stop thinking and start doing. On that day, I pulled out a 2-sided paper. I started writing down values. Values of being a human. Values of being a Vietnamese. And values of being myself. Both sides of the paper were fully filled with words. I have never done such an emotional thing in my life.
Today is a busy day.
For 2 days in a row I sleep a total of only 8 hours. This morning I wake up at 5.30 to get ready for a morning run. Just to greet and say hello to people for 30 minutes. An addicted hobby. I like humans who find it joyful to earn their living.
At 8 in the morning, I come to the office. I see you guys again. Khoi is briefing for me the tasks for the tech team. Ha is struggling with building brand identity. Hoang is flooded with enquiries from partners. Tu is having a headache building our marketing plan for launching phase with only 5 millions VND per month, because that is everything that the company can allocate. Lots of work, but not chaotic. Sometimes the whole team stops working to question a dark joke from the CEO. Tiring, but fun. Lots of passion and dedication.
It is now 3pm. I have an appointment with the product team regards the second phase of product development. There goes more stories about business, about work, and about life. Some are in their 20s. Some are in their 30s. And I am 20.
I know that things are changing fast. Even at the moment, I still think it is unsual to have a day like this. We both have never thought we can get this far.
And this is just the start. The very start.
Surprise me with more next year.
QUYNH, a 20-year-old international student in Melbourne, Australia.
Quynh cannot return home due to COVID and is currently in a long-distance relationship.
“Dear future me ,
I believe that at the time you are reading this, you have achieved what i am planning at the moment.
It has been a hard time for me recently, I just finished the exams, I have not found any job yet, and I miss my family and my boyfriend so much.
However, thanks to those tough times, I realised I am full of potential and stronger than I thought. I am striving for us ”
ANGELYN, a 20-year-old international student in Melbourne, Australia.
Angelyn is currently living with her aunty in Melbourne.
“To the future me in 1 year:
You should have accomplished a lot of tasks by then.
The relationship between you and your aunty might not be the same as before, but as long as you’re brave enough to withstand all those hardship while with her, you will be easier to live with her.
The results should also be on the average of 70, keep doing that, so that your aunty will not be giving you hard times.
Do not stress so much about the things between you and your aunty, because you’ve be stressed about those issues over 3 years now.
It’s time to let go of those unhealth thinking and do what you think is right.”
VI, a 21-year-old international student in Melbourne, Australia.
Vi has just been accepted into a postgraduate program to study in Edinburgh.
“Hope everything is going well so far, at least I hope you’re in Edinburgh, living the Harry Potter life.
Do you enjoy the grad life so far? What do you think about the school, the programme, and the city? Any friends? Did I make a good choice for us?
I hope it is because I am so excited for what is coming next for us!”
ESTHER, a 21-year-old international student in Melbourne, Australia.
Esther is planning to study Honours in 2021.
“This year was full of uncertainties and I am sure next year would be no different.
To my future self, I hope that regardless of the challenges that lie ahead, you would not be discouraged, and persevere through it. I hope you still have the mindset you first came to Australia with, to be willing to learn and to grow, and be open to new experiences. Above all, I hope you find happiness and fulfillment in whatever you pursue.”