student-run marketing firm at Stephens College, Columbia, MO


Dear Younger Me


Ella Shirk, Creative Executive

Dear Ella,

You’ve just graduated high school, congrats. You are going to Stephens in the fall and you’re majoring in Strategic Communications: Design with a minor in Theatre. (spoiler alert: you drop that minor before you even start classes.) You don’t even know what strategic communications means but you think it sounds intriguing. Basically, it’s using visuals to communicate a message to an audience. I know that’s really broad, but you’ll figure it out. There will be many late nights and some tears, but you will end up appreciating your craft. You will find a love for art history and typography and surprise! You got into Creative Ink! It’s a great opportunity for you to hone your design skills.

You’re a better student in college than you were in high school. It’s because you’re passionate about what you’re learning. This passion is what will drive you to keep creating even when you’re not motivated to do so. You have a sense of independence and strength about you now and you are learning to be proud of yourself.

Your hair is longer now and you have different glasses but you’re still just as sarcastic as ever. You will bounce around several different friend groups in college before finally finding your people. Once you do find them, though, they’ll love and support you. Also, you have a cat now. I know, it’s exciting. His name is Moth and you love him a lot. Overall, you’re happy now in what you do and who you are. We will do great things, El.

Love always, Ella


Lyubov Sheremeta, Senior Account Executive

Dear high school me,

You are about to change, A LOT. Your environment is going to force you to adapt to behavior that you deem comfortable in your own experience. Even more than ever, there will be unfair things happen to you that you will not be able to explain circumstances in which you may be completely innocent, but days still won’t seem to go your way. Overcompensate with more passion and more positivity than these situations allow.

Your grades, your achievements, your athletic career, and your life in general before college doesn’t matter. People are evaluating you as a person at the very moment they meet you, so view college as a clean slate. Despite what rumors you have heard, college is not difficult; it’s different. The system is set up where your grades depend on how much work you put into them. If you are willing to work in college, you will succeed, just like in a real-world setting. A 4.0 doesn’t necessarily mean smart student, as much as it means good student.

Lastly, I wouldn’t change a thing about my life so far. Every little thing, good, bad, and in between, has made me who I am today. Each aspect of high school and college so far has shaped my character, personality, and identity in general. I truly hope you enjoy the rest of your time in high school. Make it count because before you know it, you’ll be sitting on a laptop, blogging for your university, writing a letter to your high school self.



Graphic Created by Lyubov Sheremeta

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