To my 15 year old self,

Hi. It's been a while. A whole 5 years. There's so many things I could tell you about, so many wonderful experiences I could tell you that you're about to have, I could tell you the wonders and the low points of college. But, I won't do any of that. You'll have these experiences regardless, and I don't want you to freak out about some of them. Because you freak out about everything.

I've decided to make this an advice letter, not because I necessarily think you need it, and in fact I don't think some of the stuff I'm saying will make any sense to you until certain experiences happen, I just think it'll be nice for you to read and maybe start to understand.

First of all, stop caring so much. Just stop. Stop caring about the way your hair looks and the look someone just gave you in the hallway. Stop going home and looking at yourself in the mirror like that. You look fine as long as you just dress for your body and not for the way that everyone else is dressing. Stop comparing your looks and your intelligence to the people around you. You're doing what you're meant to be doing.

Secondly, know your worth and demand that every person in your life knows it too. You're smart, smarter than the average person in fact, but you're not a kid genius. You're not untouchable. You're not not flawed. But you are strong as hell, fun to be around, and a very loving person. You are so beyond worth it.

Next, stop always thinking you're right. You're not right. You're almost never right. Life is not as straight of a path as you think it is. Explore other options. Listen to mom and dad, they know some things, even if it feels like they don't get you sometimes.

Also, just be nicer. To your parents especially, but to the people around you too. Don't feed into the judgmental aura of high school. Don't work so hard at making everyone like you if you can't stop being judgmental behind some backs. See the humanity in the humans you're interacting with.

Finally, have faith that everything will work out. You will find a job, you will pass your driving test, you'll end up at a college that you'll love. You'll be so incredibly happy. Because I'm the happiest I've ever been right now.

To the next 5, 10, and 50+ years, cheers. Happy birthday.

Love,

Your older, and hopefully wiser, self