By: William Beall

Dear student,

You’re young or old,

You’re acing all your courses,

Or wondering why the hell you’re even here at all,

Perhaps somewhere in between,

And I just want you to know,

I have a few things to say.

In your time here, some of the most beautiful things in your life will occur, as will some of the most bitter to swallow,

You’ll fall in love,

You’ll be heartbroken,

You’ll be happy and mesmerized,

You’ll be sad, and won’t know why,

You’ll laugh,

You’ll cry,

You’ll discover something new about yourself that you never knew about before,

You’ll lose a part of yourself when someone close to you passes away,

You’ll have many firsts,

You’ll have many lasts,

You’ll find courage you never knew you had,

You’ll discover new fears that will take time to conquer,

You’ll be told you’re handsome or beautiful,

You’ll be told you’re ugly,

You’ll be called intelligent,

You’ll be called a fool,

That someone you never could get out of your mind will smile at you like you’ve never been smiled at before,

That someone will forget you exist, though they’ll never leave your mind,

For a very long time, you will sit in class, knowing the answers to questions, too afraid to speak up,

And then the day you speak,

You’ll answer, and for once, be wrong,

And thought of as a fool,

Or perhaps not at all,

And you’ll make others smile, as you surprise them and yourself,

You’ll be dumped the night before a final exam,

You’ll wake up ready to conquer the world,

Only to hear a relative has died,

Though,

I just want you to know,

Although it may not mean much now.

You’ll be okay.

Because quite frankly, everyone is good at something, and all storms do indeed pass.

So someday, when no one is around,

Look in your mirror, or perhaps go to a park.

Sing, dance, cry, shout, leap, run,

Or perhaps head to a library,

And open the first five books you see,

And allow yourself to be surprised,

By the wonder that you are.

Dance in the rain, laugh for no reason at all,

Wake up at 2am, and listen to the music you love most,

Even if others won’t know,

And when you feel betrayed, hurt, angry, and wonder if life is breaking you,

And you have no idea why,

Remember these wise words of a man from long ago,

“Let’s talk of wine and music, not of Fate and how the heavens revolve-
Theirs is a riddle no man’s wisdom
Has solved yet, or will ever solve.”

(Hafez of Shiraz. 14th Century Persian poet.)