Dear 19-Year-Old Me
Dear 19-Year-Old Me:
Thirty years from now, you will find yourself ambling down your well-trod Bruin Walk, looking for a place to sit and work for an hour while your 16-year-old daughter and her boyfriend (!) attend a UCLA basketball game at Pauley Pavilion.
You will pay $12 to park -- in a structure that doesn’t exist yet -- a car larger than your parents’ station wagon. (You have fewer children than they do.)
Your backpack will carry no books. When you enter Powell Library, you will hope to find well-posted instructions to access something called “wifi.”
The computer device in your hand will be more powerful than the TRS-80 computer on which you word processed your college entrance essay. Regardless, you will take a selfie (I’ll explain it later) in front of Royce Hall with the device and send it instantaneously to your dearly beloved Sproul Hall buddies in all parts of the country. They will emoji you in response (instantaneously).
An hour later, you will notice that you forgot to take off your glasses for the picture. But otherwise you’re looking pretty decent for 49. You will be 15 pounds heavier than you are now. Absolutely nobody cares.
Rather than remember the names of the buildings, you will instead remember that feeling of imperviousness you feel right now, that eager buoyancy that only comes from embedding oneself in a preciously transient land of ideas. Hold on to that feeling as long as you can.
And by the way, 19-Year-Old Me, let me allay your greatest fear. You found love. Lots of it. Just keep going.