Recently I had to mail in an application for an absentee ballot (make sure to vote kids!) and came across a problem, I own no envelopes. In the age of email the need to send a real actual letter is not an eventuality my stock of office supplies was prepared for, and so I did what any college student who suddenly needed snail mail would do, relied on the Internet. I figured I would use this one use of the postal service as an excuse to get some envelopes to have on hand, if for nothing else than yearly ballot applications. I selected a 50 pack on Amazon, hit order, and two days later received 500 envelopes. Turns out I am worse at numbers than I thought.
Now came the tough part, with 499 envelopes left unused, I needed to find a purpose for some of them or else lug around 500 envelopes through junior year and beyond. So I wrote letters. Grandparents, Dad, brothers, that one friend from high school whose address I actually knew, everyone got a letter. I will not lie, I put off some very important assignments to write letters, but once I started I just couldn’t stop! It was fun to write down what had been happening to me recently, to update relatives I didn’t get to see that often, and to spend some time thinking about friends and loved ones I missed. I don’t often take breaks from the chaos of junior year, but writing these letters let me stop and reflect, and having an audience made me more motivated to write than I ever was with a journal or diary. It became a task I was doing for me, and I never stopped to think about receiving a response.
One trip to the mailbox and a week later, and I started receiving responses. I guess in the back of my mind I knew that was what occurred when you sent a letter, but in my frenzy to make use of envelopes I hadn’t stopped to think about what would happen once my letters were received. There is no rush like opening a mailbox to find it full of letters, especially when all you usually receive is jury duty or Domino’s pizza discounts. It made me excited to check the mail, and reading the letters I received was always a nice boost in my day. Hearing from friends and family is always nice, but being able to read and reread how they’re doing is something special.
It’s easier now to keep in touch than ever before, but sitting down to write shows how much you care, and makes catching up a little more special than before. So send letters. Maybe don’t send 500 letters, but write to the people you care about. You’ll brighten their day, and who knows! You might even get a letter in response.