A Letter to Yourself

Dear Me,

The pandemic was not kind to you this past year, but it could have been worse — yet another bullet you somehow managed to dodge by the skin of your teeth, for now. You still managed to reinvent yourself and take on another challenge by embarking on this whole university gig and starting a new job, all while running a business.

Who would have thought you’d be starting your first year as an undergraduate student this late in your life? You barely passed high school some 23 years ago, yet here you are, following a dream you never even had the courage to admit you had, and crushing the goals you initially set for yourself to boot. Who would have thought you had it in you? Surprise, you do.

You’ve had a lifetime of hardships and have hustled and fought for everything you’ve gotten. You’re used to being thrown into the deep end without a life jacket, yet you manage to keep your head above water. So, this year, how about you just aim for easy? I know, I know. It sounds radical for someone like you to take the “easy” approach, but try it. Instead of resolutions and long-term goals for 2022, try something new and give yourself a break. Stop trying to find things about yourself that need to be worked on, changed, or improved!

You’re your own worst critic and this year, I hope you see the greatness within you, and see yourself through a much clearer and loving lens.

You CAN do it all, but allow yourself the luxury of not needing to do it all and be okay with that. This year, take a sick day, turn off the distractions around you, and binge watch Who’s the Boss? reruns in pyjamas and take that long overdue vacation. Most importantly, live in the moment, and stop trying to be Superwoman. You’re not impressing anyone by burning yourself out.

Goals are important, and challenges are exciting, but don’t forget to savour the journey in the process. If these past couple of years have taught you anything, it’s that everything is temporary.

Chill out, woman. You’ve got this. Maybe not every day, but you’ve got this.


My Glorious Self.

Dina Bastounis, first-year journalism student.


Dear Rhea,

It’s 2022. So, I hope you’ve already rolled your eyes at those “new year, new me” posts all over social media, considering how overused they feel lately. I think that every day is a new start, and you can be a new you whenever you want. Also, change takes time and that’s okay too. You don’t need to change just because the clock turned to midnight, and suddenly everyone starts writing down their New Year’s resolutions.

Right now, with how things are, nothing is really new. It’s a lot of the same, but that doesn’t mean 2022 can’t be a good year for you.

You have a lot of good right now, and that can help you forge a great path ahead. Please don’t be worried if it’s taking more time than you would like.

There is one thing you do need to work on, and that is just letting go. You hold onto things too much, and sometimes it’s fine to take a break. That’s what this letter is: a break. An example of self-care.

Be you. Be your oddball self, no matter if people hate it.

You have always been the black sheep in the family. But you have also been able to laugh about it, and enjoy that. You care a little less now, and your son will appreciate that his mom is just a nerdy weirdo.

Since you like lists, I figured I would make you a 2022 To-Do List to get you through this year. Twenty-two items, for 2022.

To-Do List, Jan. 1, 2022 to Dec. 31, 2022:

  1. Get more sleep, or at least better sleep
  2. Finish all the Christmas Hallmark Movies
  3. Finish watching iZombie, PLEASE
  4. Participate at least once in each of your seminars
  5. Embrace all the trash music you listen to
  6. Finally finish writing one of the 10 thousand books you started
  7. Commit to therapy
  8. Continue stealing hugs from your son (only when he wants them)
  9. Figure out what to do with the mop you call hair
  10. Keep singing even though your voice is tragic
  11. Try and keep up with all the 90 Day Fiancé spin-offs
  12. Practice tongue pops. They seem to come in handy for you
  13. Keep buying pencils, pens and paper
  14. Make sure your husband knows you will annoy him for life
  15. Read at least one-third of the Bible
  16. Work on spatial awareness
  17. Stop falling down and hurting your knees
  18. Work on your ability to write those steamy love scenes
  19. Start saying “no” more
  20. Keep up the multi-level marketing hate
  21. Work on your application to be a co-host on The View
  22. Take care of yourself, and stop feeling selfish when you put yourself first

That’s all I have for now, but I am sure you will re-write this list at least 10 times before agreeing. Twenty-twenty-two is just another year, but if you fill it with a balance of fun and seriousness, it will be your greatest success yet.



Rhea Giuliana, master’s in theology.


Hi, it’s you. Well, a past version of you, here to give you some advice.

First of all, I want to tell you how proud I am of you. Life has thrown you a lot of curveballs and, let’s be real, it hasn’t been as easy as you sometimes pretend it is.

I want to remind you that you are exactly where you need to be in life right now and to trust yourself.

I know that there are plenty of unfairnesses in life and that sometimes just getting out of bed feels impossible, but it is your strength that separates you from the crowd. Strength, however, does not mean that you can’t fall apart sometimes; it’s about how you rebuild yourself and continue to set goals.

I want you remember that the ultimate goal is to be happy and that it’s okay to let go of the things that are standing in the way of that. It’s also okay if something or someone that used to bring you happiness no longer does. You are a bright light in a sea of darkness, and you deserve to be happy.

Challenge yourself everyday but don’t take yourself too seriously. Keep singing Taylor Swift in your hot pink PJs, keep washing your hands, and keep using condoms.

Stop comparing yourself to others and stop second-guessing yourself. As you know, life is short, so keep telling your loved ones how much they mean to you and be a shoulder they can lean on.

Not to spoil the ending but everything is going to work out for the best. You have the power to do anything you set your mind to. I believe in you and love you so much.


Your younger self

Delaney Kelly, third-year journalism student.


Dear Adela,

The year 2022 has just started and you’re already back in online school: not your cup of tea, but you’re about to graduate! Well, first you need to write your final essay by the end of the semester and then you’ll graduate. You should be proud of yourself, though! You started graduate school during a global pandemic and you have done everything you could to get to this final semester, so don’t screw it up.

But, don’t feel like you have to be happy and grateful all the time. Again, we’re still in a global pandemic.

Being sad is okay and wanting to do nothing is okay as well.

You need to give yourself space to breathe and to cry. Don’t hold your emotions in anymore. It really is okay (I swear) to let them out and talk to people about how you feel. You are valid!

I am scared of what happens after I graduate. How long until I get a job? Can I even get a job? Will I make enough money to just live? The job market is weird. I look at entry-level jobs and they want four years of experience, but only for a 40K salary? It’s kind of depressing to look around at jobs you think you’d like but feel you’re not qualified for. It’s not like wages are going up. The price of rent, among other things, makes me question whether or not I can even sustain myself.

On a different note, you got engaged! Congrats to us! Time to start thinking about planning a wedding or, really, whatever you want to do. I never had plans to have a big wedding but something small would be nice — if only wedding prices were small too. Pick a budget and have an idea of whatever you want to do, because this is your wedding.

Do tons of research, write pros and cons of what you want your wedding to look like: dress, wedding party, venue, and whatever else you need to do to prepare for a wedding. Don’t make this too stressful on yourself. Try to make the process fun, because your wedding should be fun and will be something to look forward to.

There are both scary and really cool things happening this year. Understand that maybe not everything will go as planned. But, don’t forget to  look forward to the wonderful life-changing plans ahead of you. You’re going to be okay, kid.



Adela Languein, masters in digital innovation in journalism.


Dear self,

You’ve made it to a whole new year. Congratulations!

You are so lucky to be here. To be loved. To be happy. To be healthy.

There’s something so special about the beginning of a new year: it’s like an untouched journal, filled with blank pages waiting for your story to be written.

Hopefully the story you choose to write in 2022 is filled with happiness, love, and laughter. Yes, it’s the story you “choose” to write — because although life is bound to throw you curveballs and things you can’t control, you can control how you respond to every situation and how you wish to live your life.

So while you’re writing this story, would you mind throwing in a chapter or two where you travel the world and celebrate milestones alongside your friends and family without fear? That’d be great. Thanks!

The last few years have surprised you in unimaginable ways. And no, I’m not only speaking of the “C” word — which I refuse to mention in this letter, by the way.

These years surprised you because what you thought you were missing in life, you had with you all along.

You longed for meaningful friendships — which were right in front of your face all along.

You longed for someone who could love you unconditionally — that person was there all along.

You longed to be part of something special and make a real difference in people’s lives — you were doing so all along.

Look around. You have everything you need and more.

So in 2022, can you just chill? No, seriously. Just relax. Breathe. Don’t take life so seriously.

You’re literally a small speck of dust in this vast universe.

And no matter what happens, “No fim, tudo dá certo. Se não deu, ainda não chegou ao fim.”

Okay, don’t fool yourself now. You may be half Portuguese, but you can’t read that.

So, here’s an English translation to what Fernando Sabino once said: “In the end, everything will be okay. If it’s not okay, it’s not yet the end.”

Remember that there’s always a light amid the darkness, and there’s always a reason to smile every day.

But, cry too. Sometimes all you need is a good cry.

So, here’s to 2022:

The year you’ll go back to your tradition of Sunday night dinners with your Italian family; the year you’ll visit your friends casually; and the year you’ll see people smiling naturally.

Now go book yourself a spa day. Or don’t. Do whatever makes you happy.

You deserve it.

Melissa Migueis, journalism and communications studies.



Graphic by Madeline Schmidt


2022: A promising year for CanLit

2022 may look bleak for most of us, but there’s one upside to the new year: new books! Here are six releases that you won’t want to miss out on

Considering the current state of the world, there’s perhaps no better way to ring in a new year than by getting lost in some fictional worlds. The good news is that 2022 appears to be an exciting year for CanLit. Short story enthusiasts will be particularly satisfied with this year’s upcoming releases. Below is a non-exhaustive list of some books to look forward to. Happy reading!

The School for Good Mothers by Jessamine Chan

Chan’s highly anticipated debut novel is nothing short of harrowing. Perhaps that’s what makes it so worthy of binge-reading. The novel’s main character, Frida, must prove her ability to be the perfect mother following a brief error in judgement. Sent to a reeducation centre for unfit mothers, she must do everything she can to demonstrate that she is a good caregiver or risk losing her child forever. The School for Good Mothers functions as both a commentary on surveillance in modern society, while also providing readers with a riveting tale about the lengths a mother will go to protect their child.

Release date: Jan. 4

People Change by Vivek Shraya

Shraya once again delivers a profoundly moving work that dares to explore collective fears and ideas surrounding change. Shraya delves into the universality of change and hopefully, by the end of this (extremely) digestible book, readers might harbour a new perspective when considering how change shapes each of our lives.

Release date: Jan. 4

A Hero of Our Time by Naben Ruthnum

Ruthnum’s latest novel is a breath of fresh air for the CanLit sphere, one that is simultaneously comedic and very much relevant for the current state of race politics in Canada. A Hero of Our Time does an impressive job exposing the arteries of Canada’s not-so-covert racism in the form of seemingly well-intentioned executives and their workplace diversity policies. Not only does the novel take a hard look at the role race plays in relation to one’s career, but it also explores the repercussions that follow when an attempt from a minority employee is made to dismantle and expose the superficiality of these policies.

Release date: Jan. 11

Lesser Known Monsters of the 21st Century by Kim Fu

Fans of Japanese author Haruki Murakami’s eccentric style will appreciate Fu’s ability to craft fictional worlds where bizarre characters and occurrences are plausible and simply a part of everyday life. Fu’s collection is an ideal choice for those who are new to surreal or speculative fiction and who aren’t necessarily ready to commit themselves to a full-length abstract narrative. This collection of twelve stories is guaranteed to transport readers to peculiar places who may be in desperate need of an escape. This is one book that promises to linger in your mind long after you’ve finished it.

Release date: Feb. 1

Why I’m Here by Jill Frayne

Frayne’s upcoming release is expected to deliver an emotionally heavy narrative that follows teenager Gale and her counsellor, Helen, as they both struggle with their own family issues. As with her 2003 novel, Starting Out in the Afternoon, readers can once again expect vivid descriptions of the Yukon’s pristine and untamed beauty. The only downside of this book is having to wait until summer for its release. Sigh.

Release date: May 1

No Stars in the Sky by Martha Bátiz

Another short story collection that you won’t want to miss out on is Bátiz’s latest book. All stories feature resilient women protagonists who are, in some way or another, undergoing a crisis. Bátiz’s work often explores current social issues, especially those concerning immigrant women. Readers who enjoyed the author’s 2017 collection titled Plaza Requiem: Stories at the Edge of Ordinary Lives can expect to thoroughly enjoy this upcoming collection just as much.

Release date: May 3


Graphic by James Fay

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