I will always want to protect you. But unfortunately, I am not going to be there all the time, and although I will eagerly go after every single person that hurts you, I realize that you are going to have to fight your own battles sometimes. Here is some advice that I would have gladly taken from an older sister, if I had one. I know it's like super lame, but trust me on this one. These are things you will want to know.

Learn from my mistakes, and don’t be afraid to tell someone how you feel. If you are sad, cry. Cry with a friend, cry in your room while blasting music, cry outside in the middle of the day. Just cry. If you are mad, be angry for a while, and rant to your best friend, but then take that anger and use it towards something productive. Show anyone up who tells you you can’t do something, because you are the only person that can decide that. When you are happy, don’t think about the future and try to ruin how you are feeling. Just bask in the happiness of that particular moment.

It will get so hard in high school and you will want to just get out. Take a deep breath in. Let it out. Go somewhere you love, whether it be on the swingset, up the road, or a 45 minute drive. Just get out and you will gain some perspective. Watch other people living, and ignore how annoying they are for two seconds to wonder what they go home to every night. You never know what people are going through. And while you are trying to not be stressed out by school, do a nice thing. Do ten nice things for strangers. Nine of them might not appreciate it, but the tenth will light up and give you a smile brighter than you have ever known, and it will be worth it.

Don’t wish your life away. I know it sounds great to get out of Worcester and see the world, and it is. But the world will always be out there. Enjoy the musical, playing in band concerts, and being out on the court. One day you won’t have that, and you will wish you had spent more time appreciating it. Don’t take it all for granted, because even though you may dread volunteering for every single thing now, it will be those moments that you look back on when you leave. That being said, know that eventually you will get out, and others won’t. Remind yourself of that when small-minded people tell you how to live your life, or discourage you from dreaming so big.

Spend time with family and friends. Spend more time than you ever thought you would need to, and enjoy those experiences while you can. We have a pretty cool family, if you stop and think about it for a second. We are so freaking lucky to have such a close-knit family that does so much together, and does so much for each other. Don’t think that spending time with your family is lame, even if it is just going grocery shopping with mom, or riding around with dad. They want to spend time with you, and as long as you don’t give them attitude (Kiarra!), you will have a lot of fun just talking. Holing up in your room is something you can easily do at college, when your family is hours away. I wish I had spent more time just sitting talking to Mom, Dad, Nan or Pop, because they really do have a lot of good advice to give, and some crazy stories as well!

Don’t waste your time on people. Once you have a solid group, stick to it, and try not to pay attention to unnecessary drama. Also, go out with your friends. I’m not saying go to parties, but go on adventures. Go on spontaneous trips to Walmart, or just go driving and have deep conversations about life. Just spend time with the people who care about you. Also, do not pay attention to boys because no boy in that school is good enough for you. Don’t question me on this. Don't waste your precious time pining after stupid boys who only want one thing. If you are reckless and don’t take my previous advice, and go after a boy, do NOT ever let him pressure you into telling him anything. You are strong and powerful and if he hurts you, or says something that hurts you, drop him like a moldy loaf of bread.

Above all, know that you are so beautiful and so loved. You both have so much potential and I can not wait to see you thrive in the way that you were born to. Dream big, and never let ANYONE stand in your way. Shoot for the freaking stars, and if you miss, try harder next time, but never give up. Life is going to throw you some massive curveballs, and most of the time you will want to throw in the towel, but please don’t. Know that you have an amazing support system, and I will always be there standing right beside you no matter what. I will always be your best advocate. I love you so much. Never forget your worth, your strength, or your roots.