To My Niece, For The Future

To My Niece, For The Future

An open letter to my niece and other young girls, from a college freshman.
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Dear Trinity,

You won’t care to read this now, I know that. You’re a ten year old with school and family and a short attention span like all children your age. I can’t blame you for not wanting to sit yourself down at a computer to read something your dear old aunt might say.

But I can hope that one day you will.

The two of us are close, you and I. We get along rather well and I thought I would write this so some years down the road, I can email you the link and you can shout across the room, “Aunt Kaitlyn, why are you emailing me? You’re right here?” and then embarrass me infront of everyone because I refuse for people to see me write this. It’s our secret.

I’m writing this on January 31st, 2018. You just turned ten (although I know right now you’re thinking “I know that I can do math”, just roll with it) and tonight is your birthday party. You finally hit double digits! In six years, you’ll be driving. In eight, graduating. In 11, we’ll be drinking buddies.

But until then, I need to pass some knowledge down to you and you need to listen and not let your sixteen year old know-it-all attitude slip through because I’m going to say this as blunt as I can so, hopefully, you may read this in four or five years and appreciate what I have to say.

Consider yourself first. It’s okay to be selfish sometimes, but don’t be so selfish that you don’t remember who brought you into this world. It’s okay to be sad, and it’s okay to be irritated. If you need to take ten minutes, do it. Take a break from homework to take a warm bath. It’s okay to wait until the day before to do homework. Sometimes, it’s even okay to wait until the day of as long as you don’t get into a habit of it. I mean, look at me right here. I’m writing an article that’s due today when I could have written it yesterday. It’s okay if you know what you can handle.

Relationships suck. Don’t rush into them, okay? Promise me? I can’t tell you how many mistakes I made because I was rushing myself into something I didn’t want simply because I was settling. It’s not fun, it’s not okay. I don’t care if other girls have been in relationships ten times before and you haven’t been in one. There is a reason for that. And on that note, if something feels off about him (or her), trust it. I don’t want you getting hurt. Or come to me! I’m here, and I totally understand why you wouldn’t want to go to your mother (I wouldn’t either).

Form your own opinions. I see so many people being stupid simply because they don’t have the guts to have their own opinions anymore. They don’t care to consider both sides of the story, regardless of what it is or how serious it may be. I know for a fact you at this age like to listen in on drama and have a very vocal opinion based on what your mother said. But here’s the kicker, there, kiddo- you can’t do that in the real world. You will not be safe being a people pleaser and echoing others thoughts. I want you to look at the situation from both sides and form your own individual opinion because that is what sticks out. No matter how much passion you have in your echo, it will never be as powerful as someone who has the same amount of passion but in their own words. Please, please do not echo people just because they make you feel that you are in the wrong. Maybe they are right, and that would be great on their part! But discover they’re right through an informed decision, and not because they bully you to agreement.

Don’t grow up too fast. I know you just can’t wait to get out of the house. Your mother is a real royal and wants you to do many things you just are not feeling. I get it! I was there! You wait for the day to come where you can up and leave your family behind and be free. But guess what? I’m only a semester and some weeks deep into college and I wish I was sixteen again. Enjoy your life where your at. Take everything you learn and appreciate it. Take those books you read in school and really get into those words because I know how much you love to read. You will miss these things when you graduate, even if the idea of college is exciting.

But be prepared for the future. I know, I know. I just told you not to grow up too fast and take things slow but I also want you to do things I didn’t. I want you to study for your learners at fourteen, take the test at fifteen, and have a license by the time you’re sixteen- seventeen at least. I want you to start looking at colleges when you’re in sophomore year and have an idea planned out. Start getting jobs early and form a savings account, apply to scholarships early. Take initiative for your future, it may be a lot of work and a lot to think about, but it will so help you out in the long run.

Now that all this is over, I want you to keep this knowledge in the back of your mind. Keep this advice, because I won’t remember it in a few years. I’ll probably forget I even wrote this. I just want you to have a good, rounded life with whatever comes your way. You have that ability to have that regardless of what happen.

Now, I need to pack up my belongings and go to English, then go home and get ready for your birthday party where I may (or may not) give you a copy of this. We’ll see.

Happy Birthday, Kid.

Cover Image Credit: Pixabay

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To this day, some of my favorite memories are the ones we made swinging on the play-set or biking around the neighborhood. It seemed like we could always do whatever we set our little minds to. Not only did we get to grow up together, but we quickly became best friends. You taught me the true meaning of friendship at such a young age, and I am so thankful for that.

I'm so happy you were the one by my side for all of life's first adventures. So many big events happen in elementary school that are truly overlooked. My first crush. Your first crush. Our rock band that had a total audience of 4 (our parents). Many, many, many birthday parties. Intense games of four square on the playground. Riding around on our bicycles feeling like the coolest big kids in the world. Oh, and don't forget when we each entered "womanhood", but were too afraid to tell each other.

Thanks for always being a shoulder to cry on. Like that time I got my hair cut too short and was worried everyone would make fun of me. You were also my celebration partner when I got an A on those tricky mad minutes. I'll always remember our sleepovers where we stayed up all night talking about our little lives. Or the next morning when your mom would make us macaroni and cheese and we would watch t.v. all afternoon.

I remember always wanting to be like you. When you had posters of the Jonas brothers hung all over your room, I suddenly developed a crush on them too. Or when you told me you didn't like Hannah Montana's best friend Lilly, I decided I didn't like her either. We were like two peas in a pod. We rode the bus to school together, had most of the same teachers, and even dressed alike on halloween. I remember wanting to build a tunnel between our two houses, but our parents sadly said no. You can't get much more best friend-like than that.

But out of every adventure we've had, some of my favorite times with you were simply swinging back and forth on my swing-set. I don't know why, but when I think of our friendship, that is what comes to mind. Our deepest talks occurred on the swings, and there is something about having your best friend by your side on a breezy night that is irreplaceable. Those are the memories I love the most.

And even though we have now gone our separate ways, our bonds in childhood are cemented. I'll forever be thankful for the fun times and deep talks we've shared. Thank you for being the best friend a girl could ask for. I'll never forget you or the memories we made.

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What It Is Really Like Having Sisters Close To Your Age

While having siblings close to your age is pretty amazing, there can be a lot of issues that can come with it.

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I come from a family of 5 people and 1 dog. I have 2 sisters, Grace and Caroline. We are all pretty close in age, Caroline being the youngest and 3 years younger than me.

My sisters and I share a bond like no one else, no one can replicate it. When you have siblings close to your age you have built-in best friends, and since they are around your age you have the same interest, or at least, enough so that you can do things that other siblings cannot. Examples of this would be seeing R-Rated movies and going to the mall without too much complaining, along with being able to shop in the same stores or even share clothes. Grace and I sometimes even split the cost of a shirt we both like.

We even overlap friend groups! Which is not much of a problem for us, Grace and I are both in music programs which overlap enough for us to have the same friends, which is great for when one of us has a sleepover, the other can join in on the fun. Caroline, however, even though she is seen as the sporty one of the 3 of us, she still has a lot of friends who have similar interests as Grace or I, giving us a lot of the same friends. It's nice not to be considered the "cool older sister", I am just like the rest of them.

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Having 3 teenagers in the house can be a handful for our parents though, when you have three teenage girls going through puberty at relatively the same time, it can be grueling, especially when you are all on your period at the same time.. (yes, that has happened before) (and yes, it sucks). While I am on the topic, let's say a prayer and a thank you to my dad for dealing with 5 girls (including the dog, obviously) because he does a pretty damn good job at dealing with all of us.

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