An Open Letter to Who I Was Last Year

Hello to my old self,

It’s been a year since I looked at you this way. You had just submitted the withdrawal paperwork for the school that you tried so hard to fit into. It was your mom’s dream for you to become a nurse, your dad’s dream for you to become a lawyer, and yours to find a career that would give you the stability in life you wanted.

It all was going so well, you had everything planned out. But it didn’t work out.

Beautiful woman looking at camera

The first time you started falling behind was in those big lectures. It was hard to hear from in the back of that giant room and asking questions wasn’t always possible. Even sitting in those rooms was nerve-wracking, there were so many people, and the professor often didn’t know your name. You’ll never forget how it felt when your English professor asked for your student number instead of your name. It was then you knew that that’s all you were to them: a number.

The problems continued as those same lectures began to feel overwhelming. You tried to seek help, to reach out to your professor or advisor but found yourself at the bottom of a waiting list that never seemed to get any shorter.

Some things made you feel right at home, the group assignments, the interactive classes. You loved every minute of it. However, it wasn’t enough to keep your GPA up. As you came to the end end of your first year, you were beginning to see the writing on the wall. It wasn’t working.

You were scared to tell your parents, so instead you quietly put in your withdrawal and tried to pick up the pieces.

Beautiful woman looking at camera

But how would you pick up the pieces after everything you had strived for fell apart? You had dreams once. You had goals. But as you cried in front of that mirror everything felt so impossible.

Do you remember when you saw the ad? When did you drive by the school? All those memories from when you were younger and doing your friends’ hair, their makeup. It all came back. Just walking through those doors was like walking into an old friend’s home.

You talked to the admissions coordinator before you left. While it felt like a pipe dream, you couldn’t get it out of your mind. You couldn’t forget the way everyone smiled, and how easily they were able to talk to educators and staff. Everyone was so available and they knew the students’ names!

Beautiful man looking at camera

Besides, the work just seemed like such a challenging adventure!

While it was scary to tell your parents and those first few months took a lot of work, it felt so good to be challenged. Working hard and seeing your skills improve was worth it. work hard and to see your skills improve.

The more you worked, the more your grew, the more excited you got for the future. There were pitfalls, sure, but with the support of your fellow students and the educators at your school, you got through it! You faced it head on, and you won!

It was such a good feeling to succeed, to pass the tests and get your license! Now all your hard work has paid off, and here we are, ready to start our new career.

Although there is still work ahead, it’s a good feeling to know that you made it this far and that you can do it!

I can do it!

It’s been a long time since I first sat at my crossroads, but every moment has been filled with amazing experiences, new challenges, and accomplishments that have turned me into the amazing person I am today.

I am glad I made the choice I did.

Beautiful woman looking at camera

To myself a year ago, and to everyone who has a dream, who needs a change, or who faces a big decision, know that you can accomplish anything you put your mind to – all for a better you and a better tomorrow.

Love, me.

This open letter was compiled based on the experiences of many current and future cosmetologists. You can find many of their stories on

At The Salon Professional Academy (TSPA), Altoona we know that every student’s journey is unique. We hope you find yourself inspired by this compiled story, and feel ready to take on the world.

There will never be a perfect time to enroll in beauty school, so why not just do it now? Your future self will thank you for making the investment. If you are ready to begin your own beautiful journey towards a career in cosmetology the staff at TSPA Altoona are ready to support you in pursuit of your dreams.

For more information about our graduation rates, the median loan debt of students who completed the program and other information visit