Dear younger self,

To start off, just let me reassure you that it’s okay to feel lost in life right now. You’re a teenager, not an adult. You’re supposed to be living a carefree, fun life. You’re still so young, and have your whole life ahead of you. As I’ve grown up, and gone through major monumental, life altering situations, I’d like to think I have learned a few things to help you embark on an amazing journey called life.

First of all, you’re probably wanting to escape the town you’re living in, move far away for college, and never look back. Well, those aren’t completely bad choices. A lot of teenagers go through this phase, if that’s what you want to call it, and just want to start their life. I will tell you that you need to take a breather. Yes, life seems stressful now, but that college life you want so badly is a whole different level of stress. That big girl job you keep daydreaming about, comes with a price. It doesn’t get much easier. So, enjoy the freedom you have now. Have fun with the carefree weekends, and being surrounded by meaningless decisions.

I know you often feel confused about what to do with your life. Especially as you’re nearing the end of high school. Cue the questions of “what college are you considering?”, “what’s your major going to be?”, “do you have a solid high school GPA?”, “have you thought about any internships?” Just know that it’s okay to just say you don’t know. I promise you, you’ll will figure it out as life goes on. Trust me on this one. I know life can become overwhelming, especially when you’re being ambushed by a hundred questions. Just know it is okay to not know. You’ll get to college and think you know what you want to do. To then going and changing your major once or maybe even twice. Just don’t stress about it, life goes on, and you’ll figure out what path to take.

Be spontaneous. You only get one life to live it, so it’s your duty to live it the best, possible way. Break the rules. Be a daredevil. Do know, I say all of this with the thought that every choice you make is a safe one, and in the best interest of yourself! Considering a train ride into the city with friends? Go! Taking the car, and day trip to the beach? Go now! I just want you to make crazy memories with friends. So, you can look back, and smile and know that you took chances, which comes with laughable memories. Don’t be so uptight, and scared to take risks. You have your adult life to be bad-tempered. Do things you know you’d get in trouble for. Be a rebel for once in your life. You know what they say, nice girls never finish first! So make a few poor decisions, get in trouble. It won’t kill you! Live a little!

I know what you’re thinking. You think the friends you have now, will be your friends through life. That may be the case for some of them, but I can assure you, you’ll lose some of your friends as life goes on. Just know, that is okay. People are meant to come in and out of your life. Just the good ones stay. It doesn’t mean that now that you are no longer friends, that you can’t wish them well in life. Just means that your lives took you both on a different path. It’s not the end of the world, because you’ll be blessed with more friends who will come into your life. Just like before, some will stay, some will go. Some friendships will be harder to lose, but for whatever the reason is, they’re not meant to keep impacting your life. It may be hard to accept in that moment, but you’ll get by, because you’re a strong individual.

Remember to stay confident. Being a teenager isn’t an easy task, but you got this. Not everyone will like you, and that’s just the way of life. You won’t please everyone now, and believe me, you certainly will not satisfy everyone in the future. The only person you should be focused on satisfying is yourself. You are the one who has to live with the decisions you make. So make them good ones. This is easier said than done, but try and keep a positive outlook on yourself. You have such great things in your future going for you, that you shouldn’t let negative comments consume the way you live your life. I know you have unique qualities that in time, will make you stand out in the best possible ways. Go out there and embrace your quirkiness.

It’s important to stay focused. Stay focused in school, and stay focused on work, because those two things are what’s going to get you by in life. You’re going to feel like you want to give up, but you can’t. Things in life will not be handed to you, and you’ll be given tasks that come across as in seemingly impossible. Don’t get too worked up over that 70% you received on that one calculus test. It’s not the end of the world. All you have to remember is the late night study sessions, procrastination, and stress doesn’t stop in high school, but it will be rewarding later in life.

So as this comes to a close, I can only hope that if you take anything from this it’s to study hard, be positive, value your self-worth, take advantage of the carefree life you currently have, and be thankful for your friends and family, because they’re the ones who will be cheering for you at the end of the marathon we call life.

Now go out there and make a difference in the world!

Wishing you the best of luck,

Your slightly older self who’s still navigating life