Reflection on Letter to Senior Self

Well hello Freshman Jackson, this is Senior Jackson. Jesus man, I remember that the letter you wrote to me was shoddy, but come on! That was actually excruciating to read. Why did I ever think that was funny?

Well, to answer your questions, have I learned not to do this on the last day? Eh, kind of. I mean right now I’m doing it ahead of schedule, but there were other times I definitely didn’t. Don’t worry, I haven’t changed my major since, and I haven’t become addicted to a high purity grade of Mexican black tar heroin… at least not yet I haven’t. The finances thing has become a little better. My spending sprees are more limited but man when I have them they’re killer.

As for the novel… that one’s hit a roadblock for now, but I still think about it often! I mean I was even thinking about a scene this morning on the way here. You were right about the minor part though, I think working at Unplugged and then maybe a second job at a museum will keep me in enough money to barely scrape by in this late-stage capitalist hellscape until I’ve gotten enough publications to my name to be worth a major publishers time when I finally do finish that novel. I definitely will hit the ground running with my current skills and job. You were also right about the toilet paper.

Honestly, I knew that the original letter was going to be bad, and this one probably won’t be top-notch either. You and I both know we’ve always had trouble taking assignments like these seriously. I don’t know, they’ve always felt a bit too artificial. Sometimes even juvenile.

But I think the fact that I’m able to handle a task that I find to be artificial and juvenile seriously enough to still present some good work is a sign of growth. I just do the work now and complain about it when I get home, the way God intended. I know we were unsure of how college would be in those early days, but how could we have predicted a pandemic? How could we have predicted how much we have learned?

It’s a bit refreshing to see that while we may still both hold a jaded, snarky attitude towards the predatory nature of the college system, especially the financial aspects of it, we both know that you can’t argue with the results! We’ve come to the same conclusion, just for different reasons. College made me much smarter, and a much better person as well. And our distaste for the system isn’t the fault of any of the hardworking professors and staff, just the financial people and executive faculty who said “nah let’s bring them back during a pandemic, money over health baby!”

That doesn’t discount how much of a better scholar you are. It doesn’t discount how what you learned made you want to help people, like the awareness you spread for the awful conditions of Native American reservations, or the fundraiser you tried to do for Ukraine. And it definitely doesn’t discount the connections and friends you made in the English department, at the Odyssey, and in the Honors College.

You might not have liked how bumpy the road was, Freshman Jackson, but trust me, it was worth the drive.