A Letter To My 17-Year-Old Self And The 'Good Ol' Days'

A Letter To My 17-Year-Old Self And The 'Good Ol' Days'

You’re in the good old days right now, so why not start living like it?
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Dear 17-Year-Old Self,

You think life is really hard right now and rightfully so.

Chemistry is going to be the death of you. No one has asked you to the homecoming dance yet. You have no money to go out with your friends after Friday’s football game. And you’re trying to juggle a social life while you have a mountain of homework waiting for you when you get home.

Everyone keeps asking you where you’re going to college, when you’re taking the SATs and what you plan on doing with the rest of your life. They want to know how many schools you’ve applied to. They want to know your Plan A, Plan B and Plan Z. But you don’t know the answer to any of those questions. Heck, you don’t even know when your next history test is.

I get it. High school is tough. You’re still trying to be a kid, but everyone is pressuring you to grow up. So please hear me when I say this: don’t listen to them.

And let me tell you why you shouldn’t.

A couple weeks ago, my best friend and I went out to dinner. She’s getting married in a couple months (congrats, by the way, you’re the maid of honor), so we decided to have one last hoorah of a weekend.

We sat in a Longhorn Steakhouse for two hours that night talking about our lives and how much they’d changed over the past few years. We talked about our jobs and all of the responsibilities that came with them. We talked about benefits and life insurance and retirement money. We talked about what it was like to live on our own and move out of our parents’ house. We talked about her wedding and how she would be living in a different state in a matter of months.

At one point she got up to run to the restroom. While she was gone, I sat there thinking about all of the other times we’d gone to dinner at Longhorn. This had been our go-to place ever since we got our driver’s licenses. We went after basketball practice on more than one occasion. We went for each other’s 18th birthdays. We went when we’d had a crappy week at college and needed a meal that wasn’t from the dining hall. And every time we went, at one point or another, one of us would inevitably say:

“I can’t wait to ______”

It never failed. We would talk about how we couldn’t wait to graduate high school. We couldn’t wait to live on our own. We couldn’t wait to finish college and get real jobs. We couldn’t wait to get married. The list went on and on.

If I could go back right now, I’d tell myself to stop saying that phrase, to stop worrying so much about what was next. I’d grab my 17-year-old-self by the shoulders, look her straight in the eye, and tell her to enjoy the season she was in right then.

Andy Bernard from "The Office" said it best when he said,

“I wish there was a way to know you’re in the good old days before you’ve actually left them.”

So do me a favor, and take my advice. Enjoy where you’re at, and don’t try to grow up so fast. I know being in your 20s sounds exciting. Don’t get me wrong. There are a lot of great things about it, but there are a lot of things about not being in my 20s that I wish I could get back.

I wish I could go back to wearing yoga pants and a sweatshirt to class instead of having to dress up every day for work.

I wish my biggest cause of stress was my pre-calc test on Friday instead of trying to figure out my 401-K.

I wish I could go back to never getting anything in the mail instead of getting bills every other day.

I wish I could just ask dad to fix my toilet when it breaks instead of having to figure it out on my own.

I wish I could come home every day to dinner that mom made instead of having a bowl of cereal for the fourth time this week.

I could keep going, but I’m sure you get the idea. There are so many wonderful things about being in high school and just being young in general. Don’t waste these years wishing you were older, richer and more independent. You’ve got plenty of time for that. Trust me.

I want you to look back on these days and smile, knowing that you lived every single one of them to the fullest. Sure, you’ll make mistakes. You’ll get bad grades. You’ll get your heart broken. But those things will pale in comparison to the memories you will make in this season of your life.

You’re in the “good old days” right now, so why not start living like it?

Cover Image Credit: Kristen Camp

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11 Things 20-Year-Olds Who Look 12 Are Tired Of Hearing

No, I don't need a kids' menu, thank you very much.
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I used to just laugh it off when someone thought I was 12 years old back when I was in high school, but now that I am three years deep into college getting ready to graduate, I don’t laugh anymore. If you are in the same situation as me looking like a child trying to get into a bar/club and the bouncer is questioning if your ID is fake, please read on — you may relate very much. Here are 11 things 20+ year-olds who look 12 are tired of hearing:


1. I didn’t know they let 12-year-olds work here.

Nope. They don’t.

2. What school do you go to?

Me: Florida State.

Person: University?!

3. *Tries to get a sample at Target* Is your parent nearby?

Let me FaceTime my mom really quick and ask her permission for this protein bar sample.

SEE ALSO: 11 Things 20-Year-Olds Who Look 12 Are Tired Of Saying

4. *Server at a restaurant* Here you go, sweetie. What can I get you, darling? Hi, honey, how are you?

You are no more than three years older than me, there is no need for "sweetie."

5. It’s your birthday? Happy Birthday! How old now, fourteen/fifteen?

6. You look so much older when you wear makeup.

Is that supposed to be a compliment?

7. Wow, you're how old? You look like you are twelve.

Have you seen a twelve-year-old lately?

8. You probably just look young because you're short.


9. *Tries to flirt with a guy* You're a little too young for me I think.

I'm your age. Maybe even older.


10. Are you old enough to see this movie? Can I see your ID please?

11. You're going to be so thankful when you are in your 50's.

So I've been told. Hopefully, it's worth it.

Cover Image Credit: YouTube

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How To Share Your Most Precious Moments With The World

It all started with a camera, some friends, and a little encouragement.

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When I was a freshman in high school, I discovered iMovie (after a series of events). Sounds stupid, huh? It didn't have many complicated features, effects, or editing tools...but it allowed me to comprise memories in the perfect way to share with my family and friends. Here's a little backstory:

When I received my first GoPro camera, I was in awe. I quickly realized how much easier it would be for me to capture little moments, whenever and most importantly, wherever...and that's exactly what I did. I brought the GoPro with me everywhere (if I could manage). I would squeeze it in my purse or backpack, attach it to my body (if necessary), smuggle it into concerts and events, bring it on vacation, and the list goes on. I did it all for the moments-- to be able to look back and smile.

After a year or so of doing this, I had enough footage to fill an entire computer. It was definitely overwhelming. Each video was unique in its own way...long, short, funny, serious, sad, precious, you name it. I had it all. But, here's the catch-- I didn't know exactly what I was supposed to do with it all.

During a rainy weekend, I received a text from a friend of a viral video she found on YouTube. The video was a series of moments, put to music, of a girl and her friends in Europe. For some reason, although I didn't know the people in the video, it still touched me. It made me feel a certain way. Seeing their laughs, cry, and adventures in three minutes gave me chills-- literally, I had goosebumps while watching. I felt like I knew them.

That's when it hit me.

I decided to start with the basics, by basics, I mean that I opened up iMovie...nothing too advanced.

I chose a song and began compiling small videos of memories I had with my friends and family into iMovie. What started out as something that barely flowed and looked pretty choppy, quickly turned into videos that made other people feel something too, with practice.

I started by just showing the videos to people close to me-- the videos definitely weren't ready to be shared with the world. The better I got, the more people told me to share them. So, I made a YouTube channel, but I didn't really use it much. After about a year, I decided it was time. I uploaded my first video and it got buzz in my community. It felt good. It felt...encouraging. So, I kept creating.

It got to a point where I would listen to a song and think, wow...this would make for a great video. I had an obsession with collecting and sharing moments, and it's paid off. I'm able to look back and reminisce in a fun and different way than most people, and I'm thankful for that.

Since my beginning, I've created more, posted more, improved my editing skills (this is a big one) and my skills behind the camera. I'm able to see a moment to music as it's happening. It's crazy how a small GoPro gave me a compilation of memories that I can look back on and smile about forever.

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