For those who don’t know, I work part-time with a school system. I am an instructional mentor for 16 teachers, across 4 different schools, one of them being a high school. Nearing 30 years old, this is my first time being immersed in high school culture since I myself walked the halls of my high school.
Watching these teens walk around, play around, and joke around is making me smile, reminisce, and quite frankly, cringe.
It is making me remember so much of how I was, yet how differently I viewed myself. I have a deep urge to grab some of them as they push past me in the hallway and tell them all they have to appreciate now and all they have to look forward to later.
But instead, I’ll write a letter to myself in high school…and maybe leave it lying around somewhere…
To my high school self –
Hey you, slow down for just a second! I have something important I want you to read and I promise it’ll be worth it!
First of all, stop rushing through life. You’re so ready to be older, so ready for the next school year, for college, for adulthood, just slow down, you’re going to look back one day and not have a clue where it all went. Enjoy each moment, each and every day. These days are going to do a lot of the shaping of who you are and who you will become. They’re going to go fast enough, stop hurrying them along.
Speaking of hurrying, why are you in such a rush to get out of this small town? I have an inkling that it’s because a lot of your friends are saying that. It’s okay to be happy here. After all, it’s where you’ve experienced the most life and where you’ve met some people that you’ll hold dear the rest of your life. It’s okay to be happy here and not want to live here forever. Don’t wish it away because it’s the cool thing to do.
And start respecting your parents a little more. I know they’re not super strict with you, but when they do put their foot down it’s because they have your best intentions in mind. I know you’re not thrilled that they did some of the college choice narrowing themselves, but the one they picked truly is the best choice of the three you’re looking at. You’re going to love it there!
And sorry to be another person saying it, but you really aren’t always right! Suck it up buttercup. Everyone else thinks they’re right most of the time, too. Learn some grace. It’ll make life easier, I promise.
Speaking of grace, let go of the grudge you’re holding on to with your ballet teacher. She was in the wrong, but big deal, people make mistakes. YOU are making a mistake right now. You’re losing months worth of training and that very well may be the reason you don’t make the dance company when auditions roll around your freshmen year of college.
Oh yea, and about that freshmen year, it’s going to be downright terrifying being dropped off at college but you are about to change and and smile and cry and laugh and learn so, so much and have so, so much fun and grow so, so, so much. I know you’re worried about your best friends, you guys are super close and you’re all scared to say goodbye. Especially you. These girls are your best friends, they’re your sisters. But know that if they feel the same way, just because you’re all at different colleges and going your separate ways, doesn’t mean you’ll lose touch. If they’re true friendships, these big changes will make you even closer.
Take everyday for what it’s worth and put your all into it. Study hard – no, even harder. Put your all into dance. If you put more effort into it I really think you could be something. Stop worrying about your friends. Or your boyfriend. Be happy with who you are. Be happy with where you are and where you’re going. You’re driven and one day you’ll look back and be glad you took a little advice from someone who knew what they were talking about.
You got this! Keep your head up and keep smiling!
-Your future self