To Adam a year from now….
(I realise this letter will take some time to reach you, I hope in the meantime you look after yourself)
[Read me on the first day of your second term at Coventry]
Good god, you’re still here. I congratulate you for keeping focused enough to succeed in university so far, but I didn’t write a year ago to pat you on the back now. No, now is the time to re-evaluate the situation, the task at hand and most importantly yourself. So just take a second to look around; look in the mirror (provided you have one in your current state of affairs), look out the window, and then look back down to this letter. Ask yourself this “Where am I now? What am I doing now? “
I don’t doubt that you have changed since we spoke last- a lot will change in a year, the thought of it runs through my mind as I write this. I can’t predict who you will know and where you will be living now, I can only hope that you have stayed true to the promise you made to yourself before you embarked on your course. I write now as an excited prospective ‘fresher’ merely a week away from the ‘big move’, pondering what I will face and experience in the coming year. You on the other hand are more than likely a well installed student; familiar and confident. As long as your study and expenditure priorities are still within reason and a work ethic remains then we can both breathe a sigh of relief.
I hope you continue to look after yourself not only academically and financially but also physically and socially. I am sure even after a year city living is still something you are coming to terms with; yes you may be comfortable and acquainted with life on the campus but you cannot shake the roots of a wholly rural upbringing (not that one would wish to anyhow). With little preparation for such a shift of paradigms you may well realise that we are not as adaptable as we would hope to be, nevertheless it is life experiences such as these that equip us for the future (and the numerous obstacles we may face). A year of independent living should have given you more confidence dealing with financial matters, which really is (as we both know) a crucial skill to obtain, assuming that you are studying hard then this will be the other major subject you will need to keep on top of. Obviously the search for work will require your attention too; if you have a job as you read this I congratulate you again, if you are still without work do not be disheartened –Do not give up!
I hope you have set a good foundation for yourself in this first year of the course; being a student of film, culture and literature prior to university you should have got off to a flying start, setting a good relationship with peers and tutors alike. As we both know the course in time starts to ‘specialize’ with the introduction of optional units; think well before you make your decisions. When I applied for this course I was attracted by the way it builds the student up for a career as well as being a course, I’m sure you remember this, I’m sure you haven’t let me down by being a passive and un-enthusiastic learner. If you find yourself in this state of simply going to lectures and handing in work then you have forgotten something! Redeem yourself by aspiring for more out of the course, and make full use of its opportunities! Like I said earlier in the letter, don’t break the promise you made to yourself, don’t deny yourself the chance for a good career.
If you remember back to the last week in Hereford before university we said our goodbyes to our fellow band mates as we all went our separate ways. It was the end of an era but also the beginning of a new chapter in our lives. You told yourself “there is nothing stopping me from starting again, meeting new people and maybe getting another band together” over and over the closer we got to the induction day. You are right, so I hope a year from now you have found people with similar tastes and interests, and maybe even started another band. Don’t let the drumsticks get dusty; don’t abandon something you enjoy with a passion. And one more thing, besides work and play you ought to have started a project by now to pass the time, something you can create and work on and be proud of. You said you would before you left; it can be a ‘vlog’, film-making, anything. It’s a great idea keeping you occupied and focused, that way you won’t be idle, and that’s good for your mind-set and subsequently the course. I hope whatever you do is productive and enjoyable
Anyway that’s it for now. Perhaps we will encounter like this again sometime; maybe in a year or maybe in ten. In the meantime, take care of yourself, work hard, and be happy; you’re finally doing what you really want to do! Just don’t forget what your mother said to you as we visited the universities “Oh how I envy you, make good use of living amongst such a wealth of knowledge and fill your head with it” For your sake and for hers, keep focused, and keep studying!
Until next time,