Drawing inspiration from these two letters or other epistolary works, write a letter to a young person you know. (You might consider writing to someone around the same age of the recipients of Coates’ and Baldwin’s letters — or even a 14 or 15 year-old version of yourself). To whom will you address your letter? How is your life different than the life of the person to whom you are writing? What do you wish someone had told you at his or her age? What do you want to impart to this person from your experience? What are your hopes for this individual and the world in which he or she lives? Reference aspects of the two other letters in the format of your letter.
To my past self,
I won’t lie. High school was kinda shitty for the most part. For the most part, I just want you to be careful of strangers. I dunno, it seems you and me, we have this easy-victim look about us. Yeah, so don’t hesitate. If anybody so much touches a hair on your head, which they have, you immediately slap them. Don’t worry, apologizing can happen afterwards, I just don’t want any regrets. Me? Of course I regret not doing anything. However, even till this day, I’m not sure I could hurt someone. But if time somehow went back for me, I swear on my name, I will slap the hell out of anyone who tries any of this bs with me. I regret not doing anything and just crying. If you decide to do this and get in trouble later… well, it doesn’t matter. Just tell the truth.
Oh. WAIT. If some stranger you don’t know just sits down next to you (you who are sitting in a corner) and they don’t look like any student you run the fuck away. Believe me, it will save you a whole lot of WTF and trouble. Or you could stop eating outside on the benches and find some class to eat at.
Tip number two. Nothing really matters, so just go with the flow. Do you what you feel like, and say what you want. I find that it really doesn’t matter to others what you do, so might as well make the best of it. Make conversations with anyone and everyone. It’s what I do. Better than hiding in some book somewhere. I’m not going to impose any more philosophies on you after all, we are the same person. You know what to do. (Also, stop making friends with people who laugh at you)
Tip number three. For the love of god, please make deadlines and keep them. Keep track of all important events as soon as you can and follow them.
Tip number four. If all else fails…