This piece was assigned after reading multiple feature writing stores about self reflection and letters to our past selves. Written spring 2017.
To my 16 year old self
Dear 16 year old me,
I’m here to bring you the good news: you eventually get your braces off, you end up successfully removing that tacky One Direction bumper sticker off your car, and you actually survive high school.
You’re going to spend a lot of your high school years stressed, overwhelmed, and just bored. Your constantly flushed cheeks will slowly become a norm, mainly triggered when randomly being called on in class or social anxiety striking. Going to a private high school that overemphasizes cliques, being popular, or how expensive your prom dress was became understandably old after a while. Oh, and you’ll never have to wear khakis or polos again, thank god.
You will also spend a good amount of your high school years successful, determined, and an overall leader. You’ll explore Detroit, MI on a summer service project. You’ll pour your heart out during a Kairos retreat. Those long nights balancing homework, being captain of the swim team, water polo games and a 30 minute commute to school on top of it all will eventually pay off.
You’ll get annoyed with your sisters for always leaving trash in your car and scream your head off when they don’t listen. You’ll unnecessarily take your anger out on the parents when you’ve had a stressful day. I know it seems crazy, but you’ll learn to have patience with the family. Maria and Emma will become your best friends. You’ll grow closer to mom and dad. You’ll even tell them everything and anything, instead of hiding the fact you used to sneak out of the house and TP houses for fun.
Everything will fall into place for you. You will get into every college you applied to and eventually attend the number one school on your list. You’ll become even more confident, the perfect blend of an introvert and extrovert. Remember how your biggest fear was giving a speech in front of a big crowd? Turns out you’ll go to the comm 100 speech competition during your first year of college. Life is crazy sometimes.
In the words of your favorite quote: keep on keepin’ on,
– The 21 year old me
Photo courtesy of 16 year old Liz.