Dear 16-Year-Old Self

Wednesday, September 09, 2015

I've been dreaming a lot lately that I've gone back to high school as the person I am now. Those dreams are both terrifying and empowering. It's not that I have a ton of regrets, per say, but there are some things I would have done differently.
Letter to Myself at 16

Dear 16-year-old self,

So you've made it to 16. You watched Bye Bye Birdie too many times and had it in your mind that when you were 16 your life would suddenly be similar to that of Kim MacAfee's. Here's the thing though, hardly anyone's life at 16 is like Kim's. That's not reality. It's silly to think that life will change or improve when you reach a certain age. STOP WISHING YOUR LIFE AWAY!!
Ann-Margaret in Bye Bye Birdie
That is your first nugget of wisdom. Ready for some more? Extracurricular activities really aren't that important. I hate to break it to you, but you aren't going to get a scholarship from NYU. You are going to save a bunch of money and go to a state-school in, wait for it . . . Utah. I know, I know, you can't believe it. Extracurricular activities didn't land you that scholarship so do yourself a favor and just enjoy being a kid for a little while longer.

Stop trying so hard to not create waves. Speak your mind. Who cares if you don't fit in? Who cares if you make someone upset? The "friends" you have now. . .all but a handful are going to be out of your life in about 3 years anyway. Get to know all kinds of people. In about 2 years you're going to realize that the boy you thought you couldn't stand whose locker was right next to yours all throughout high school is an awesome person. That experience is going to make you realize that you should have tried harder to be more friendly. People will continue to surprise you in both good and bad ways. You need to give people a chance and you need to let them give you a chance too. 

Stop it with your whole fear of authority thing. It's not healthy. If someone is a jerk and is in a position of authority then you need to have the balls to stand up to them. (You really should have done that in Math last year and you should do it this year should you choose to remain in extracurriculars.)

Your junior year was hard when I went through it the first time. Pretend that you are a new kid and just start fresh. Who cares if groups appear to be defined? You need to do you, so leave your fear at the door. 

Love, 

Future You

P.S. You should probably invest in Netflix and Amazon. They are going to get pretty big in the next couple of years. Future you would really appreciate that kind of money right about now. . . .


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