Dear Past Me: I'm proud of who you are

Hannah Galvin writes a heatwarming letter to her past self

Hannah Galvin
22nd February 2021
Dear Past Me, 
There’s so much I want to share. The basics: I’m twenty, at university and in a relationship. When I was your age, I longed for independence; now I’ve spent a year of my university experience at home. Living through a pandemic taught me that things don’t always turn out as planned, and it’s ok to ask for support when that happens. Staying healthy is what matters most, even when it means prioritising personal wellbeing above all else.  

Have you discovered planning yet? That week of work experience changed my life, and now I’m halfway through my Geography and Planning degree. You’ve always wanted to help shape the future and now that dream is within reach. I’m currently applying for industrial placements and I’m so grateful for each opportunity which has led me to this point. 

Past Hannah, I know you struggle with self-esteem. You think you don’t deserve to be happy, but your true worth isn’t reliant on what you believe you have or have not ‘earned’. You may feel like an imposter, but you work hard and that should be celebrated, if only by you. I’m not perfect, but I feel much more comfortable in my skin, and one day you will too.  

You have a kind heart, which people will take advantage of. However, stay true to yourself and I promise you will find people who love you and treat you with respect. Some busy and difficult years are coming up, but once they are over, you’ll know so much about yourself and the kind of person you want to be. 

It’s also ok to enjoy being young. Your friends may be starting their first relationships, but if you are patient and spend a few years working on yourself, you’ll find there is something (or rather, someone) wonderful waiting when you’re ready. Together you will build a healthy and stable partnership and you’ll be glad you didn’t settle for less. 

Last bits of advice: you should probably start scrapbooking now (it’ll come in handy). But more importantly: hug your loved ones and show them you care. I can’t do that right now, so savour every moment you spend with them. The relationships that survive this pandemic are built to last, so keep those people close and show them how much they mean.  

I’m proud of who you are, were and all you are to become. 

Love, Hannah 

Feature Image: Hannah Buckley, via The Courier's Creative Contributors

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