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.

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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39 Things Every Girl Should Really Know About Life By 20

38. When vacationing by airplane, try to fit everything into a carry-on.

1. Dispute ALL tickets... even if you were going 35mph over the speed limit.


How can it hurt? If anything you can save yourself some money.

2. If you're not 10 minutes early, you're late.

Your boss, your teachers, your co-workers... They all notice. Be the early one.

3. If you find yourself waking up feeling miserable, start the day by making your bed and washing your face.

Coming back to a made bed after a sh*tty day can change the world.

4. It's okay to fall off track once in a while. You'll only be wiser for next time. (Don't push it, though!)

When I say fall off track I don't mean COMPLETELY off... Just make sure you hold onto something that reminds you to keep going. You'll figure it out... Sometimes it takes years and that's okay.

5. Don't fight your family. They ARE always going to love you.


I used to fight my family and try to push them away... It was probably the dumbest thing I've ever done looking back. So, even if you say, "I'm never going to like them!" Trust me you will. Unless they're actually toxic a**holes...

6. Mom actually, seriously, literally, insanely knows everything.

It's crazy, I swear my mom is psychic. Or she can see the future. I used to do the opposite of what she said and my life was messier... Now that I found out about her powers I listen and things run smoother. Weird. Love you, Ma.

7. If an elder in your family tries giving you money as a gift or to cover lunch... Reject it first.

They won't stop insisting and they will force you to take the money even if you say no 3,000 times. So why not earn some brownie points and act like you seriously didn't need it. Meanwhile, you know how badly you need it.

8. An e-mail and/or a phone call goes a long way.

Don't pester... But if you're the one who calls to "follow up on a resume," a week or two after you applied, you're the standout!

Also, as a college student, I find e-mailing and staying in touch with professors builds a relationship and engraves your name into their brains. As long as you're good at writing e-mails and a good student, they'll usually instinctively like you more; seeing how much effort you spent on communicating.

9. If you hate school, just suffer through the attendance, and make sure the teacher knows your name.

Even if you actually have no idea what Descartes sixth meditation is about... Just show up, do the work consistently, and build a relationship with the teacher. They won't fail you if they see effort. (Just don't give them a reason to!)

10. It seems like the end of the world sometimes... it's not.

"And this too shall pass."

11. If you hate yourself one day (or even all the time), just pretend you don't.

Did you know our facial expressions can influence our emotions?

12. Line up another miserable part-time job before quitting your current one.


Waitressing, customer service, reception... We've all been there and it usually sucks (Unless your parents spoil you too much). So, if you need to get the hell out of there, make sure you have somewhere else to go before you quit. And give 'em a notice in advance, don't be a d*ck.

13. Traveling is the best thing in the world.


I don't need to explain much more. I think we can all agree we want to witness the beautiful parts of this world we've never seen before.

14. If someone doesn't say thank you when you hold the door for them...

...hit them with the classic under-your-breath-but-you-know-they-heard-you type of "you're welcome!"

15. Respect authority, even if you think you're right.


Just FULLY cooperate and it WILL be easier. It's also great to make friends with authority figures. Talk to everyone! Make connections and maybe you'll learn something new.

16. Spend time outside and in public.

After high school, you aren't forced into a classroom five days a week where you will have to socialize. After high school, you can decide to chill in your room and do nothing. But seriously don't make a habit out of it, you will end up feeling like crap when you realize you have no friends.

17. Don't roll your eyes at people.

So rude. Eye-rolling just makes it look like you're admitting you're wrong and you have no defense to whatever made you roll your eyes.

18. Life's a b*tch and then you die... But guess what? Even B*tches have fun!

mean girls

News flash, we are currently all in the process of dying. Stop worrying so much and try to have fun even in the dullest of moments.

19. If you're speaking about something professional, call don't text.

You do realize we still have a call feature on the iPhone, right? Use it.

20. Decorate the Christmas tree with your family amidst your teen angst.


It really seems like a horrible excursion to pile into a mini-van, cut down a tree in the freezing cold, and then hang shiny balls while developing a rash on your hand from the prickles... But down the road, you'll regret not doing it.

21. The D.A.R.E. program makes it seem like drugs are just freely handed out.


That sh*t's expensive. And you don't want to do it, anyway (Minus weed it's harmless, just wait until you're old enough!) .

22. Smile and say hi to as many people a day as you can.

You never know if you just made someone feel a little better or accepted.

23. Make sure the E-brake is OFF.


It will sound like you're dragging a dead body attached to your car and will ruin your brakes. Just double check.

24. Use all your resources even when it seems pointless.

Even if you learn absolutely nothing, you gain connections.

25. What's most important in life?


26. Know how to swim.


It is a basic skill everyone should know. You don't need to be Phelps. Just doggy paddle if you're really that bad.

27. If you don't have a firm handshake, learn how to, a**hole.


If you are a lady shaking a man's hand, strive to have a firmer grip than him. You'll either scare the sh*t out of him, gain serious respect, or get complimented on how great your handshake is! That's my favorite compliment if I'm being honest.

28. Step back and think before you explode.

Seriously dude, don't press send. You probably used the words, "like" and "literally" too much in your text, anyway. Wait 10 minutes and see if it's worth it.

Also, it's better in person.

29. Question everything.


Never assume you're safe or well-informed. There could be a murderer in that restaurant... Question anything that you aren't sure of. Hell, even question what you are sure of.

30. Don't trust a headline or statistic until you know it's credible.

What if you're looking at a bar graph from 1968, not 2018? You might think this is obvious, but there are clearly plenty of people who share false information. We've probably done it ourselves before. We should all work on that.

31. Park far from the store.


Walk, you lazy youthful soul. Unless you require a handicap spot or weather conditions are poor.

32. Take the stairs.

"I have no time to workout!" *takes elevator*

33. Don't text people when you want to tell them how you feel.

It only makes you feel good for like 20 seconds and then you'll probably read it back saying, "What was I thinking?"

34. Have something to be proud of.

Otherwise, you'll get lost. Life is confusing.

35. Listen to old school music, the classics, and artists who inspired what we hear today.


We cannot let the real instruments die people. Do you know how fun a jam band show is?

36. If you're inspired, act fast.

Don't let inspiration slip away. Sometimes it's easy to forget that great feeling.

37. If you start, finish.

Finish what you start and do the best you can at it. We all have off days, that doesn't mean you suck if you mess something up a few times.

38. When vacationing by airplane, try to fit everything into a carry-on.


You don't want your favorite bikini stowed in the wrong plane when you go on vacation. Plus you spent all of your money on Corona's and can't buy a new one.

39. Change your oil.

Love your car and it will try to love you back.

Good Luck!

Cover Image Credit: Emily Fahey

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Don't Forget To Be A Child At Heart Sometimes

Don't grow up, it's a trap.

With the type of personality I have, some may consider me immature or childish, but I would call myself embracing my inner child. I think in our fast-paced world we live in, we want to grow up so quickly and forget who we were when we were little, but I think it is so important to make sure to take a step back, take a deep breath, and enjoy life. I try my hardest to not forget about my inner child because this part of me gets to see the world in a different point of view. If you think about children's movies or books, they aren't just always based for children.

Many of these things have deeper meaning or messages than what is on the surface and remembering your inner your child is a way for you to gain more meaningful values throughout your life, no matter what your age is.

I try to find the fun or the excitement in everything going on around me. Life can be mundane and boring, and trying to find the joy in life is something that is good for the soul. Bringing pure energy to your life can make your world seem like it is always a beautiful sunny day. You can have fun anywhere, and life seems to be a party wherever you go. Life is too short to not love what you do, but it is important to know that your attitude is a thing that decides your happiness in life. Embracing your inner child is a stepping stone to seeing the world as a grand adventure rather than just being a hamster on a wheel.

The biggest thing about embracing your inner child is you appreciate all things in life, no matter how big or small. You have a pure sense of view and you have no filter on how you feel. You keep the ones that mean the most to you closest, and you know what makes you happy. You find joy in all things in your life, and sometimes you know that the smallest things in life can be the biggest moments.

Remembering your inner child reminds you of what is important in your life and that the moments that you can least expect can be life-changing.

As life goes in, do not forget about your inner child because it can open doors that you would never have opened before. You laugh a little longer, love a little harder, and never lose the magic. Having this type of perspective makes you fight for what you deserve, you just don't throw a tantrum when things don't go your way. In life, it is important to make sure you have different perspectives on life to be well-rounded and make the best decisions for you. Being realistic, optimistic, and a pessimist is important as well, but it seems like we forget one perspective, our inner child. Living your life with a child's perspective lets you be adventurous, honest, and forever young.

Cover Image Credit: Corrine Harding

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