A Letter from the Future

Name: Fatimah Alkhunaizi

Year: Class of 2014

Hometown: Qatif, Saudi Arabia

Intended Programs of Study: Cognitive Science, Neuroscience


Dear Fatimah (age 10),

It’s me. Actually, it’s you, 8 years later. I’m writing you this letter because I know that you’re wondering about whether Nintendo will ever make a Game Girl, and I must tell you, it doesn’t look like they ever will. I also happen to know that today; college crossed your mind for the first time. You were watching The Fresh Prince of Bel Air, and it was the episode where Will and Carlton were being interviewed for Princeton University. You thought to yourself “Hey! Look at the fuss they’re making about that school, obviously it’s pretty impressive. I want to go someplace like that for college”.

And that was how your tiny obsession with college began.

In this letter from the future, I’m trying to tell you not to worry; that everything will be okay, and that everything will turn out for the best.

During the next 8 years, you’ll go through so many experiences, you’ll do and learn so many new things, and by the time you’re 17, your college application process will have begun. I feel it is my responsibility to tell you that you must be prepared. It will be one of the most stressful periods of your life until then. From narrowing down your college list, to writing heaps of essays, to chasing around teachers for your recommendation letters; it will be tough. As you wait for decisions, you’ll be overwhelmed by doubt: Am I good enough for the schools I applied to? What if I don’t get in anywhere? Where will I end up next year?

But rest assured; you’ll end up in the perfect school for you. I know that’s what everyone is going to tell you, and I know that while you’re waiting impatiently it might seem hard to believe, but you will. You really will.

I bet you’re dying to know where that is now, aren’t you? I won’t leave you waiting much longer.

Drum roll please…

It’s Johns Hopkins University!

Excited? Doing your little happy dance? You should be! And about 8 years later when you read your acceptance letter, you’ll know you’ve made it.

But that’s just the beginning, because immediately after you read that letter, you’ll get another one from another amazing school. Dilemma? Yes. But you’ll end up choosing Hopkins for so many good reasons; you’ll even feel like a fool afterwards for even considering any other school.

In mid-April 2010, you’ll walk onto the Homewood campus of Johns Hopkins for the open days, and you’ll immediately be able to visualize yourself living there for the next four years. You’ll get this feeling that you belong there, that you’ll easily be able to fit in. You’ll marvel at how utterly beautiful the campus is, and you’ll meet students who are passionate, enthusiastic, and who speak so highly of their school.

You’ll attend a couple of classes that will ignite your interest in so many different fields, and you’ll meet professors who will blow your mind with their profound knowledge, dedication, modesty, and willingness to give you their all. You’ll learn that research opportunities at Hopkins are truly unparalleled, and being as into research as you will be, Hopkins will be the obvious choice. And by the time you decide to enroll, you’ll never feel happier.

During the summer before you leave for Hopkins, you’ll feel a mixture of contradictory feelings. You’ll find it extremely hard to let go of school, of all the memories you’ve created with your friends, of all the good times you had. You’ll suffer from depression for a few weeks after graduation, but it’ll pass, and that depression will be replaced by sheer excitement for the next four years. You’ll be looking forward to creating even more memories and having even more good times. You’ll succeed at convincing yourself that it is indeed high time you moved on.  You’ll know for a fact that your time at Hopkins will be amazing, and you’ll suddenly feel like you just want time to fast forward so you could be there already!

So, to you, little 10 year-old Fatimah, and to all the other 10 year-olds out there who will, in 8 years become your classmates and friends, congratulations in advance. Believe it or not, you will all be proud members of Johns Hopkins’ class of 2014. If I were you, I’d be extremely proud.

Oh wait, I am you. And I am proud.


Fatimah (age 18)

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One Comment

  1. Kate F. (JHU '10)

    This letter to your 10-year-old self is so cute–it reminds me how I started thinking about the (then) vague idea of “going to college” around that age. Best of luck in your next four years at Hopkins. :)

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