Dear Lucy,

You have changed a lot in these years, 14-18 is a huge jump in maturity for you, good job. Some things didn’t change for you in those years though. You’re still a giant nerd, for one.

But one thing that didn’t change much for you was how you thought of yourself. Public education has a way of creating a hierarchy between those in the AP tracks and those in the normal ones, like you.

You worked hard and got good honest grades. You made plans. People told you were smart all the time because of these facts, but you didn’t want to be held on a pedestal like that, you didn’t believe them.

You believed you were good at taking tests, you worked hard, but that you weren’t smart.

Now I am writing to you from a place you thought about a lot, college. You often pictured yourself at this stage, and it terrified you. You worried this would be the place you crash and burned. Where you toppled off your high school peak.

Good news, none of that is true. College has a way of leveling the playing field. No one cares how well you did in high school. You got into the honors program, something that also terrified you, but you are doing just fine. You have had your fair share of challenges and failures, but you have yet to crash and burn.

College has given me a way to realize what true education is, something you only get hints of in public school, if at all. Real education is challenging, yet rewarding. It fuels your passions, rather than crush them.

High school Lucy, take my advice. Quit wasting time being so anxious about college, because college is where you discover you can do damn well anything you put your mind to.