To My Former Middle School Self

To My Former Middle School Self

Trust me, it gets better.
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First, chill out. Struggling with science or math is not the end of the world. It may feel like you’re the only one who doesn’t get it, but you shouldn’t feel so ashamed of yourself. You’re doing the best you can with what you are given. Just accept the help that is offered to you and don’t feel embarrassed for needing it. Each and every one of the seemingly perfect people around you will one day find something that makes them feel just as confused and lost as you feel in pre-algebra. Most importantly, you’ll learn how to teach yourself things in the way that is best for you, which will be immeasurably helpful once high school and college come around.

Second, don’t care so much about people who judge you because you’re different. At some point in your life, it really is going to be a virtue to be different from everyone else. Middle school is a time when everyone is desperate to fit in, and you will have some trouble finding your “clique.” The way to solve this is not by trying to convince your parents to buy you the purses or shoes that the other girls have. Don't feel bad about the fact that you don't know what all trends are. The reason that you don't fit in well with those girls is not because you have crooked teeth or don't wear makeup to school. You'll hear people say this so many times on TV and in books and think that it's just a stupid cliché, but it really is true that physical appearance is not the most important part of a person.

Next, don't feel ashamed of your interests. People may say you're a nerd, but I am here to tell you that being a nerd is in no way a bad thing. Their approval is not what you should be striving for right now. Don’t try to change who you are just to make them like you. Keep watching your science fiction shows and classic movies, read in your spare time, and do as much art as you want. The world needs more people like you and, eventually, you will meet people who share your interests and connect with your personality. It feels like you're the only person in the entire school who enjoys the things that you enjoy, but don't let that stop you. SPOILER ALERT: it doesn't, and I am so immensely proud of you because of that.

Lastly, I want you to know that the best times of your life are ahead of you. Even though you may feel like an outcast now, you will come to realize that being surrounded by people who think they're better than you is not what friendship is supposed to be. You'll instead find people who accept you for who you are and who you can be completely yourself with. The times with them will be the best ones of your life. You'll be motivated to strive to do the best you can in school. Your confidence will grow. You will become more willing to put yourself out there, and you will be rewarded.

So here’s to you. Keep up the good work. And trust me, it gets better.

Cover Image Credit: Pexels

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Dear College Freshmen, Can I Be Real With You?

Positive energy, from me to you.

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First, welcome to your first year of college. I hope you are ready for this new stage in life. This is a moment you and your parents will never forget, so be excited about this, but also be prepared for when college life is not fun.

I am sure you have heard about all the nightmares that can happen in college and some of that is true. You may be stuck with an awful roommate, have impossible professors or make dumb decisions. It is okay if any of this happens. You are human and life will go on no matter what unfortunate events may occur.

However, do not let these events rule your life. You may see some of your fellow classmates use excuses to justify skipping class. This will catch up to them. I saw it during my first year in college. Let me tell you those people were not happy with their results when exam time came.

No one is demanding that you be perfect because no one expects that. Your professors want you to try hard and come to them for help. Your parents want you to be the best student you can be. You should want to be successful because you made a decision to go to college to continue your education.

College will not always be all work and no play. Find a nice balance and be smart about the fun you're having. Go to concerts and college events. Have a couple movie nights with your new besties. Join that club that catches your eye at the involvement fair. The solution to any concerns you may have about alcohol or anything else is to follow the law and school rules. It is that easy, I promise.

The one thing I want you to remember the most is not everyone you meet will be kind to you. Even if this is true, do not allow others to disrespect you. Be the bigger person and walk away because you do not need that negativity in your life. Surround yourself with good vibes and you will be fine.

I hope your freshman year will be great! Positive energy from me to you.

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An Open Letter To My Youngest Self

From, the young adult finding comfort in the past while lost in the present.

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Dear future big person,

Speaking from experience, the world is a crazy place. It's sad, yet exciting to know what the future holds for you. The world has been taken over by devices and electronics most never thought were possible.

If you're wondering why I'm writing to you, it's because I care a lot more now than I did back when I was you. I'm your Marty McFly, here to tell you how to prepare for the future. (Don't ask me what that reference is –you figure it out!).

For starters, let's talk about this technology thing. Gameboys, Nintendo DS', Wiis, Xboxes –don't mess with them. Television is fine –if the people from the Cold War survived it, we can, too. I want you to spend time enjoying the real world, not the electronic, fake one.

I want you to go outside and sit in the grass, pick those dandelions and mash them up into "paint." Paint mom something nice and maybe go for a bike ride with dad. Catch lightning bugs at dusk and bottle them all up in a mason jar. Eventually, let them free, all together.

Your brother is gross and weird, but he actually turns out to be a pretty cool kid. You don't have to be all mushy with him, but be sure he knows you love him. After all, he is family.

Make friends in the neighborhood, even if they are boys. So what? Challenge them. Race them on your bike with awesome purple and white streamers drifting from the handlebars. Push hard, through the soles of your Sketchers covered feet.

Pick up a piece of chalk and create a world of your own world with 3,000 Toys R Us stores, one police station, and only a few stop signs. Create and color your own flowers, whether they actually exist or not. Let your imagination run wild!

Turn on the radio and dance like crazy! Scream the lyrics to Smashmouth's "All Star" and Gwen Stefani's "Sweet Escape." Change the station every now and then to hear something new; it's always interesting to see your reactions to these interesting creations.

I want you to wear what you feel like and don't care what the others say about you. If you want to wear your purple dress-up shoes with your matching purse and hat, then do it. If you want to wear a Hula skirt in the dead of winter, do it (but please bring some leggings so mom doesn't flip out). If you want to wear those bedazzled jeans, then rock 'em.

If you're wondering why I'm telling you to do these silly things, it's only because we lost these traits along the way. I don't want you to miss the experiences that only come from the natural world because you had your head stuck in a tablet; it will all pass you in the blink of an eye.

I don't want you to ever feel trapped inside your house, no matter the weather. There is always a way out.

Don't let other people stop you from getting something you want. Don't let them intimidate you or talk you out of something you are passionate about.

Your friends will be the people you escape to when the house seems inescapable. Treat them the way you would like to be treated.

Your imagination is one of the greatest gifts you'll ever have. It drives you –your hopes and dreams, your wishes in the fountain and your kisses to the dandelions. Don't ever stop chasing them.

Always, always do what you want to do. You sing karaoke to that super catchy song because you know you'll kill it. Wear what you want however you want because you know that you look good in some strange way. (As long as you're not naked, that is). Stubbornness is good.

Your family will always be your family. What they do affects you, and vice versa. Bring them good, positive news. They don't need any more trouble.

Stand up for yourself, for your friends and family, for your beliefs and wishes. Be proud of the work you do and the life you live. Many people around you wish they could have lived like you did.

Most importantly, do not let your past define your future. A lot of things will happen, some of which may or may not go horribly wrong. There is nothing you can do to stop these things, except hope. You can always change for the better as long as you don't look back. Be proud of your past, but be known for your future –whatever you want that to be.

Please, promise me these things. I can't stress enough how important it is for you to never lose these traits –hold them tightly and never release them. I can't tell you how this life is going to go, because that simply isn't the way this world works. Just breathe through it and listen to your gut –that's the future guiding you.

I, and many others, love you –your character, your curls, your studded jeans,your pink Power Ranger costume, your Hello Kitty backpack, and your goofy smile.

Don't ever forget that.

With love,

The Girl Who Is Lost And Trying To Turn Back Time.

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