Dear 17 year old self,
You’re probably nervous about college, very unsure of the relationship you’re in and getting tired of the “valley bubble” and all of the preconceived notions about what your future has to look like.
You’re also probably stealing dessert wine from mom and dad, sneaking out to party and taking trains into the city to go to the one bar you can get into.
Don’t try and be anything you’re not. Don’t try to be older to fit in, enjoy where you are at this exact moment. Take in how silly it is that Dunkin Donuts is the only landmark in town and that you have literally never hit traffic in the Norwood city limits.
So many things are unsure and I know the pressure to drive a nice car and get into a big school is all around you. Guess what? In a year… no one will care about who you were in high school.
That guy you’re dating is too old for you, but you will learn a lot about taking risks. It won’t last and eventually, you’ll stop sneaking out to see him. Your heart won’t be as broken as you think it is and the future will bring so many good people in, that you’ll forget how important you thought he was.
Don’t take the time with your friends for granted , go for the joyrides, hangout on Tweed when your friends call (don’t get caught) and enjoy those skipped days off. One day you’ll be spread throughout the country and going for bagels together won’t be so easy.
Those exams you know you have but haven’t opened up a book for, STUDY!!!!! Hard work and good grades are the greatest feelings. Let yourself succeed.
You won’t end up at Harvard, but you will end up at a tiny school in North Florida full of camo and ammo (seriously, you will see hunting riffles being carried around Walmart). You will have a hard time adjusting to the cultural differences, but eventually you will embrace the slow pace and simplicity of it. It will be a big teaching lesson and some of the best experiences you’ll have in college. The change of scenery will be just what you need to learn about the world.
Try being yourself without always thinking you need to be the funniest person in the room so no one notices you’re fat. Those that know you already like you anyway.
Don’t get stuck being depressed, ask for the help you need. That crazy feeling you get when you feel like you’re in a fishbowl is called anxiety. One day these won’t be labels for crazy, it’ll make you more normal than you can imagine. Just know that it is a prozac filled world.
You’ll learn about hard work, being independent and accepting that the world isn’t black and white. The grey areas are the ones that will test you, but you will do just fine.
I can’t tell you growing up will be easy or that your future self has it figured out, but one day you’ll run circles around the problems that once seemed like the end of the world. Your intuition and self awareness will make you constantly want to evolve into a better person and find out what happiness is.
Don’t let the world overwhelm you and always love yourself first.