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An Open Letter to My Younger Self

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at OK State chapter.

Like most girls, I grew up hearing my mom, grandma, and countless others say “I wish I had known that when I was your age.” Or “I sure wish I could go back and tell my younger self that.”

Now I often find myself telling myself these things, I can’t help but think I sound just like my mom and grandma. As you grow up, change, and become the person you are meant to be. Here are a few things that I wish I could have told my younger self.  Although it may not be everything I needed to know then, it still would have helped.


Dear 16-18 year old me, there are so many things you need to know about yourself and that you will learn so just hang in there and bare with me. First of all, stop looking for approval from others. You are and will continue to be a strong and beautiful young woman. Too many times you have let others dim your sparkle while looking for approval from those who do not matter. You are the only approval that matters, not anyone else who you may come across.


Secondly, yes, it is true. Your mom does NOT ask any question she does not already know the answer to so don’t try it. It gets you in more trouble each time.


That boy does not matter, not even a little bit. Do not let him put you down and make you feel like less of a woman because he does not want you the way you wish he did. Although you may feel like your world is over and ending, it is not.  Soon you will find someone great.


    Be a better driver, your insurance payment will thank you later trust me. Plus your wallet will also thank you- you won’t have to search for so many cars.


    Makeup with those you love. Your heart is so so big and full of so much anger and hate for small things that do not matter in life. Once you learn to take the hate out of your heart, a weight will lift off of you like no other. You may even still be struggling with that now but I know you will get there.


    Pray more,  think more, meditate more. Now as you are older you struggle to express what you need and what bothers you because you have never been by yourself to think or to pray. Learn that time alone isn’t bad, it’s important.


    People will come and go and even though it seems awful now and you don’t get it just know that it was for a reason.


    Go see your nana, even though the drive is sometimes far and you may think “I saw her last week” you never know what can happen and how many more of those wonderful visits you have left. Cherish them always.


    Lastly, Be your own person and don’t let anyone feel bad for being you through and through. When there’s nobody left you can only depend on yourself and if you figure out who that is sooner rather than later a lot of things will be easier now.


    Growing up is hard and has some pretty wild curveballs at times. Take those times, learn from them, and grow.


From, 20 year old you.

Noah Ratliff

OK State '22

Freshman multimedia journalism major