Dear younger Ollie,
I’m not quite sure how to start this, but here goes.
You’re currently 23, having graduated from Loughborough University (it’s between Leicester and Nottingham) with a first class degree, and are 7/15ths of the way to becoming a fully qualified accountant. The long hair has gone (not before time!). You’re still best mates with the boys, and despite no longer seeing them everyday, in some ways you’re closer than ever. You’ve also picked up some pretty good friends along the way. Overall, not a bad 8 years.
I wish I could tell you that the next 8 years are filled with back to back parties and non-stop laughter, but that’s not quite how it goes. There are going to be some times over the next few years where life gets hard, where getting out of bed is a good day, and just making it through is all that matters. Not everyone you meet us going to stay in your life, or be someone you can rely on, but that’s okay, you’ll move on and be better for the experience. There are going to be a fair few hospital trips coming up, and to be honest, they’re not going to leave you feeling great. It will change your life, and not in the lottery win sort of way. It’ll change how you deal with things and feelings, and some visits will leave you wanting to give up. But you don’t. You keep going. Past the appointments, the uncertainty, the tests and the physio. You learn to listen to your body and learn when you need to rest. You will deny how it impacts you, even now, but do learn to move on and accept it. You become stronger for the experience and know that if you can make it through that, you can make it through anything.
Your 4 years at Loughborough are some of the best of your life so far. You don’t meet ‘the one’, but do meet some brilliant people, create amazing memories and do things you wouldn’t have imagined all those years ago.
“You constantly push yourself out of your introverted comfort zone, and for that I’m eternally grateful. I hope that I can continue to follow the example you’ve set.”
I thought I’d leave you with some top tips on how to make the most of the next 8 years:
Having said all that, if I were to live the past 8 years again without changing a thing, I wouldn’t mind, and that’s one of the biggest compliments you can give yourself.
Keep your head up, keep going, and most importantly, keep smiling!
p.s. don’t get your hopes up too much about the How I Met Your Mother finale, it’s a bit of a let down.