You know that Taylor Swift lyric that goes, "you wish you could go back and tell yourself what you know now..."? Well, I feel that way a lot. Don't get me wrong, I wouldn't change the past few years for anything. I've learned so much about myself and the world around me. I've learned so much, in fact, that I felt compelled to compile some of my wisdom into a letter to my past self.
Dear 9th Grade Ann,
I’ve got a lot of things to say to you—some of which might seem like a slap in the face. My first piece of advice is to listen to absolutely everything I say because I’m older and wiser than you are by a lot. Sorry, kiddo.
Don’t cry over the boy who doesn’t like you back. There will be many more just like him throughout the next few years. Don’t waste your time and energy on anyone who treats you like you’re disposable. And for goodness sake, don’t pretend to like things that he likes just so you have something to talk about.
You don’t have to fry your hair every morning with a flat iron just because everyone else does. I know how you hate putting on makeup, so stop wearing it.
You don’t need to let the “cool kids” copy your homework just so they’ll talk to you. People will continue to walk all over you until you establish that you are not a doormat.
Please don’t be hard on yourself. Getting a C on a math test or forgetting to turn in an essay on time might ruin your day, but it sure won’t ruin your life.
Refrain from comparing yourself to people that are skinnier than you. Remember that weight is just a number on a scale and it in no way defines you. Besides, your weight is going to fluctuate so much in the next few years you won’t even remember your current dress size in four years' time. Not that it matters anyway.
Be nicer to people. Think of all the times you needed a friend and try and be that for someone else when they’re struggling.
UGG boots are not a necessity. If you hate the idea that you’re wearing a dead animal on your feet so much, just take the stupid things off. (This is something I realized only about 3 weeks ago.)
All of those exercises you found on the Internet that are supposed to make your boobs grow do not work. Stop doing them. Also, stop constantly thinking about how you want bigger boobs. You’ll soon meet some girls that would trade their well-endowed chests for your flat one in a heartbeat.
Other people are allowed to dress and act however they want. You’re not the fashion police, so stop being so judgey and get to know people before you write them off as freaks.
Fight only for the friendships that were always a constant source of support. If you’re always the one putting in the effort and doing the favors, ditch them. It’s not worth it.
Diet shakes are not a meal. Neither are those 100-calorie protein bars that taste like peanut butter flavored sawdust. The media is going to get in your head about what you should eat and how you should look, but please fight it with every fiber of your being.
Sit up straight, drink lots of water, say nice things to yourself and to other people, take your vitamins, and don’t forget to floss. You’re gonna be great.
Ann, Age 18.5