Dear Past Me,
Looking back now, I think it’s funny that you are probably sitting there stressing about finishing your two-page persuasive essay AND your pre-algebra homework. In terms of school, think of the workload you have and multiply that by ten to get an idea of what you’re dealing with three years in the future.
So, stop stressing; you have more than enough time to do that in high school. Missing one homework assignment will not be the difference between life and death. Take some time to spend with family and friends; in some ways that is more important than homework.
Speaking of friends, you will not have the same ones you have in middle school. Even though you have spent countless hours discussing your plans to be in each other’s weddings, everything will change. Boys will start becoming more important than friends to some girls, and personalities will clash.
Fortunately, you won’t be the same person either, and the feeling of being betrayed will not sting as much.
As you get older you will realize that how you look truly doesn’t impact any other aspect of your life, except your mind. The time you waste thinking you’re not pretty takes away from all of the days your beauty could shine.
Behind the braces, oily skin, and uneven bangs is a girl begging to be shared with confidence that radiates to everyone she meets. So, stand a little straighter, walk with purpose, and carry yourself in a way that makes people recognize the beauty you possess.
Confidence will get you places you never thought of ending up, and the earlier you start loving yourself, the better. In a few years you will realize that you are beautiful both inside and out, and your self-love will only grow from there.
Now that I am a few years wiser, I can share with you one of the secrets that has made growing up a little easier: Find your passion.
At the point you are at now, a life not revolving around sports may seem like a life not worth living. Surprise, that’s not the truth. Although you may be pretty good at running around a track or scoring goals, life has a funny way of taking drastic turns.
Realize you have talents off the field and outside of the classroom. If someone tells you that writing isn’t a useful hobby, ignore them and then compose a lovely poem explaining why they are wrong.
Your talents can bring you as far as you allow them and aren’t meant to be boxed up for a later date. Break the cover off the box and let your words explode onto the paper under your pen and into the world around you.
It’s pretty cool that I can see all of the places I went wrong in the past. If I could change one thing about my past, it would be discovering my love of service earlier.
There are always people in need of help, and you are always there to give it. Instead of only filling the required hours of community service, let your compassion run free and lend a hand to everyone.
Your service will not only make a difference in the present, but also years down the road. Although you are young and small, you can impact the world in an unimaginable way.
Shannon, I will not even pretend that I know everything there is to know about life. But, I will tell you one thing I wish someone said to me three years ago: Worrying will only bring you to a worse place than you are in. Take a breath, and nothing will seem as daunting as you thought.
Lastly, you need to learn to be proud of yourself. As you grow, appreciate the hard work you are doing, even though it may not result in a sticker or high five. Take every opportunity head-on, and with a certain mindset, success will follow. Life may seem scary, and to tell you the truth, it still is, but it is ever-changing in a way that will make you enjoy the beautiful chaos.
You from the future