Actress Mena Suvari once considered turning her back on Hollywood to enrol in university.

Suvari graduated from California's Providence High School in 1997 and landed her breakthrough role in the 1999 Oscar-winning American Beauty aged 20 - having never attended college.

However, in an open letter written to her younger self, Suvari reveals she seriously contemplated giving up her career to continue her education.

The touching note, published in Britain's Glamour magazine, reads, "You've been modelling since you were 12 and won lots of competitions for it. You think you're so mature, that you know how the world works - but believe me, you don't have a clue. In a few years you'll be in a massive film. You're so green (naive); you'll think every movie does that well and when people congratulate you, you won't really understand why.

"One day you'll question everything. Should you have gone to college? Should you quit acting? But don't worry; you don't need to be in a school room to educate yourself."

The 33-year-old star also warns young Mena she will one day be lauded as a sex symbol, thanks to a fantasy sequence in American Beauty.

She adds, "There's one scene that will get everyone's attention: you're going to be naked, covered in rose petals. You'll be considered a kind of sex symbol (even if you don't feel like one). Don't be surprised when people think you should be like your character. It's weird, but people will."