An Open Letter To My High School Self

An Open Letter To My High School Self

Yet another letter from a college student to a high school student trying to get them to listen to their advice.
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Dear high school self,

Stop working so hard. You're stressing yourself out and you aren't taking any time to enjoy high school. I promise you that you are going to get into the college that you want, so if it is one in the morning you need to put your laptop away and go to sleep. At this point your brain isn't functioning well enough to think straight anyways and when you wake up and read your essay it won't make any sense. I promise that one bad test grade is not going to ruin your entire GPA. Stop comparing yourself to everybody. I don't care if your best friend seems way smarter than you because you are brilliant in so many different ways and your grades do not define that. However, stop saying that you don't care about your grades because that is a lie and it does not make you cool.

Pretending to be dumb is not attractive to guys. Lose the fake voice and show them what you can do. But don't ever do anything for a guy, do it for you instead. Don't let a guy determine your self worth. If you want to wear a dress and do your makeup nice, do it for you. If you want to wear pajamas to school because it's been a rough week, than do it for you. You are allowed to look pretty for yourself and not care about what other people think. I promise that you are not as big as you think you are, so stop worrying about your weight. Eating healthy and going to the gym does not need to be to lose weight. It is simply taking care of your body which is something that you struggle with a lot. You need to work on it more, but I promise that you are not fat. You just need to learn how to love yourself a little more because you can't love anyone else if you don't love yourself.

And speaking of loving someone else, I promise that a breakup is not the end of the world. Stop telling yourself that one day in a coffee shop down the road you may run into him and everything will be different and he will fall in love all over again. I know it has taken a long time to get over him even though you wish it hasn't, and I know that sometimes you still check up on him to see what is going on in his life. But I promise that you do not have to, and one day you will stop checking up on him because you won't care anymore. You have spent far too much time in high school worrying about relationships and drama and that has been the source of so much of your stress. Stop it. I promise you, it is better to enjoy high school with your friends and worry about all the relationship drama down the road after school.

If you can't figure out what you want to do with your life, I promise you that it is okay because you eventually will. Nobody really knows what they want to do with their lives at this point in time. And even when you get to college, you may change that. It is okay. Join clubs, but only the ones you know you have time for. It sucks letting people down and I know you hate to do that. But some of those clubs will help you figure your life out. Try new things. Experience something you never thought you would.

Go out with your friends. I know that some nights you need to stay in bed and watch a movie, but don't do it every night. You will want the memories down the road when you reminisce about high school. Find friends based on their personalities, not what they look like. If someone constantly uses you and only hits you up when they want something, they are not your real friend. And when your best friend leaves you to go to a different school, call her when you need her. She will move on and it will be difficult, but I promise she will always be there. Don't feel like you are intruding just because she has new friends. She still cares.

Your favorite teacher will become one of your best friends. Don't listen to things that people say about her because you are entitled to your own opinion. She will always be there for you to let you cry to her and offer advice and she will be one of the few people throughout high school who will actually treat you like an adult. You're going to need her a lot junior year.

Go to prom. I know you have it set in your mind that you don't want to but go. It will be dumb and overpriced, but if you surround yourself with good people it will be an amazing night regardless. Go to homecoming, even if you're the only senior. Go to football games even if you hate football because some of your best memories will be spent in that stadium. Go on field trips and volunteer in events. Actually try during the mile in gym because I promise that you can surprise yourself with how well you can run. And when the cross country coach stops you (which he will) actually listen to him when he says there are ways of transporting you to and from places when your parents are working.

I promise that you have so many good things coming for you. I won't spoil any of them, but just know that you will overcome fears and meet some of the greatest people. Even if you decide you hate high school, you can make the most of it. It will shape a lot of your life and will be the last teenage years of your life. Stop stressing so much. Slow down and enjoy things and you wont regret it.

With lots of love and experience,

Your future college self

Cover Image Credit: Huffington Post

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8 Reasons Why My Dad Is the Most Important Man In My Life

Forever my number one guy.
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Growing up, there's been one consistent man I can always count on, my father. In any aspect of my life, my dad has always been there, showing me unconditional love and respect every day. No matter what, I know that my dad will always be the most important man in my life for many reasons.

1. He has always been there.

Literally. From the day I was born until today, I have never not been able to count on my dad to be there for me, uplift me and be the best dad he can be.

2. He learned to adapt and suffer through girly trends to make me happy.

I'm sure when my dad was younger and pictured his future, he didn't think about the Barbie pretend pageants, dressing up as a princess, perfecting my pigtails and enduring other countless girly events. My dad never turned me down when I wanted to play a game, no matter what and was always willing to help me pick out cute outfits and do my hair before preschool.

3. He sends the cutest texts.

Random text messages since I have gotten my own cell phone have always come my way from my dad. Those randoms "I love you so much" and "I am so proud of you" never fail to make me smile, and I can always count on my dad for an adorable text message when I'm feeling down.

4. He taught me how to be brave.

When I needed to learn how to swim, he threw me in the pool. When I needed to learn how to ride a bike, he went alongside me and made sure I didn't fall too badly. When I needed to learn how to drive, he was there next to me, making sure I didn't crash.

5. He encourages me to best the best I can be.

My dad sees the best in me, no matter how much I fail. He's always there to support me and turn my failures into successes. He can sit on the phone with me for hours, talking future career stuff and listening to me lay out my future plans and goals. He wants the absolute best for me, and no is never an option, he is always willing to do whatever it takes to get me where I need to be.

6. He gets sentimental way too often, but it's cute.

Whether you're sitting down at the kitchen table, reminiscing about your childhood, or that one song comes on that your dad insists you will dance to together on your wedding day, your dad's emotions often come out in the cutest possible way, forever reminding you how loved you are.


7. He supports you, emotionally and financially.

Need to vent about a guy in your life that isn't treating you well? My dad is there. Need some extra cash to help fund spring break? He's there for that, too.

8. He shows me how I should be treated.

Yes, my dad treats me like a princess, and I don't expect every guy I meet to wait on me hand and foot, but I do expect respect, and that's exactly what my dad showed I deserve. From the way he loves, admires, and respects me, he shows me that there are guys out there who will one day come along and treat me like that. My dad always advises me to not put up with less than I deserve and assures me that the right guy will come along one day.

For these reasons and more, my dad will forever be my No. 1 man. I love you!

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The 7 Best Pieces Of Advice I Have Been Given About Life

Some of the best advice I have been given over the years...

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There isn't a central theme among these pieces of advice or sayings. They are all just random things I have been told over the course of my life–especially in the last week. I find these 7 to be particularly helpful in various situations, and try to keep them in mind when I am in over my head.

1. "Don't be afraid to advocate for yourself because there is nobody who is going to help you more than you."

You are the #1 person who can help your own case. No one knows you as you do, therefore no one will be able to help you more than you can help yourself. A lot of things are mental, so once you can convince yourself that you deserve something (whatever it may be) you can convince anyone. Another saying goes along with this, on the flip side: "No one can diminish you but yourself." You are in control of your own self-perception, and you are very much capable of being your own worst enemy.

2. "Stand behind your reputation because you can never get it back."

My mom sent this to me the other day. Be who you are, and do it proudly. Especially with meeting people for the first time, you can never have a second chance at a first impression. That being said, if people view you in a bad light, figure out why that is and fix it. You may not be able to change someones initial thoughts of you, but you can change the way they view you after that.

3. "The best things in life happen unexpectedly."

"Life is what happens when you're busy making plans," also goes along with this. Trying to plan out every little detail of your life is only going to lead to disappointment. Sometimes you find the best things/what you're looking for when you're not actually looking. Just go through the motions and things will work out the way they are supposed to.

4. "Be proud of your accomplishments, no matter how small."

It's important to celebrate the little things. Did you go to class today? Good for you. Did you decide to drink water instead of a soda? That's awesome. How are you going to work up to doing bigger and better things if you don't have anywhere to start?

5. "Whatever you're stressing about now probably won't matter in five years."

As someone who is often eaten away by their own worry and anxiety, this is a mantra that I try to constantly remind myself. While it may seem like a big deal now, you need to keep in mind the bigger picture. Will it matter in 5 hours? 5 days? 5 months? And so on. If the answer is no to ANY of these questions, it's probably not worth beating yourself up over.

6. "Stop being the 'go to' person for someone you can't go to."

Someone tweeted that their pastor said this to them and the tweet went viral. A friend of mine sent it to me, and it really made me think. Something I have struggled with over the years is making excuses for people who don't show up for me when I am constantly there for them. This is a helpful reminder that if they aren't contributing to you and your life, you shouldn't have to bend over backward to help them out and be in their lives.

7. "Two wrongs don't make a right."

While this is often a saying that parents use on their young children, it is applicable to pretty much any stage of life. My parents, especially my dad, have constantly said this, whether it was in reference to fighting with my siblings or dealing with people at school. Even as a 20-year-old, I find myself saying this when I hear about arguments and problems people are having. Everyone wants to get even, to best those who hurt them. While it's important to stick up for yourself, it is also important to be the bigger person and not stoop to their level (and whatever else your parents told you in these situations).

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