When I first started to write this article, I wrote it based on my own experiences and beliefs. Once I finished, I took one look at it and deleted it all. I immediately realized that to get a good grasp of advice to give my "high school self" or anyone's "high school self," I needed to think bigger. I needed to get advice from a wide array of people of different ages and backgrounds who have all had different experiences. So I went and asked a multitude of people the question: "If you could say anything to your high school self, what would it be?"
Here were the results:
1) "It is OKAY to not be put together all the time. It is okay to fail. It isn't okay to give up."
2) "Stop making judgments about people based on a stereotypical imaginary social ladder. Give everyone a chance and make your own judgments."
3)"Stop being so close-minded. It is okay to hear other sides of an argument and admit that you are wrong. It is not okay to look down on others for their beliefs."
4) "Keep playing lacrosse."
5) "If someone doesn't like you as you are, that's not someone you want in your life."
6) "Things get better. This is a tiny part of your life and there is so much more out there for you."
7) "Break up with him and RUN!"
8) "Stop skipping class and take your studies seriously."
9) "Be kind. Don't be afraid of change- and dare to be the underdog.
10) "Don't let others influence you. The best thing you can possibly do is stay true to yourself. Don't change for a girl, or because you want to blend in."
11) "You are created from the stars, the moon, and the sky. That's beautiful. This is your life. This is who you are. Love yourself."
12) "Losing another 5 pounds won't make you happy. Don't fall victim to false beauty ideals. Accept your body. Love your body. Until you accomplish this, you won't achieve happiness."
13) "Embrace the weird!"
14) "Don't make him your happiness. Don't push away your friends or change your life for him. You're worth so much more than him."
16) "Confidence is the key to success; you have to first believe in yourself for others to believe in you. You have to wake up every day renewed and refreshed or else every single day will be exactly the same.You'll miss your opportunities"
17) "Think deeply about what you want to do with your future. Make the right decision so that you end up loving your work. So that your work doesn't end up being work."
18) "Try harder."
19) "Grow a spine and stand up for yourself!"
20) "Your mom is almost always right 99.99% of the time. No matter how strongly you feel about certain things, she always knows what is the best for you."
21)"Make decisions wisely. Challenge yourself."
22) "Change is imminent. Wisdom is learned."
23) "Love others. Love life. But most importantly, Love yourself."
24) "True success in life comes from exploring, experiences and creating a person you enjoy being. Not from good grades and being popular. One cannot love if there is no happiness to embrace, so create
25) "Your mental illness does NOT define you."
26) "You were right."
27) "Make yourself into the kind of person you'd respect and want to be friends with. Guessing what other people want to see in you creates an unstable foundation and will eat at your confidence"
28) "Kiss him."
29) "Don't let others break you down. Have confidence not to let that happen."
30) "Your first love won't be your last. You'll make it through the heartbreak."
Thank you to everyone who participated and gave such great input. If there is any advice I could personally give to my high school self it would be to "love yourself, explore, be open-minded and give everybody a chance before judging them."
Most importantly, though,