Keeping in theme with going back to school, friend and funny girl Jess Beaulieu wrote a letter to herself the day before she started Grade 9 for She Does the City. The blog encourages others to do the same, so I took it upon myself to summon some memories and feelings I've tried pretty hard to bury over the years and match that with all of my adult wisdom.
I distinctly remember sitting at the dinner table the night before I began my four years at Riverdale CI. I was so excited that, finally, my life was about to become something that resembled Clueless, The Breakfast Club and Varsity Blues all at the same time. It didn't quite turn out that way, but since then, I've hopefully learned a few things that would have helped out my 13-year-old self (and 16-year-old, and 20-year-old, and 25-year-old self). Here are 10 things I know now.
1. It’s okay that you sing along to Destiny's Child at the top of your lungs alone at home, even though all your super "alternative" friends would ex-communicate you if they knew that. Your musical choices will stand the test of time. Nobody listens to Papa Roach anymore.
2. All those girls that you’re really afraid to see again tomorrow because they made your life a living hell all through middle school? Yeah, they don’t end up being nearly as awesome as you.
3. Exactly one week from tomorrow in second period geography class, an announcment will come over the PA telling you about some really terrible thing that happened to two buildings in New York City. It will make the world seem like a pretty scary place. But most of the things that you will be really afraid of in the coming years are only in your head, and the ones that aren’t, you can’t prepare yourself for anyway.
4. Your boobs will get bigger…I promise.
5. That guy that you’re really excited to see for the first time since the end of grade eight will matter to you for a while, and then he won’t. And then another guy will, and then he won’t. And so on. Men do not define you. (But really, the significant ones will always matter a little bit).
6. Do not feel pressure to have sex just because your friends will start in the next few years. But when you do, enjoy it for god’s sake. Guilt, shame, and timidity have no place in the bedroom.
7. Having a mortgage by the age of 23 should not be a long term goal.
8. A lot of people will come and go from your life…a lot. And sometimes when they leave it’s heartbreakingly sad. But you will live, and one day it will be a lot less sad. There will only be a very select few who stick around for the long haul. Cherish them.
9. Enjoy sleeping in until 1pm, because when you turn 20 it apparently becomes physically impossible for you to do that any more.
10. Do not be afraid to be good at things. In fact, be a BOSS at things. ANYTHING you want. A lot of people will try to bring you down, most likely because they’re insecure, jealous, or maybe just mean. But do not lower yourself to feel more accepted. Elevate yourself, and you will find yourself around those that want to elevate you too.