Turning over a new Leif

I’m packing. Boxes are slowly starting to pile up on my couch, which I’m giving to a friend for next year. The walls of my room are bare, except for a clock I got at IKEA before freshman year (gotta leave it up to keep time!). I’m going through the drawers, just shoving everything that’s inside into any free crevice a box allows – and then I see an envelope.

It’s addressed to me, in black ink: “Vincent Nicandro: to be opened at the end of the year.” God, I think to myself, I must’ve thought I was so clever then.

I actually remember the exact moment I wrote this letter to myself: my very first on-call. I screened To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before (after falling head over heels in love with the movie the summer before) and bought a bunch of stationery and stickers and snacks to fit the theme of the movie. It was pretty popular! I managed to nab 30 people to come to that one.

But any contents I ever wrote in that letter were lost to memory; whatever I had written inside, it would be a fresh pair of eyes.

I open the envelope I carefully sealed with a holographic heart sticker, and read what’s inside.


Reflecting on this past year, it has been without a doubt one of the most formative parts of my time at Stanford. In brief, I have:

And that’s nothing to say about what’s yet to come! From doing research at the Stanford Human-Computer Interaction Group over the summer on fostering creativity in hybrid digital + physical spaces, to being among the first to visit Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge at Disneyland this week (!!!), and even turning 21 next month, there’s just so many new and exciting things that are on the horizon that I can’t even begin to process.

It has been without a doubt one of the most formative parts of my time at Stanford.

Coming away from this year feels bittersweet, with the nostalgia and love for everything I’ve done coupled with the fear that I may not hit these same highs again. But I remind myself of all the awesome things that are still waiting, and that helps put those feelings to rest, at least.


Dear Vincent,

When you read this, I hope it’s by the end of the year. (If it isn’t, it’s clear you didn’t listen to yourself when you wrote it, now didn’t you?)

I hope you know what you’re doing over the summer. (If you could let me know now too that’d be lit!)

I hope you’ve found a wonderful community in theater. Or at Ng. Or anywhere that makes you happy, really!

I hope that your friends are still your friends (and that you make a few new ones, too!).

I hope that when you smile, you smile genuinely and fully, that you smile with an abundance of happiness, so much that the corners of your eyes crinkle up with joy and your cheeks hurt from smiling so hard.

I hope that when you cry, you don’t lose your self worth and understand this pain is temporary.

I just hope that you’re okay, here, now, and forevermore.

Until next time,

Scan Mar 19, 2018 at 7.04 PM

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