Life, Magazine, Spring 2017: The Easter Issue

What I’d Tell My Teenage Self

Priscilla Westra

If you could go back in time and give your teenage self some advice, what would you say? What’s the one thing you wish someone would have said to you at that moment in time? Would you tell them to stop worrying so much? That being popular isn’t all that important? There was a better way to study for that exam? If you could write a letter to your teenage self, what would you say? Here’s what I’d tell my teenage self.

To My Teenage Self,

If you are reading this, it must mean you have reached a moment in life where things are uncertain and at a standstill. Perhaps you even have your first monumental crisis. Whatever the reason, you’ve decided to open this letter and seek advice from your older self. When I was your age, there are so many things I wish someone would have said to me to ease the anxiety of being a teenager and anxiety about the future. So I’m saying them to you.

The biggest thing on your mind right now is that ridiculous thing you said on the first day of classes. “I like animals a lot more than I do people.” You are young and immature. You are going to say a lot more ridiculous things between now and graduation. But people will forget. By the time you reach sophomore year, no one will remember, and the majority of people will not care anymore. They’ve all moved on with their lives. Take a deep breath and relax.

Try and get out more. You don’t have to be a party animal but join a club or two. Maybe talk to Mr. S about joining the Yearbook staff and Newspaper staff. You might enjoy it. Try something out in the community as well. Open yourself up to people and realize that walking around with your guard up isn’t always a good thing. It’s okay to be an introvert and not want to get out, but sometimes getting out can be a good thing.

Stop worrying about if and when you’ll have a boyfriend. God will decide when you’re ready. And when he does send you that first boyfriend, he’s going to be a jerk. But it’s not you. It’s his insecurities and drama that consumes him. Thankfully it doesn’t last long, and you will come out stronger and wiser. You’ll be hurt and angry and wonder why you were so stupid, but you’ll survive it. You’ll have your cousin and your friends to lean on, but let your mom in too.

The friends you have now won’t be the friends you’ll have by the time you enter college. And that’s okay. As we grow, we tend to drift apart, and as hard as we try to hold on to each other, eventually we have to let go. Once you enter college, you’ll find new friends and each year; those friends will change.

My last bit of wisdom little one is to breathe. Life is crazy. It’s going to throw curve balls at you and destroy you in ways you never imagined, but like the Phoenix, you will rise from the ashes. Stronger. Wiser. A better person. You’ve had to grow up and become wise at such a young age, but you are still young at heart. Cherish that time. Don’t wish it away. High school isn’t like the movies, and it’s a good thing that it’s not. Otherwise, you wouldn’t learn. As you grow older, that awkwardness you feel now will eventually fade. College is where you will blossom and thrive, and develop into the person you’ve always wanted to be. You’ll be comfortable in your skin, and you won’t feel the pressures to change and be someone you aren’t.

You’ll be surprised to find that your faith has grown as well. Despite everything life has thrown at you, you’ve decided to trust in God and believe that He has a plan for you. There will be doubts and questions of why but all you can do is have faith. Believe that everything happens for a reason, and you won’t be given more than you can handle.



What are some things you need to tell yourself? Let us know below!

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