Happy Mind, Happy Life

Dear 20-year-old Hannah,

The date today is Saturday, July 18, 2020. We’re still in quarantine as the Covid-19 global pandemic spreads. I am trying to imagine what I look like at 20—I seem so old. Time flies by quickly I guess. Today in 4 weeks, I will be at Culver Academies for my move in day. I’m not nervous at all. I’m so excited for the new experience, even though it’s mandatory to wear masks and be sanitized 24/7. As you read this, you’ve already graduated high school. In fact, you’re in college. It’s scary how I’ll be you in less than six years from now. I know you made it at your dream college as well as studying what you want to major in. I know you went to study abroad in Spain, which was one of the best experiences of your life. I also know you’ve travelled to many places around the world and lived your life to the fullest. I can’t wait to live that.

I’m writing you this letter in the first place to remind you of who you are. This world is crazy in so many ways. One thing that will stick with me the most is to stop worrying so much- especially about the little things. This is your life that you’re living, and constantly being stressed about things doesn’t help your mental health. I’m not saying to not care about anything, but just don’t take everything so seriously. 

Likewise, don’t meet the standards of other people’s expectations. If they don’t like you for who you are, drop them. Stay connected to the ones that will be there for you and will always stay true to you. You weren’t created to be what other people want you to be. You were created to be unique, and be who you want to be.

If you ever feel hopeless, remember why you started in the first place. You started for YOU. Continue to be resilient as you face the many obstacles of life. Life is short, and all the hard work you have done will pay off. For example, right now- a few months ago I was anxious about all the essays and highschool applications, hoping to get into my desired high school. That dream is now reality, and I’ll be moving to Culver in a month.

Furthermore, keep having an open mind. You have no idea what you will miss out on without having a growth mindset. Try out new things, do the things you’ve never thought you would like, and keep doing the things you desire. Be adventurous and explore. Be curious about what you encounter and take advantage of all the opportunities that come your way.

Most importantly, hold on to one person and friendship—Lily Sandstrom. I remember when we first met her. It was a cold day, on December 21, 2019, at Lake Forest Academy. You were nervous for your SSAT test, one of the most important aspects of boarding school applications. During one of the breaks of the exam, you went to the bathroom, which is where you met her for the first time. You guys immediately clicked with each other and exchanged numbers. It’s crazy how you’ve only known each other for a few months- from the day you met, to the day that you’re writing this letter- yet you consider this girl as your best friend that you’ve known for your whole life. My point is, hold on to this friendship, because Lily is the first person that you’ve met that is a TRUE one. 

To finish this letter off, I know life can be tough. You’ve experienced so many things that have hurt and broken you, yet there is one positive thing from all of them—they made you who you are today, and you are proud of that person. Those mistakes and experiences have matured you, made you more aware, and developed new skills that you have present day. So no matter how low you are or feel, just remember you will overcome that- just like you always do. Sometimes you just gotta make the good out of the bad, and remember everything happens for a reason—because a happy mind means a happy life.


Hannah Koker

Culver Academies- DMSF

Photo by Vincentiu Solomon on Unsplash