The Advice I Wish My Middle School Me Had Been Given

The Advice I Wish My Middle School Me Had Been Given

There are a few things I wish I heard a long time ago.

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Dear Middle School Me:

I remember like it was yesterday the way that you cake on makeup, coating your eyelashes in layer after layer of mascara and load up on powders and foundations to conceal blemishes and imperfections as if your 12-year-old skin is full of those to begin with.

I will never forget the insecurity with which you carry yourself; though you appear at least moderately confident on the outside, internally, I know you can't stop picking apart everything about you, from the size of your thighs or your cheeks to your natural intelligence and goody-goody behavior. The list of things you dislike about yourself could drag on forever. As a result, I know you've never even pondered the possibility of navigating beyond these struggles, but take my word for it: a future where self-image issues don't consume your life is on your way.

If I was standing right in front of you right now with your baggy sweatshirts, black leggings, and neon pink braces, I don't know if I could definitively pinpoint the first thing I'd tell you. Maybe I would insist that it's time to stop shrinking yourself to fit in instead of standing out, both physically and metaphorically.

Maybe I would promise you that one day, everything that seems to be such a big deal right now, like finding the perfect eighth-grade promotion dress or navigating problems with your friend group, will hardly matter at all in the long run. Maybe all I would do is wrap my arms around you, holding you tightly until you learned to love yourself as much as I love myself now.

But ultimately, my reaction to meeting you again holds no weight, because I wouldn't be the person I am today had I never experienced such struggles with my appearance. After all, can we ever learn the true definition of self-love if we've always possessed it?

I would never want to be so insecure again, so consumed with any minor fluctuations in my weight and the things people said about me, but I needed to go through that to grow. Middle school is a hormone infested period of changes and confusion, and we can all look back on it with embarrassment and in jest, but we need to realize that it's an essential step in our path to maturity and being the best version of ourselves.

With that being said, what's my best advice? Just go through it. It sucks living your life by the rules of diet culture and following the beliefs and trends of your peers like they're federal law, but there's always light at the end of the tunnel. No matter what you're dealing with, it's going to get better. Trust me on this one.

With love,

High School Sidney

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To The Friends I Won't Talk To After High School

I sincerely hope, every great quality I saw in you, was imprinted on the world.
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Hey,

So, for the last four years I’ve seen you almost everyday. I’ve learned about your annoying little brother, your dogs and your crazy weekend stories. I’ve seen you rock the awful freshman year fashion, date, attend homecoming, study for AP tests, and get accepted into college.

Thank you for asking me about my day, filling me in on your boy drama and giving me the World History homework. Thank you for complimenting my outfits, laughing at me presenting in class and listening to me complain about my parents. Thank you for sending me your Quizlets and being excited for my accomplishments- every single one of them. I appreciate it all because I know that soon I won’t really see you again. And that makes me sad. I’ll no longer see your face every Monday morning, wave hello to you in the hallways or eat lunch with you ever again. We won't live in the same city and sooner or later you might even forget my name.

We didn’t hang out after school but none the less you impacted me in a huge way. You supported my passions, stood up for me and made me laugh. You gave me advice on life the way you saw it and you didn’t have to but you did. I think maybe in just the smallest way, you influenced me. You made me believe that there’s lots of good people in this world that are nice just because they can be. You were real with me and that's all I can really ask for. We were never in the same friend group or got together on the weekends but you were still a good friend to me. You saw me grow up before your eyes and watched me walk into class late with Starbucks every day. I think people like you don’t get enough credit because I might not talk to you after high school but you are still so important to me. So thanks.

With that said, I truly hope that our paths cross one day in the future. You can tell me about how your brothers doing or how you regret the college you picked. Or maybe one day I’ll see you in the grocery store with a ring on your finger and I’ll be so happy you finally got what you deserved so many guys ago.

And if we ever do cross paths, I sincerely hope you became everything you wanted to be. I hope you traveled to Italy, got your dream job and found the love of your life. I hope you have beautiful children and a fluffy dog named Charlie. I hope you found success in love before wealth and I hope you depended on yourself for happiness before anything else. I hope you visited your mom in college and I hope you hugged your little sister every chance you got. She’s in high school now and you always tell her how that was the time of your life. I sincerely hope, every great quality I saw in you, was imprinted on the world.

And hey, maybe I’ll see you at the reunion and maybe just maybe you’ll remember my face. If so, I’d like to catch up, coffee?

Sincerely,

Me

Cover Image Credit: High school Musical

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To The Girl Who Always Puts Her Love Life Before Everything Else, Don't Do That

Don't let yourself miss out on life just because you want a boyfriend.

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As a twenty-something, everywhere you look on social media you see all of your friends either getting married, having kids or exploiting their so-called #goals relationships.

For those of us who are single and are just living our best life, it can be annoying and a little discouraging.

Speaking as a single lady, my Instagram feed is filled with my friends who are in relationships, getting engaged/married, or having kids. Everyone has their own pace in life, but I can't help but feel like they're missing out.

Most of them did these big life events within two years of graduation. We graduated high school less than five years ago.

I'm not saying these people shouldn't pursue these relationships. I am a firm believer in doing what makes you happy, however, I am concerned that they aren't seeing the world. Most of the people still live in my ridiculously small hometown and never got a chance to leave.

Even if you decide to go back afterward, you should still leave your hometown for a little bit to see what else is out there.

How will you ever know if you like something if you never try?

Maybe you and your high school sweetheart's relationship will work out, they sometimes do. But I wish that more women my age would go out and live their lives a little before settling down so soon.

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