I've spent nearly two decades on this planet which means I'm now old enough to to the slightly obnoxious, but caring adult who spontaneously gives advice to children. So here are 11 things I wish I could say to my fifth-grade self. (For any non-US readers, 5th grade in the US is around 10-11 years old).
1. It's okay to get bad grades sometimes.
Don't let your self-worth get tied up in the numbers because even "smart kids" make mistakes, don't study enough or didn't fully understand the material. Your disappointment is valid, but don't let it infiltrate your brain permanently. Tests are just a (flawed) way to measure what a teacher taught you, they don't define you as a person.
2. Practice the piano more.
You'll be grateful later, trust me!
Oh and by the way, you did end up a music major! It was a tumultuous path and you needed some support from wonderfully loving people but you did it!
3. If you don't feel well, don't go to school and share your germs.
It's so gross and missing one day of school will not be the end of the world.
4. If you want friends, you have to be interested in other people's lives.
"How are you?" isn't the deeply awkward question you perceive it to be.
Even if they have totally different interests or life experiences from you, you can still be friends.
5. Please don't rip up your short stories and poetry.
All artistic endeavors have some value.
Also your super-nostalgic future self won't have anything cute to look back on, so please don't commit that act of destruction every time you clean your room.
6. Sometimes pretending to like "normal" things is a necessary evil.
People might be more willing to approach you if you seemed 90% weird instead of 150% weird.
But don't let that distract from your true interests. You can totally be as weird as you want, just know when to briefly assimilate.
7. Don't write off all adults as "mean" or "scary"
They aren't all like that so try talking to them before you just make pronouncements and also one piece of helpful constructive criticism doesn't make someone mean.
8. Help Mama and Papa around the house more before you get buried in homework.
(This way you can learn a few adulty things before it's time to adult)
9. Enjoy recess.
Take the time to be a kid. Your future self will thank you later. Please go kick that ball around and try out the monkey bars again even if they hurt your hands.
10. Someday you will find places where you belong socially.
Just you wait! Social outcast isn't a permanent status!
11. You are a really cool and special kid.
Don't let the world dim your shine!