An Open Letter To My 10-Year-Old Self

An Open Letter To My 10-Year-Old Self

The world and the way you see it is changing...
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Dear 10 year old me,

How’s 5th grade going? Are you ready to move on to middle school? Get ready for a whirlwind of things kid, because life is about to take you down an unexpected path.

You’re 10 years old, and you’re carefree. Live it up! Go outside and ride your bike around the neighborhood. Stop being so afraid of bees. Please pay attention in math class. You’re 19 when you write yourself this letter, and let me tell you, you’re still bad at math. Hug your grandfather. Go bowling with him and your father more often. Ignore those bullies! You are radiant, kind, and funny. Never let anyone get the best of you.

Do you want to hear what the future has in store? You think you hate history class, right? Girl, let me tell you, wait until you get to 6th grade. You’re gonna love it. I’m not kidding. You are gonna have two really great friends to get you through middle school. You’ll know who they are. Middle school isn’t as bad as everyone says it is! The 7th grade is going to be your favorite year, I promise.

Have fun during your teenage years. Hang out with your friends whenever you can. You’re going to miss these days eventually. Stay up late on the weekends. When you go to dances with your friends, don’t just stand in the corner because you’re embarrassed to look like you’re actually having a good time. Get out there and sing along with everyone! Never be ashamed or embarrassed of who you are. Being a teenager is weird. It’s hard. These are the years you find out who you really are. You’ll make lasting friends and relationships. These are the days you’ll look back on fondly.

High school isn’t going to be anything like you imagined it would. You aren’t going to go to the high school you wanted to, and actually, you’re going to move to a different town. You’ll hate it at first because you’ll be a teenager in a strange environment, but you’ll learn to love it. Making friends in a new school and a new town is hard, but I promise you, you’ll make the best friends you’ll ever have. Oh, and by the way, those two friends from middle school? You guys will stop talking during your Sophomore year of high school. But don’t worry. You will get over it and the friends you make your junior year will be better times 1000.

Junior year is going to be the best time in your high school career. You’re going to have teachers that care, a job where you work hard, and friends who love you for who you are. Can I offer some advice, though? Remember, it’s okay to say no sometimes when people ask too much of you. Remember to put school and your own personal happiness first. One other thing about junior year - don’t drink energy drinks! Stick to coffee and you’ll thank me later, I promise.

Can you do me another huge favor? Never dye your hair! It is such a uniquely beautiful shade and it will take years to go back to its natural color. Don’t dye it bright red and never ever dye it a dark shade. If you really feel like you must play around with color, get some caramel highlights or something. Just please don’t dye your whole head. Remember, this is yourself writing this letter, so, don’t you think you know what you’re talking about?

Life is never easy, so when it gets tough, always remember that you are loved by so many people. There will be so many more people that you will meet that will leave incredible footprints on your heart and mind. You are beautiful. You are funny. You are kind. You are young in body and in spirit. There will be some rough times ahead of you. But, I promise, when you write this letter to yourself, you will know happiness.

Cover Image Credit: ELI Africa

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40 Small Things That Make College Students Happy

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1. When class is canceled.

2. When the coffee shop you stop at five minutes before your 8 a.m. has a short line.

3. Coffee, coffee, coffee.

4. Open note tests.

5. Or even better, take home tests.

6. The unofficial assigned seating process that that takes place after the first week or so of classes.

7. Thursday nights. (because in college, Thursday qualifies as the weekend.)

8. Sales.

9. Or once again, even better, free things.

10. Specifically free food.

11. Dogs.

12. Dogs on campus.

13. Tailgates and Saturday afternoon football games.

14. Finding an already completed Quizlet for your exam.

15. Having an extra 30 minutes for a nap, and if you're lucky, an hour.

16. Netflix.

17. When your roommate takes out the trash.

18. Weekends after test weeks.

19. The rare blessing of a curve on an exam.

20. Getting out of class early.

21. How in college, it is socially expectable to wear a t-shirt everyday.

22. Being able to walk from class to class or eat in the dining hall without having to see anyone you know. (and thank goodness too because you probably don't look too good.)

23. Crossing things off of your to-do list.

24. Your best-friends that you make in college.

25. A full tank of gas.

26. Seeing a new face everyday.

27. Crawling back into bed after your 8 or 9 a.m. (or after any class that ends with a.m.)

28. Care packages.

29. No cover charges.

30. When adults tell you that it is okay that you have no idea what you want to do with your life yet. (regardless of what parents or your advisor may say.)

31. Pizza.

32. Finding out you weren't the only one who did poorly on the exam.

33. Deciding not to buy the textbook, and never needing it.

34. Finding the perfect gif to express how you're feeling. (Michael Scott just get it.)

35. Weekends at home because...

36. Pets.

37. Mom's home cooked pie and Dad's steak dinners,

38. Spring Break.

39. Road trips.

40. When it finally starts to cool down outside so you can show up to class dry instead of dripping in sweat.

Cover Image Credit: Abigail Wideman

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Everyone Should Experience Working In Fast Food Or Retail

Working in fast food was definitely not sunshine, lollipops, and rainbows, but I'm so glad I did it.

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I know these jobs aren't glamorous. In fact, most days I looked forward to clocking out before I had even clocked in. I always secretly rolled my eyes when an angry customer droned on and on about how entitled he or she was. Though I can name a lot of bad things that happened on the job, it wasn't all horrible. As I reflect on my time working in fast food, I realize how much having that job really taught me and how grateful I am to have had that experience. I really think everyone should work in fast food or retail at some point, and here's why:

You make some great friends from work. I get it, sometimes your co-workers are royal jerks or flat out creeps. You see your name on the schedule next to theirs and immediately try switching with someone else. I've been there. However, I have worked with some amazing people as well.

Every time I worked with one girl in particular, we laughed for entire shifts. One night, we were singing the national anthem at the top of our lungs without realizing a customer had come in (to our surprise, she applauded our terrible screaming). Another coworker and I turned up the radio on full blast when business was slow and had dance battles. We made the most of our shifts, and I still talk to some of these people today.

You learn how to deal with difficult people. It's the age-old story: the uppity customer thinks twelve dollars for a meal combo is outrageous and Where is your manager?!

My friend and I were once called stupid and a customer said he would never come back to our restaurant to eat ever again. At the moment, we were scared out of our minds because we were both pretty new to the job. As time passed, we became more patient and tolerant and knew what triggered these particular customers. Dealing with these adversities definitely helps in the long run, particularly when it comes to doing group work with people who seem unbearable.

Your people skills increase by a landslide. I had always thought that I was great with people before I had a job. However, when I found myself in situations where I had to talk to strangers, I would grow nervous and stumble across my words from time to time. Working in an environment where communicating with others is a driving force helped me not only with improving my public speaking, but also made me more outgoing. In situations where I once backed into the corner to avoid having to talk to someone, I now take charge and initiate a conversation.

You establish a connection with regular customers. My favorite customer was named Jack. He was the sweetest old man who came in every Wednesday and Friday and bought food for himself and his wife. I quickly memorized his order, which impressed him. We shared pleasantries every time he came in, and my coworkers and I looked forward to seeing him.

Establishing a relationship with people who come in a lot helps immensely when it comes to working. It also provides a sense of accomplishment when you memorize an order. Not to mention, the customers start to like you and typically leave a generous tip!

You have stories to tell for a lifetime! Sometimes bad things happen at work. Once I was holding a hot pan and burned my arm— I still have the burn mark on my arm to prove it. My point is, it sucked at the moment, but now I look back and laugh.

One time I asked my coworker how to make soup and she replied, "Slowly, but beautifully." It was so nonchalant that I cracked up for hours. There was also a time when a customer asked me for outlandish toppings and condiments that we didn't offer. The craziest story, though, was the drug deal that went down in our public restrooms. My coworker and I obviously could not leave our station and follow these people into the bathroom, so we were pretty much defenseless. Nobody got hurt or anything, so it made for a great story.

Working in fast food was definitely not sunshine, lollipops, and rainbows, but I'm so glad I did it. It made me more independent and outgoing and gave me memories I'll never forget.

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