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‘Has The World Ended Yet?’ Students Reflect On Letters To The Future

A black pen lying on a piece of paper with handwritten words.
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  The letters begin with various greetings. “Dear 50 year of age self.” “To my future children.” “Dear future me, It’s me, I mean you, but circa 2020.” These are the words of a group of University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill undergraduates who processed the reality of a pandemic-dominated year through letters to the future as a class assignment this spring.

 

The letters reveal a vulnerable side of the writers — a side that has gone through anger, grief and fear during the uncertainties of 2020. The students penned the letters more than six months ago, but second-year student Ankita Chopde and third-year student Isabel Salas say the words to themselves still ring true. Host Anita Rao talks with Chopde and Salas about their letters and how writing helped them process isolation from family and cancelled plans.

Their course instructors also join the conversation to discuss the concept of the assignment and the value of letter-writing. Alison LaGarry is a clinical assistant professor in the UNC-Chapel Hill School of Education, and Lucia Mock Muñoz de Luna is a doctoral student in the UNC-Chapel Hill School of Education.

 

Read the class letters to the future here.

 

Kaia Findlay is a producer for Embodied, WUNC's weekly, live talk show on health, sex and relationships. Kaia first joined the WUNC team in 2020 as a producer for The State of Things.
Anita Rao is an award-winning journalist and the host and creator of "Embodied," a live, weekly radio show and seasonal podcast about sex, relationships & health. She's also the managing editor of WUNC's on-demand content.