‘And don’t try nothing with love’: The Epistolary/Letter Form

Last week we started class a little differently as I had the students view a performance clip from the new Broadway show, Dear Evan Hansen. The show centers around High Schooler, Evan Hansen, whose ‘miscommunicated letter,’ brings him sudden notoriety and out from behind the shadows. After a couple viewings, the class discussed the importance of the letter form and how missed/mis communication (s) can have different results than originally planned, be it a message on Facebook, Twitter, and more. The letter form is called the Epistolary form, and can be found in sources from religious texts to the Alice Walker’s novel, The Color Purple. The writing prompt asked the 8th grade students to write a ‘letter/poem’ to themselves in High School. What are your fears? Imagined joys? Things you may dread and those you may be looking forward to. Here is some of what resulted.

Mrs. Nazimeck, 8th Grade
Period 1

Dear Future Me
Elsa A., Josseline A., Baby A., Salma B., Kemoine B., Anayja B., Adrian C., Robert C., Ariana D., Alyssa F., Timothy G., Alina H., Jamir H., Christina L., Isaiah M., Melanie M., Monserrat., Jorge M., Isaac M., David N., Aimee P., Juan R., Julian R., Miguel R.Q., Kasandra R., Isabel V., Daniela, V.,

I am looking forward to
Making new friends
Having parties, college
Having parties, college
Having parties, college
I fear
failing a class- not graduating -Bad Relationships
change-bullies-getting in trouble
change-bullies-getting in trouble
change-bullies-getting in trouble
change-bullies-getting in trouble
change-bullies-getting in trouble
change-bullies-getting in trouble
can’t wait to do


Mrs. Nazimek, 8th Grade
2nd Period

Ana E.

Dear Myself,

High school in a few months
that’s excited. All will be
good. You will be good. Don’t
be scared you’re going to be

Your first year at high school
that’s excited. You will grow
up more.

High school sounds great but
another excited thing is your
first job all the goals that
you have made it.

Just wait and wait for all
the things that you want.

Good luck!


Dear Carlos G.
Carlos G.

Dear Carlos G.
I look forward to going to High School and meeting
new people. I also look forward to graduating
8th Grade. I also look forward
to going on summer vacation and forgetting
about school for 2-3 months.
I fear that I will meet the wrong people
and fall into the wrong crowd. I can’t
wait to learn more during High School.
I also can’t wait to try my hardest
in High School and get good grades and make
my parents and myself proud.


Sophia T.

Dear Future Me,

I hope you don’t feel like an outsider
I hope you feel powerful and accepted.
I hope you are protected
State your opinion and connect with yourself.

First year in high school
you thought you would be so cool,
but you lost a friend
and another one,
and another one.
You fell into depression and have
a once a week session

with a counselor.

I hope you try to find new friends
I hope you don’t feel like an outsider.

you found someone with the same interests.
you finally got a good amount of rest

you’re in a good place
I hope you don’t feel like an outsider.


Mrs. Nazimek, 8th Grade
3rd Period

Adrian W.

Dear Adrian (in high school)

Aye dude what’s going on?
I hope you’re the outgoing kid/
young man we planned on being.

Getting to go to parties and
more freedom are some things
to be happy about. Don’t give into
peer pressure! Keep doing what
you love the most. And if you
lose yourself

play guitar.

Willie C.

Dear Myself In High School,

I know you fear new friends.
I know you don’t want to talk
You miss your old friends and you
wonder when you will see them again.
You feel them all staring as you
walk down the hall.

Maybe at first it won’t be
easy to start all over again.
The next four years may have
you at your end. You may
fall but you will stand

Stop sitting in that corner
and go make some friends.
There’s adventures to be
taken and memories that need
making. You’re only here for
a while so cherish your
time don’t waste it.

Pay attention to what’s
important and don’t stress
over guys because time
flies. And before you
know it you’ll have to
say goodbye. Just smile
and be happy you’ll do
just fine.

Atreyu A.

Dear Atreyu (in H.S.)

Don’t do anything stupid
And don’t try nothing with love
you’re not cupid
Just worry about your grades
It’s not an insane game of charades
People will judge you, it’s nothing new
But don’t let it get in your head
just be you.



“Writing poetry makes me feel like I can see myself, like I can see my reflection, but not in a mirror, in the world. I write and I know I can be reflected.”
-Oscar S.

“Writing poetry makes me feel free.”
-Buenda D.

“Writing poetry is like your best friend.”
-Jessica M.