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Often times we may wish that we could go back in time and give our former selves advice and words of wisdom. If you could go back in time, what would you advise or encouragement would you give to yourself?
Dear 15 year old me,
1. Don’t be hard on yourself because …
The world is a crazy place. Everything seems to be falling apart and high school is confusing. The sheltered world you knew is no longer that idyllic place, but you will find your voice. You will find your identity–your own, not the one you think you should be. Don’t let the pressure put on you by your peers make you try things, like that cigarette. Put it down, you asthmatic fool! Shut off the news and focus on your schoolwork. Things will get better.
2. The relationship you’re in ….
(I wasn’t in one! So I’ll touch on my friends.)
Some of them will last. Other ones will not. Hold on to those who stick around because they are the ones who matter. When you find your circle, hold on to them too. They will bring out the best in you. They’ll make you laugh, lift you up, pull you out of the depths of your despair. They’ll inspire you. But you have to find them and you will when you least expect it.
If it doesn’t work out, don’t stress and for the love of cheez-whiz, don’t accept them back. If they stabbed you in the back once, you know they’re gonna do it again. It’s high school! Drama reigns.
3. You will get through this because …
You are stronger than you give yourself credit for. You will find your inner strength and again, you will find your voice. When you do, you’ll be unstoppable. Stop worrying about what other people think and focus on the things that matter.
Read often, listen to music, do everything that helps you unwind. Play video games with your cousin and hang with family.
4. Don’t get caught up in thinking …
…about the news. About anything that isn’t school. It scares you and it isn’t helping you with your schoolwork and that needs a lot of attention. You’ll regret being lackadaisical about it when you get to 11th and 12th grade. Trust me.
Also, when your guidance counselor tells you that you’ll never get into college, ignore him. He was a creep and even though you won’t finish, you are not stupid. You just have limitations. It’s okay. You have learning disabilities but it doesn’t mean you’re stupid.
5. These experiences will help you learn …
that you can overcome anything. You will learn about who you are and what your limits are. You’re going to go through a transformation this year, not physically, but mentally. There’s going to be a toughness but don’t be afraid to let your guard down. Cry, let it out. Write. You can face it all.
I’d like to mention that I turned 15 two days before September 11th. So, the news was pretty horrific and terrifying. I didn’t understand what was going on and it really, really shook me to my core. I had just started high school and there was so much in my head. Ugh. I get tensed up just thinking about it now!
Erik McManus | Breakeven Books
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