Dear Younger Me, It's Me

Dear Younger Me, It's Me

I've finally come to terms with who I am as a person, and my younger self should know that everything works itself out in the end.
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Hey Elisa, it's me, just a few years older and just a bit wiser.

I've finally found peace within myself and I'm rather happy with who I've become. But it wasn't easy, and you don't know how much you have to go through before you get to where I am today. You're thinking about growing up, and how amazing it's going to be when you're on your own and living a life you've always dreamed of, but you have much to learn before then.

There's a lot of obstacles you're going to overcome. You'll face adversity and learn that as long as you push yourself, you'll always be better than you were before. You're going to fall in love, get hurt, and think that you can never love again. But you will, and it's amazing. You just have to wait for Prince Charming to finally work a shift with you at the restaurant, and trust me, it's well worth the wait.

People are going to step on your toes, a lot, and it isn't because we didn't hit a growth spurt. You're going to learn to stand up for yourself and put your foot down, and when you do, people will start respecting you. It's going to take practice. You're so used to giving and putting others first, but when you realize that enough is enough, you'll become selfish -in a good way- and put yourself first. No one will walk all over you or take advantage of your kindness. At first, it will seem mean of you, almost too unfair to others, but it's going to help build your character and strength.

Scary things are going to happen too. I wish I could have avoided them or tell you how to stay safe, but it's something that we can't run from. When it happens, you'll cry and scream and feel like the world is coming to an end, and want to rid yourself of all the pain, but I promise you, we make it through all of this. It isn't the end- merely the end of a bad chapter in our book.

You'll form new friendships with people from work, and they'll love you after only knowing you for a few months. It sounds strange, but these people will become like family to you, and you'll be lucky to have them by your side.

You'll cut ties with everyone from back home. When you come home from college for the holidays, it will seem like you have no one other than family to visit. That's okay. Not everyone deserves your love and friendship. That's something you will learn later on.

School will only get harder. High school is a joke compared to college. Stay focused and stay on track with your studies. It will pay off in the end. Don't slack and make sure you dedicate more time to school than you dedicate to being lazy.

You're going to do some stupid shit when you get older. I'm sorry, but that's just how we are. The repercussions are going to suck, and you'll feel that pain in your chest when you get into trouble, but it's a part of learning. Once you learn wrong from right, and morally wrong from right, things will get easier, and your stupid decisions will be less frequent. It takes a couple of tries before you get the hang of it, but you'll pull through.

Growing up will be challenging. You'll laugh a lot, cry even more, and complain about almost everything. You're not alone. Not ever. Your family will stand by you and support you and tell you when you're wrong, but they will always love you. When you grow up and look back at everything you've lived and experienced, you'll realize that every single event has shaped you into who we are today.

It's all going to be worth it, Elisa. You just have to wait to grow up and see what I mean.

Cover Image Credit: Elisa Nunez-Rodriguez

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11 Things You'll Only Understand If You Met Your College Roommate On Facebook First

Sound a little sketchy? Maybe, but if you ask me it's a lot less risky than going random.

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Social media enables you to do so many things that were never possible before. One of these things is finding your college roommate. Sound a little sketchy? Maybe, but if you ask me it's a lot less risky than going random.

If you, too, found your college roommate on Facebook, you'll definitely understand these 11 things.

1. You felt like you were online dating.

You judged hundreds of different people based on a bio and their Facebook page and messaged all of your potential matches to determine if they were "the one" for you. It doesn't get much closer to online dating than that.

2. You had your room coordinated before you moved in.

You had plenty of time to make sure your comforters didn't clash and to decide which rug would tie the whole room together. And, of course, you consulted each other before each purchase.

3. You planned all the fun things you were going to do as soon as you moved in.

Decorating your room, shopping, exploring campus, more shopping...

4. You had an instant friend.

One of the best parts of choosing your roommate ahead of time was that you knew you'd have a friend to start college with! You didn't have to worry about making that first awkward trip to the dining hall alone or looking like a total loser at all the mandatory welcome week events.

5. You stalked all of her social media all the way back to 2011.

All those embarrassing selfies from eighth grade? Yup, you saw them. You could also probably name half of her high school friends before she ever even mentioned them.

6. You didn't have to stress about living with someone who only showers every other week.

Or someone who stays up all night and sleeps all day, or who never does their laundry... the list goes on.

7. You tried to schedule classes together.

Because living in the same room that's the size of a shoe box isn't enough, right?

8. You knew just about every fact about her before you even met her.

Favorite music? Check. Favorite TV show? Check. Bedtime? Yup, that too. Not only did you ascertain a large amount of information from stalking her social media, but you also asked each other just about every question in the book before deciding whether or not you two would be a good match.

9. When you asked if she wanted to live together you felt like you were proposing.

Sweaty palms, the fear of rejection, wondering what you'd do if she said no... Yup, those are all symptoms of the roommate-posal. (Fortunately for you, though, she did say yes.)

10. You celebrate your friendversary on the day you became Facebook friends.

It was a very important day, after all! You may even revisit the first messages you and your roommate exchanged and laugh about how awkward you were.

11. You can't imagine what life would be like if you hadn't found each other on Facebook.

What did people do before the Internet??? But seriously, you can't imagine how you would have survived with someone else as a roommate and are so thankful that Facebook brought you together.

The haters are gonna hate, but if you found your roommate on Facebook you know just how good of an idea it was. Here's to all the memories you've made and the many more to come!

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An Open Letter To My Youngest Self

From, the young adult finding comfort in the past while lost in the present.

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Dear future big person,

Speaking from experience, the world is a crazy place. It's sad, yet exciting to know what the future holds for you. The world has been taken over by devices and electronics most never thought were possible.

If you're wondering why I'm writing to you, it's because I care a lot more now than I did back when I was you. I'm your Marty McFly, here to tell you how to prepare for the future. (Don't ask me what that reference is –you figure it out!).

For starters, let's talk about this technology thing. Gameboys, Nintendo DS', Wiis, Xboxes –don't mess with them. Television is fine –if the people from the Cold War survived it, we can, too. I want you to spend time enjoying the real world, not the electronic, fake one.

I want you to go outside and sit in the grass, pick those dandelions and mash them up into "paint." Paint mom something nice and maybe go for a bike ride with dad. Catch lightning bugs at dusk and bottle them all up in a mason jar. Eventually, let them free, all together.

Your brother is gross and weird, but he actually turns out to be a pretty cool kid. You don't have to be all mushy with him, but be sure he knows you love him. After all, he is family.

Make friends in the neighborhood, even if they are boys. So what? Challenge them. Race them on your bike with awesome purple and white streamers drifting from the handlebars. Push hard, through the soles of your Sketchers covered feet.

Pick up a piece of chalk and create a world of your own world with 3,000 Toys R Us stores, one police station, and only a few stop signs. Create and color your own flowers, whether they actually exist or not. Let your imagination run wild!

Turn on the radio and dance like crazy! Scream the lyrics to Smashmouth's "All Star" and Gwen Stefani's "Sweet Escape." Change the station every now and then to hear something new; it's always interesting to see your reactions to these interesting creations.

I want you to wear what you feel like and don't care what the others say about you. If you want to wear your purple dress-up shoes with your matching purse and hat, then do it. If you want to wear a Hula skirt in the dead of winter, do it (but please bring some leggings so mom doesn't flip out). If you want to wear those bedazzled jeans, then rock 'em.

If you're wondering why I'm telling you to do these silly things, it's only because we lost these traits along the way. I don't want you to miss the experiences that only come from the natural world because you had your head stuck in a tablet; it will all pass you in the blink of an eye.

I don't want you to ever feel trapped inside your house, no matter the weather. There is always a way out.

Don't let other people stop you from getting something you want. Don't let them intimidate you or talk you out of something you are passionate about.

Your friends will be the people you escape to when the house seems inescapable. Treat them the way you would like to be treated.

Your imagination is one of the greatest gifts you'll ever have. It drives you –your hopes and dreams, your wishes in the fountain and your kisses to the dandelions. Don't ever stop chasing them.

Always, always do what you want to do. You sing karaoke to that super catchy song because you know you'll kill it. Wear what you want however you want because you know that you look good in some strange way. (As long as you're not naked, that is). Stubbornness is good.

Your family will always be your family. What they do affects you, and vice versa. Bring them good, positive news. They don't need any more trouble.

Stand up for yourself, for your friends and family, for your beliefs and wishes. Be proud of the work you do and the life you live. Many people around you wish they could have lived like you did.

Most importantly, do not let your past define your future. A lot of things will happen, some of which may or may not go horribly wrong. There is nothing you can do to stop these things, except hope. You can always change for the better as long as you don't look back. Be proud of your past, but be known for your future –whatever you want that to be.

Please, promise me these things. I can't stress enough how important it is for you to never lose these traits –hold them tightly and never release them. I can't tell you how this life is going to go, because that simply isn't the way this world works. Just breathe through it and listen to your gut –that's the future guiding you.

I, and many others, love you –your character, your curls, your studded jeans,your pink Power Ranger costume, your Hello Kitty backpack, and your goofy smile.

Don't ever forget that.

With love,

The Girl Who Is Lost And Trying To Turn Back Time.

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