Dear High School Me,
I know. You already know what you’re doing and you don’t need anyone’s help. I understand, but just give me a few minutes and listen to what I need to say.
It's your college self here. Only a year has passed, yet so much has changed. I bet that you are looking back on some of the things you have done and you are having thoughts like, "What on earth was I thinking?" or maybe, "Was I even thinking at all?" The answers are probably that you had absolutely no idea what you were thinking, and no, you weren't thinking at all.
The years that crept up and left as soon as they came were nothing short of a roller coaster. There were ups that made you feel on top of your tiny little world within that five-floor building, and downs that had you feeling skeptical about what you wanted to do with your life. There were meltdowns over tests and moments of sheer joy when you finished your last Eco-Friendly Fashion Show. There were Digital Dance practices and SAT prep classes. There were teachers who changed your life for the better and transformed your values and brutal college applications that ensured you got little to no sleep for weeks on end.
At this exact moment, you're probably sitting at home right now, staring at your laptop screen and wondering, “Are all of these long nights worth it?” You’ve probably only taken a ten-minute break to shove food down your throat and get enough water to last you the night.
Even though I haven’t completed my first full year of college, I have still learned a few things so far that can help you. High School Me, I wish you knew all the lessons, tools, and hints that I, as an 18-year-old college student, now know.
I wish you took every piece of advice below:
1. Some friends are going to leave you in the dust.
It's going to hurt, but it really is for the better. You will also leave some friends behind and feel guilty about it, but you were right in doing so. They weren't making you happy and life is too short to surround yourself with people who don't celebrate you as an individual.
2. It's OK to be bad at math.
You'll pass and excel more than you think, so give yourself more credit.
3. Stop trying to fit in. Be yourself.
It is unhealthy and bad. You are special, unique and meant to stand out.
4. Who cares what others think about you?
Living a life that follows the ideal notions of what other people think is a terrible way to live. It makes you become the spineless spectator who waits for other people to take action first. It makes you become a follower. Worst of all, it makes you become someone who doesn't take a stand for anything.
5. It takes 'two to tango' in a friendship.
You have to put substantial effort into a relationship, even though you prefer to be alone. If you don't put in the effort, you can't be surprised when your friends stop trying so hard.
6. You won’t get into your dream schools.
And yes, you will live to see another day. Oh, and you’ll realize that you’re glad you got rejected. I'm telling you now to stop stressing. It's scary and nearly impossible to trust in timing, but you have to. Don't stress too much over that college application because they'll end up accepting you. You will fret over the fact that you are making the wrong decision in attending that college and I can assure you, you made the right decision. You will love the university and you will be happy with your choice of major/minor. You will also meet some pretty amazing people. They will truly love you for you, make you laugh until you cry on a daily basis, and be there to help you when things get hard.
7. It's OK to miss class.
Missing class isn't going to ruin your GPA-- mental breaks are 100% necessary. And it is 100% okay to not get an A.
8. Your parents aren't out to get you. They understand and want the best for you.
You will learn that mom and dad are actually pretty cool people and your biggest supporters. As you get older, you will begin to understand their motives. You may think you know what is best for you, but they know better. They tell you things out of love and they know what will help you succeed in life. You should enjoy your time with them because you will miss them a lot when you leave.
9. You have to challenge yourself.
It may be difficult, but you'll reap the benefits. Try new things you never have and really put an effort into expanding your horizons, while you're not an adult yet.
10. Dabble in activities that align with your passions.
If they do not excite you, then why continue? Signing yourself up for a billion different activities will not only break you down but will also make you not as dedicated as you can be.
11. Your group of friends will change a billion times.
The initial devastation is unfathomable, but trust me, it's for the best. Whoever really cares about you will stick with you, through thick and thin.
12. You're not officially an adult yet.
It's OK to make mistakes-- just make sure you learn from those mistakes so that they make you a better person at the end of the day.
High school me, you remodeled me into someone who has the potential to blossom and flourish in the upcoming years. Overall, high school is going to seem like a living hell at times, but I want you to know I'm proud of you for not giving up.
Thank you for everything (except those constant all-nighters that have forced me to oversleep now to compensate for the loss of sleep).
Somewhat Wiser College Me