The Harbinger Online

Junior Writes a Letter to Her Younger Self

    Dear younger and naive me,
I’m writing you this letter five years into the future. I decided to write this to you because I wish I would have been given this advice when I was your age. I hope you use this as a guideline to how to handle growing up–because I’m still trying.
     First off, I believe you should do more with your life. If you keep allowing others to walk all over you, you’re going to be miserable for the next five years. For too long you’ve been unhappy because your views of who you are are based on what others have to say. You allow others to use you as a scapegoat. Stand up for yourself. Do not let what other people say destroy you. If there is a rumor or any other kind of drama: 1) Stay out of it if you weren’t a part of it, and 2) as long as you know the truth then it shouldn’t matter what they say.

Do not think that high school is the end of the world. You spend four years here and then truly begin your life. Stay positive because you have the rest of your life to accomplish anything you want.

    When something happens that upsets you, think about the phrase “the people who mind don’t matter and the people who matter don’t mind.” Don’t feel upset when past relationships that you thought would last forever begin to fall apart with age. Not everyone can reciprocate feelings the way that you think they should. If you don’t expect as much out of relationships, you will find yourself less disappointed with the actions of others. You should learn now that it is okay to spend a Saturday night at home. Not being invited somewhere should never tear you apart. Keep pushing forward.

       You should never let yourself be afraid to try new things for fear of failing. You may have danced your entire life and even done it competitively, but going into freshman year, you will not make drill team. You will be really upset about this and think that you want to focus on dance and try out again next year. But then you decided to try out for cheerleading on a whim. This tryout was one you excelled in. You made it and made new friends with this new experience. New motto: there is no success without failure. If you look at some of the most successful people and the people you admire–they have failed numerous times . But they didn’t give up, because they believed in what they were doing. So take note. Don’t let failure stop you.
       Freshman year will be a scary yet exciting year for you. This is the year that you are allowed to try absolutely any activity you want. Join track, you will be on the junior varisty team. Way to go! It may be a no-cut sport, but…you don’t have to tell people that part. During the track season, you will become extremely close with your teammates. There will even be a group of you that evolve into a little track family.

      Paige, join the Harbinger. You’ll contemplate the idea of joining, but make sure you do. It will be one of the best choices you will make in your life. It will allow you to learn skills that you would never have thought of trying, such as how to produce art on InDesign and Illustrator.

      The journalism room will develop into the one place that you know you can be yourself. You will meet amazing staffers that you can go to for help. One person is going to become your role-model that you will look to for guidance. For a large part of your life, you have felt different and unable to relate to the people around you, always distancing yourself. Stop that. You dig yourself a deeper hole when you avoid social interactions. Luckily, that feeling will finally go away with this new friendship. You have that person that you are inseperable with at times, someone whose humor you can understand and who understands yours. This becomes your strength to face the challenges that come with high school whether that be a big test or friendships fading away. DO NOT take her for granted, you may… well… let’s just hope that doesn’t happen.

      Another large problem that you and friends will face at a young age is body image. Do not worry about your body. You are going to be five-foot-two for the rest of your life, so you better start accepting it now. Your weight will fluctuate. You’ll go through phases where you gain weight and lose weight but you are growing up and do not need to worry about it. When others are worried about their own figures, convince them that they are perfect the way they are–because it’s true. The last thing you want is for one of your friends to go down a dark path that they may never find their way out of. As long as you are healthy, you should be happy.
      Surround yourself with inspiring people. Think about the people you hang out with now. Are they the type of people you would want to be? If you can’t find that kind of person initially, look around in class, in the hallways, because there are people there that are just what you are looking for. They may not be the most popular person in school or the star athlete, but if you try to get to know new people, you may begin to really enjoy their friendship. Ones that you can tell anything to, that will be there for you even in desperate times and ones that can make you smile, even if you have had the absolute worst day of your life. You will wake up one day and realize how lucky you are for the people in your life and that the rough patches were just bumps in the road to find them.
      Do not even try to multitask–you’re terrible at it. An unfortunate quality you have is that you commit to far too many things at once. There is not enough time in the day to do school, homework, Harbinger and practice. Not to mention hanging out with friends, eating dinner with your family–or maybe sleep? Think about it.

       It is okay to say no. Focus on one task at a time. It will give you a clear mind and more time. I am still trying to maintain that mindset, five years later, but I am going to help you out and say that you should start trying that now.

       If you don’t like yourself, then nobody will like you. How do you expect to be a person everyone wants to be around when you don’t even like yourself? Start by changing your attitude about yourself–and, only then, will people be drawn toward you. You care too much at times and do not always understand others’ actions. Your thoughts are more powerful than you think. When you beat yourself up for something you cannot change, then you will just be banging your head against a wall over and over again.
Speaking of heads, you know that annoying voice inside of there? You know what I am talking about. The one that tells you there is no way you can get that cute boy in Spanish class to hang out at the upcoming Homestead Mixer. Yeah, tell her to hush up because she will only get more annoying.
      When referring to high school, some will say that “these are the best years of your life, so make the best of them.” My most important advice is to not let this be true. Yes, enjoy high school and all the experiences that come with it: legally driving your very own car, the anticipation of school dances, football games with everyone cheering the team on or spending hours of work on a story or page design and finally seeing it be published for the student body to see. But please do not let yourself have the “best years” of your life be in your teens. Every year should get better and better. Do what will make you happy and surround yourself with the people you love. You have plenty of potential–and enjoy that thought.

So, see you in the future–when you are the strong person you know you can be.


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