An Open Letter to My Past Self

An Open Letter to My Past Self

What I wish I could tell the younger me.
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To myself 18 years ago,

I just want to start by saying: everything works out.

The day has finally come. The car is packed, and you are on your way to Curry College to pursue a major in Communication. Last night you said goodbye to your best friend, and this morning you went out bright and early to Dunkin' Donuts because the only way the boys would help you load up was if you brought them iced coffee and food. You have been waiting for this moment all summer, and you had all of your dorm stuff nice and early. As your friends are currently stressed out and running in circles preparing for tomorrow, you can relax and mentally prepare. You have talked to your roommate, and she seems nice. It took so much to get you to this point and you do not regret one step of the way.

You meet your childhood best friends when you move to Cape Cod at age two. They live right down the street, and you do everything together. There are neighborhood cookouts and your parents even take you to see ice shows. As you grow up, you and your neighborhood friends grow apart, but your childhood memories remain. From having lemonade stands, to playing manhunt outside until 11 p.m., these are the people you grow up with.

You were lucky enough to go to a kindergarten through grade eight elementary school, meaning you met and bonded with the same kids for nine years. The school system changed when you were a junior in high school. Now there is a pre-k through grade two school and a grade three through six school. The seventh and eighth graders were put at the high school. You loved your time at the little elementary school. You faced some struggles with anxiety and friends, but in the end, you came to love that small community. Your best friend today was in that small kindergarten class back just twelve years ago. She was not your best friend then, but she soon became it. You join an amazing theatre program at that elementary school. You are in High School Musical Jr., Beauty and the Beast Jr., and The Seussical Jr. You make some of your best friends and memories during those shows, and nothing ever compares to the feeling before a show.

Your friends from elementary are no longer your best friends. You are friendly, but it was never the same. In eighth grade you dreaded picking a high school. You were not accepted to the charter school because of the lottery system there. You ended up picking a high school in a neighboring town. About halfway through the subsequent summer, you chose to attend your local high school. *Spoiler Alert*: it was the best decision you made! When eighth grade came to a close, you were sad because this had been your community for nine years; you did not know the amazing four years that were ahead of you in high school.

On your first day of high school, your dad drives you to the school alongside your best friend. The place seems gigantic and you cannot find your locker. Two weeks into high school, that friend will leave to attend the charter school because her number was finally picked in the lottery. That year progresses and you made friends, but you do not really get involved. Sophomore year rolls around, and you are comfortable walking into the building on the first day. You join the model UN and another club based off of Big Brother Big Sister. *Spoiler Alert (again)*: you end up becoming the president of that second club during your senior year. Winter comes and you apply to be a peer leader, and get in! You get to go on the leadership retreat in June, but you end up falling down the stairs at that camp and severely spraining your ankle.

Junior year is when your high school career begins to amaze you. As a peer leader, you assist in open houses and similar events. You were chosen to do an independent project with the head of the technology department. You also take two AP classes: AP Biology and AP United States History, and you only end up regretting one of those classes! In the spring you go back to your elementary school to help your former theatre director resurrect the amazing program that you were a part of. You meet two of your best friends doing this and complete more than 200 hours of community service. You are then accepted into the National Honor Society! You did not think it could get any better and then senior year came.

Your accomplishments lead you to become a senior mentor to the class of 2019. That will be one of the best experiences you have during high school. You take AP Psychology and AP literature and Composition. You begin touring colleges and apply early action to nine colleges in three different states, and two different countries. You are accepted into all of those schools. In February, you finally choose Curry College.

You and your older sister get matching tattoos! You also help with another play at the elementary school with your best friends. When June comes, everyone is ready to graduate. On the last day of classes, everyone wears their college t-shirts with pride as you are dismissed from school an hour early, only to come back for graduation practice.

The day before graduation you will get your graduation robe and cap and be loaded on a bus and brought to your elementary school to march through. You see your old teacher with tears in their eyes. You made it. The Friday night before graduation, your graduating class will board The Odyssey boat cruise in Boston for one last hurrah. You dress up and take beautiful pictures of the skyline. The last memory of that night is the final song on the dance floor, “All My Friends” by Snakehips. Everyone is singing all of the words at the top of their lungs. Then on the bus ride home, someone brought a speaker and your bus did a sing along to old songs. The next morning you all said goodbye for what may be forever.

Now you are ready to cross the Sagamore Bridge into your future. I do not know what these next four years will hold, but I am ready to find out and I will let you know! Enjoy every aspect because in the end you will have no regrets.

Sincerely,

You in 18 years
Cover Image Credit: Sarah Simmons

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To The Friends I Won't Talk To After High School

I sincerely hope, every great quality I saw in you, was imprinted on the world.
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Hey,

So, for the last four years I’ve seen you almost everyday. I’ve learned about your annoying little brother, your dogs and your crazy weekend stories. I’ve seen you rock the awful freshman year fashion, date, attend homecoming, study for AP tests, and get accepted into college.

Thank you for asking me about my day, filling me in on your boy drama and giving me the World History homework. Thank you for complimenting my outfits, laughing at me presenting in class and listening to me complain about my parents. Thank you for sending me your Quizlets and being excited for my accomplishments- every single one of them. I appreciate it all because I know that soon I won’t really see you again. And that makes me sad. I’ll no longer see your face every Monday morning, wave hello to you in the hallways or eat lunch with you ever again. We won't live in the same city and sooner or later you might even forget my name.

We didn’t hang out after school but none the less you impacted me in a huge way. You supported my passions, stood up for me and made me laugh. You gave me advice on life the way you saw it and you didn’t have to but you did. I think maybe in just the smallest way, you influenced me. You made me believe that there’s lots of good people in this world that are nice just because they can be. You were real with me and that's all I can really ask for. We were never in the same friend group or got together on the weekends but you were still a good friend to me. You saw me grow up before your eyes and watched me walk into class late with Starbucks every day. I think people like you don’t get enough credit because I might not talk to you after high school but you are still so important to me. So thanks.

With that said, I truly hope that our paths cross one day in the future. You can tell me about how your brothers doing or how you regret the college you picked. Or maybe one day I’ll see you in the grocery store with a ring on your finger and I’ll be so happy you finally got what you deserved so many guys ago.

And if we ever do cross paths, I sincerely hope you became everything you wanted to be. I hope you traveled to Italy, got your dream job and found the love of your life. I hope you have beautiful children and a fluffy dog named Charlie. I hope you found success in love before wealth and I hope you depended on yourself for happiness before anything else. I hope you visited your mom in college and I hope you hugged your little sister every chance you got. She’s in high school now and you always tell her how that was the time of your life. I sincerely hope, every great quality I saw in you, was imprinted on the world.

And hey, maybe I’ll see you at the reunion and maybe just maybe you’ll remember my face. If so, I’d like to catch up, coffee?

Sincerely,

Me

Cover Image Credit: High school Musical

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4 Things I Wish High School Me Knew

Every day has a purpose.

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People don't give high school enough credit for having the ability to shape your life. It can build you or it can break you and often times there is no in between. As I enter into my senior year of college I have reflected a lot on my college career and how it really has been the best years of my life up to this point, but I know that without a doubt my life would have been so different in I would have known these things as a high schooler.

1. Your life is valuable

But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved. And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus. - Ephesians 2:4-7

2. You aren't defined by your singleness. 

Daughters of Jerusalem, I charge you by the gazelles and by the does of the field: Do not arouse or awaken love until it so desires. - Song of Solomon 2:7

4. You aren't going to fit in

Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will. - Romans 12:2

4. Your clothes aren't going to fit forever, don't spend all of your money on them 

Then he said to them, "Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; life does not consist in an abundance of possessions." - Luke 12:15

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