My youngest sister just turned fourteen years old, which I still can’t believe. I feel like just yesterday she was 3 and 4 years old, telling silly jokes that didn’t make sense and letting me fix her hair in pigtail buns. It wasn’t until the other day that I realized just how grown up she’s becoming. Her and her friends are wearing bras, dressing like me… but possibly even cuter, and wearing a little makeup. It really started to hit me when I was visiting my parents’ house and overheard her and her friends talking about some drama that was happening between a couple of girls. Plus, they were freaking out about one girl snapchatting something embarrassing to another girl’s crush. I so badly wanted to interrupt them and tell them how unimportant those things would be in life and what they should do. I bit my tongue and realized that everyone has to make their own mistakes, but it really made me think back to my high school career and what advice I would give myself if I could talk to that girl today. Here’s ten things I would tell her.
1. You’re not crazy… it is possible to fall in love at age 14.
Believe it or not, you are going to marry that boy in 10 years, but there are going to be growing pains and you can’t marry him until he grows up into a man who can be a good husband.I know you wonder why your feelings are so strong. I know when he broke up with you it broke your heart. He’s going to be with other girls and you’re not going to understand. But at the same time, you’re going to be with other boys and this period of time isn’t going to last long. He’s going to seem so mean, but you’re pretty immature and dramatic yourself. Being without him is going to hurt… a lot, but this time apart is short lived and is important to you guys being able to be together forever. It will confirm for both of you that you are meant to be and that no one else compares.
2. Getting involved in drama is not worth it, at all.
I know right now girls starting rumors and that one friend who is trying to steal your best friend seems like a big deal, but I promise it’s not. Your personality will stand for itself and your real friends will know the good person that you really are. As for that girl trying to steal your best friend, let her, and be chill about it. No one wants to be friends with someone who is jealous and territorial and you don’t know this yet, but you don’t end up staying friends with your current bestie anyway, so chill out.
3. School is important.
You’re a smart kid. You’ve always been in the gifted program… there’s a reason for that. I know you are focusing all of your time on hanging out with your friends, working and boys, but school is way more important. That crap where you’re waiting until lunch before your next class to study for your test isn’t cool. You don’t know this yet, but you get deferred when you apply to your dream school, the University of Georgia. You stress out trying to find another school until you get lucky and UGA accepts you at the last minute. Don’t put yourself through that, take school seriously and realize that not doing so could impact the rest of your life.
4. Wait to drink.
Your immaturity is really showing girl. You went from being the “I will never drink, I’m judging you” girl to the all I do every weekend is drink with my friends girl. Neither one is cute. I know you’re doing it because it’s “cool” and because you’re upset with your boyfriend, but it gets you into a lot of trouble. Because you have to be cool and drink, a 22 year old guy takes advantage of you and because you have to be cool and drink, you make a big mistake that makes you lose a ton of friends and absolutely ruins the rest of your senior year. You’ll make plenty of fun drinking memories in college, without all of the getting into trouble and drama, so just wait until then.
5. Wake up earlier, wash your face, fix your hair and ask someone to teach you how to do your makeup.
Lord child, I look at pictures of you and wonder what the heck you’re thinking. Although it might not cure it, washing your face every day will help with that mild acne you have. Don’t guess how to do your makeup, a primer would keep you from getting oily every day and no longer putting eyeliner in your water line will make such a difference!
6. You’re not going to join the peace corps and you’re not going to become a lawyer, but that’s okay, because you end up in a field you love and you’re damn good at what you do.
I know deciding what you want to do with your life is stressful, but there’s no need for you to stress about it now. You don’t end up doing anywhere near what you thought you would be doing and going to college helps you to figure all of that out. Enjoy being a teenager and leave the stress behind for when you get to the real world and it really matters.
7. You’re not going to be skinny forever.
Start eating better and working out so when your metabolism comes to a halt you won’t put on a ton of weight and have a hard time creating good habits. Trust me, all of those fries and sodas you’re consuming aren’t so nice when you’re about 22.
8. Your mom and dad are really cool people and family is important.
I know they seem overbearing and overprotective, but they really just want to keep you safe and happy. If you would listen to them right now it would keep you from a lot of heartbreak. Be nicer to your mom, she ends up being one of your very best friends and you’ll regret giving her such a hard time later. Also, stop spending all of your time with your friends…they won’t be there forever, but your family always will.
9. Be nice to everyone.
Just because someone is a little weird or a little different in high school, doesn’t make them less special or important. There’s no point in talking behind people’s backs or making fun of others. The weird kids in school usually end up being pretty cool out in the real world. High school can be really hard, so don’t make it any harder on anyone.
10. You’re amazing and beautiful and I love you.
I know I’ve beaten you up pretty hard in this letter, but only because I know you deserve more than you know. Don’t chase boys, let them chase you. Invest in yourself… worry about your grades, your family, your body and your happiness. Don’t let what others think define you. You’ll look back on this time in high school and have some really great memories and some not-so-great ones, but overall, just know that you made the mistakes you did in order to learn and become a better person. This time in life was an important stepping stone to becoming the woman you want to be. I love you girl!
What would you say to your high school self?
C’est la vie,