To My 12-Year-Old Self, Don't Forget To LOVE Yourself

To My 12-Year-Old Self, Don't Forget To LOVE Yourself

You'll be fine, I promise. Everything gets better with time.
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Dear Me,

I'd ask how you're doing, but I pretty much already know. Middle school sucks, I know. The braces and the frizzy hair probably don't help all that much, but ride it out, it'll all get better with time. The acne will be gone in a few years too (for the most part), so don't worry too much about it all.

It seems like life pretty much sucks right now for you, and to be honest, it really does. Middle school isn't the end-all-be-all, trust me on that. The friends you have right now probably won't even be around in the next two years, let alone in the next six, but make sure you stick to the ones that will always have your back. When times get tough, they'll be the ones you'll want to lean on.

Go easy on Mom and Dad. Mom loves you, and only wants whats best for you and your brother. When everything else goes south, she will always have your back. You and her are going to butt heads over a lot of things in the next few years, but at the end of the day, she is almost always right.

The same rules apply for Dad. You and he won't argue as much as you and Mom probably will, but it doesn't mean he doesn't love you. He works ridiculously hard to give you the opportunities that you have, so appreciate them every day. Don't lie to Mom or Dad, because they'll know, and you'll get your butt kicked for it. They'll give you a lot of responsibilities over the next few years, but also a lot of freedom that you could never dream of. Don't abuse the trust they have in you, because you'll have a hell of a time earning it all back.

Appreciate everything that they do for you. One day, you'll realize just how special they are. Same goes with Yiayia and Papou. You haven't met Theo Pete yet, but he'll be coming around soon. Give Theo Pete and Papou a hug for me. You never appreciate exactly what you have until its gone.

Right now, it's only you and Alex in terms of siblings. He looks up to you, so be a role model for him. He's young now, so you and he don't really hang out too much, but that'll change with time. He'll mature, and so will you. He'll become your best friend, along with a new sibling that'll come along while you're in high school.

Don't worry, there won't be any babies coming along from Mom and Dad, but you'll get a new sibling nonetheless. Keep an eye out for her. From the first day you meet her, you'll know she's someone special. You, her, and Alex will get along just fine, I promise. You'll get in a bit of trouble with them every once in a while, but you'll always have each others' backs.

These next few years are gonna be tough, but you'll find where you belong.

Don't be afraid to try new things, and if something doesn't work out, it's not the end of the world.

Go out for the school musical, join the riding team, do something you never thought you could.

I promise that everything will work out exactly the way it should. You should go check out the firehouse down the road from you. You never know, you might just like it.

You'll be fine, I promise. Everything gets better with time. You'll learn and grow in more ways than you could ever imagine. Be patient. You'll love who you turn out to be.

Love Always,

Me.

(P.S. Dad will cave on the whole "no pets" thing, I promise. It might be when you least expect it, but I promise, he'll get there. Show them that you're responsible, and everything will work out just fine. Her name will be Pita, and she loves to cuddle.

Cover Image Credit: Summer Mae Photography

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To The Nursing Major During The Hardest Week Of The Year

I know that no grade can possibly prove what kind of nurse you will be. I know that no assignment will showcase your compassion. I know that no amount of bad days will ever take away the empathy inside of you that makes you an exceptional nurse.

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To the Nursing Major During Finals Week,

I know you're tired, I know you're stressed, and I know you feel like you can't go on. I know that no part of this seems fair, and I know you are by far the biggest critic of yourself. I know that you've thought about giving up. I know that you feel alone. I know that you wonder why in the world you chose one of the hardest college majors, especially on the days it leaves you feeling empty and broken.

But, I also know that you love nursing school. I know your eyes light up when you're with patients, and I know your heart races when you think of graduation. I know that you love the people that you're in school with, like truly, we're-all-in-this-together, family type of love. I know that you look at the older nurses with admiration, just hoping and praying that you will remain that calm and composed one day. I know that every time someone asks what your college major is that you beam with pride as you tell them it's nursing, and I know that your heart skips a beat knowing that you are making a difference.

I know that no grade can possibly prove what kind of nurse you will be. I know that no assignment will showcase your compassion. I know that a failed class doesn't mean you aren't meant to do this. I know that a 'C' on a test that you studied so. dang. hard. for does not mean that you are not intelligent. I know that no amount of bad days will ever take away the empathy inside of you that makes you an exceptional nurse.

I know that nursing school isn't fair. I know you wish it was easier. I know that some days you can't remember why it's worth it. I know you want to go out and have fun. I know that staying up until 1:00 A.M. doing paperwork, only to have to be up and at clinicals before the sun rises is not fair. I know that studying this much only to be failing the class is hard. I know you wish your friends and family understood. I know that this is difficult.

Nursing school isn't glamorous, with the white lab coat and stethoscope. Nursing school is crying, randomly and a lot. Nursing school is exhaustion. Nursing school is drinking so much coffee that you lose track. Nursing school is being so stressed that you can't eat. Nursing school is four cumulative finals jam-packed into one week that is enough to make you go insane.

But, nursing school is worth it. I know that when these assignments are turned in and finals are over, that you will find the motivation to keep going. I know that one good day of making a difference in a patient's life is worth a hundred bad days of nursing school.

Keep hanging in there, nursing majors. It'll all be worth it— this I know, for sure.

So, if you have a nursing major in your life, hug them and tell them that you're proud of them. Nursing school is tough, nursing school is scary, and nursing school is overwhelming; but a simple 'thank-you' from someone we love is all we need to keep going.

Sincerely,

A third-year nursing student who knows

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To The High School Graduating Seniors

I know you're ready, but be ready.

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Seniors,

I am not going to say anything about senioritis because I was ready to get out of there and I'm sure you are too; however, in your last months living at home you should take advantage of the luxuries you will not have in a college dorm. The part of college seen in movies is great, the rest of it is incredibly inconvenient. It is better to come to terms with this While you still have plenty of time to prepare and enjoy yourself.

Perhaps one of the most annoying examples is the shower. Enjoy your hot, barefoot showers now because soon enough you will have no water pressure and a drain clogged with other people's hair. Enjoy touching your feet to the floor in the shower and the bathroom because though it seems weird, it's a small thing taken away from you in college when you have to wear shoes everywhere.

Enjoy your last summer with your friends. After this summer, any free time you take is a sacrifice. For example, if you want to go home for the summer after your freshman year and be with your friends, you have to sacrifice an internship. If you sacrifice an internship, you risk falling behind on your resume, and so on. I'm not saying you can't do that, but it is not an easy choice anymore.

Get organized. If you're like me you probably got good grades in high school by relying on your own mind. You think I can remember what I have to do for tomorrow. In college, it is much more difficult to live by memory. There are classes that only meet once or twice a week and meeting and appointments in between that are impossible to mentally keep straight. If you do not yet have an organizational system that works for you, get one.

I do not mean to sound pessimistic about school. College is great and you will meet a lot of people and make a lot of memories that will stick with you for most of your life. I'm just saying be ready.

-A freshman drowning in work

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