Dear High-School Self,
How are you doing? Are you hanging in there? Good, you always did. This is your college self, a much stronger, more authentic, and happier version of you. I know that you’re having a hard time right now, so I wanted to write you to check in and give you some hope that it will all turn out OK.
Right now, all they talk to you about is college. College applications, college visits, making sure your GPA can impress all the colleges. I understand how all of this stress can make you hate the idea. I know you don’t even want to think about college right now, let alone go. But please, stick through it. If you don’t, you will never get to meet me and see how happy you can be.
Right now, your priorities are vastly different from mine, and that’s OK. Just know they will change soon. Studying for the SATs, even though they’re just a number, passing your driving test to gain that ever-elusive freedom, getting your first job so you can finally start being a “real” adult, pouring your heart out to that boy you foolishly think the world of. These are all things you must go through to get to where I am, but in the moment, you may think they are your whole world, and nothing will change that. Trust me, it will change.
When you meet me, you will no longer care so much about those things, although they will always hold a place in your heart. You will now care about finding what makes your heart race, pushing yourself not to impress an admissions board at a university but because you want to see what youcan accomplish for yourself. You’ll stop putting up with friends who don’t act like friends, and people who make you feel less than you are, because you are so important and successful and have so much left to offer.
When you meet me, you will be proud. You will be able to see all the things you have done and know you have done them not because it “looks good on a resume,” but because you had passion and talent and a will to learn. You will be proud, and not afraid to show it. Happiness and self-love come easier now. There will be days still where the dark clouds roll in and it will rain; I can’t tell you that those days will ever stop for good. But it happens less frequently now, so you can spend much more time enjoying the sunshine.
You will be thankful for the years you spent where you are now. Thankful that the struggles, tears, sad days, and times where you doubted yourself built you up strong and tough to make it here. You will be thankful you kept going and decided to make something of yourself once you met me. You won’t be ashamed of where you are now once you meet me. Instead, you will look back with love and fondness. Maybe one day, you’ll even find yourself wanting to check in and see how that small, confused, lonely high school self is doing, and write her a letter.
Hang in there,