I could honestly write to the "old me" from thirty minutes ago, or the "old me" from when I was a fetus in my mom's womb, but I'm going to direct this letter to the "old me" from high school.

Boy were those dark times.

High school wasn't bad—but it wasn't good either. I think I was over it after freshman year. I'd gone to enough Friday night football games and school dances to last me a lifetime.

High school wasn't how it appeared on TV. Maybe it had to do with the high school I went to, or maybe it had to do with the people I'd chosen to surround myself with. Or, maybe it had to do with my strict, controlling parents.

Maybe I just wasn't a high school person—or a school person in general.

OK, enough stalling. Here it goes:

Dear Old Joanne,

You'd be happy to know that I'm in college now—or more rather you're in college now. We? I don't know.

And it's pretty great. Despite the fact that it sucks and once I graduate, I'll most likely be in debt for the rest of my life, but that's okay.

I managed to find my calling—kind of. I decided to pursue a degree in communication. It's actually pretty exciting stuff. It's a broad major, so if I decide I don't like journalism or something, I can go into marketing or PR.

You're probably stressed about school or your friends not wanting to be your friends anymore. Or maybe you're stressed about some stupid boy who won't even matter in a few years down the road (side note: they definitely don't matter now).

Maybe you're worried about your body image—or your image overall.

Unfortunately, "new you" still lacks confidence every so often. She's also not the stick-thin, size 0 she was back in her freshman year of high school.

But she grew boobs! So, that's pretty exciting, right?

I guess my advice to you is to relax. Those grades, those events, and dances you're missing out on, they don't actually matter. Those friends you swore up and down you'd do anything for, they aren't apart of your life anymore.

That guy you cried over for a week? He's not in your life anymore.

That presentation you practiced over and over for, missed sleep because of: it really isn't a big deal. At least not now. Not anymore.

That retail job you thought you'd be long gone from? Yeah, you're still there. But get this: you got promoted! And you're on the right track to moving up the corporate latter.

Also, to those who said high school is the best four years of your life? They're wrong. College has been the best few years of my life so far. I've enjoyed every bit of it—even if it's the most stressed out I've been in my entire life.

Sure, the workload is a lot harder than it was in high school, but you're doing what you love every single day. You're learning new material, gaining real, hands-on life experience, preparing yourself for your future dream job.

It's great. You're great. And you're going to do great things.

So, yeah, high school sucks, but just know this: you're going to get through it.

Plus, you're no longer a shy, little caterpillar. I mean, you have your moments, but you're a lot more social and willing to try new things now.

Overall, you've blossomed into a pretty cool butterfly.

So, with that, trek on "old me." You've got this.


New Joanne (aka Upcoming College Senior Joanne)