A Letter to My 12-Year-Old-Self

In ninth grade, my history teacher had us write letters to ourselves as high school seniors. I remember sitting in homeroom, my senior year, when my homeroom teacher placed this weird letter on my desk, without saying a word. He handed out a couple more to some other kids in homeroom (some students didn’t receive a letter because they did not have the same history teacher in ninth grade.) I just stared at it. I didn’t touch it – at all. I was shook. One, because, I didn’t know what it was. Two, because I recognized the handwriting and for some reason I thought I had somehow written a note and somehow it came into the hands of my homeroom teacher. There was no logical reason for that to be a thing, but hey, my brain works weirdly. ANYWAY, when I found out what it was, I read it, I hated it, and I threw it away. It was so cringy – like so embarrassing. I used xD’s and “Hehehe” way too much. Oh it was just terrible, but to be brutally and emotionally honest, the worst part was the mention of my love life in the letter. I read it and laughed at how incredibly naïve and in love I was in ninth grade, or rather, how I thought I was in love because what does a 15 year old really know about a concept as complicated as love? So, I crumbled up the letter and threw it in the trash. My friend was upset with me. She said, “how could you just throw it away like that? I wish my teacher had us write letters to ourselves.” So, I told her, “Yeah, the concept is nostalgic, but I didn’t write anything worth keeping.” The letter did not help me in any sort of transformative way – that’s when I thought, “if I’m going to write myself a letter, I’d rather write it to my past self and help her grow as a person.” That being said, here are a few things I learned about life that I wish I could tell my 12-year-old self.

Put the Scissors Down

Aren’t bangs just like, so cute? Yes, they are, on other people, but not you. Bangs are adorable and they looked really great when you were like 5 years old but you no longer have the face for straight-cut bangs so please don’t cut them. However, if you still plan on doing it, please please please, go to the salon. Do not cut them yourself. I thought bangs were cute in both 7th grade AND 12th grade. Oh boy!!! 7th grade wasn’t all that bad, but senior year, I cut those bangs too short!! I ended up putting my bangs into tight twists and tucked them away behind my ears. It created this sort of head band look but my hair didn’t grow back for a while and it was a process doing my hair EVERY DAY like that. Don’t cut your own hair. It is a classic mistake that you love to do throughout your life. I’m telling you, stop.

Your Friends Will Change but Don’t Freak Out

You’re in 6th grade right now and you already have drama going on in your friend group. You’ll get past it, don’t worry. Middle school lunch is going to be awesome with your friends. You’ll all be together again and you’ll even gain some new friends as the years in middle school pass. There will be lots of drama within a few of you but that’s normal in friendships. Don’t let that hurt your relationships, especially fighting over boys – that’s just dumb, your friendship is worth more than that. High school will bring on a whole new change of things. You WILL start associating with different people. Your middle school lunch table won’t hang out at lunch anymore and you won’t have any classes with most of them. It’s sad, but stay in touch, please. You all love each other and it’s a bond that’s worth keeping. Your new high school friend group is great too. Let those new friendships blossom, they’re worth it and meeting new people helps open your doors to new opportunities and memories.

Be More Involved, Join that Soft Ball Team

You kinda go all of your primary education without being too involved in anything. Yeah, you join a couple of clubs but don’t really do anything, and yeah, you’re on the tennis team, but you can and you want to do more – so, just do it! Don’t be afraid to sign up for the softball team just because you don’t know the girls on the team well. After you join, you’ll get to know them. Don’t let the unknown stop you from doing something that you want to do, just do it!

Listen to and Value Your Parents

You take for granted ALL the beautiful things your parents have done for you. Yes, they can be extremely irritable and sometimes irrational, but cut them some slack. They love you, and you love them and that’s all that matters. Don’t get angry when your brothers bring home several girlfriends and you’re told that “you can’t date until you graduate college”. It’s extremely sexist but this is why they’re right and why you should listen to them: Boys will be boys. You’re in middle and high school. At the end of the day, those cute boys who ask for your number and slide you notes, are exactly that – BOYS! Your parents will tell you not to date until you’re firmly established because what you need in your life is a MAN. Not some cute, little, hair gelled boy telling you that you look cute but doesn’t have the decency to pick you up for dates and take you out. Boys don’t fully mature until they’re about 25 years old. Even in college, most of the boys aren’t mature yet. So, wait it out girl! it is definitely worth it and it will MOST DEFINITELY save you a lot of time crying over silly boys who don’t know how to treat you like the Queen you know you are. Don’t get me wrong, look, talk, but don’t let yourself get hung over a boy. You’ll find yourself a man who deserves you and is able to show you that he appreciates you for who you are.

Most of All, Never Forget Who You Are

I’m so proud of you, for never being fake. To this day, you have always been yourself. No matter how weird and crazy you can be, you never pretended to be someone that you weren’t and don’t think for a second that you have to – ever! You find amazing friends all of middle school, high school, and even in college. You lose a couple, but that isn’t your fault. If you can’t find them, keep looking. Don’t ever settle for a group of friends who you can’t trust or appreciate because real friends will appreciate and love you for who you are, and not for who you pretend to be. Value yourself above all else because you are the number one priority in your life. Finally, as long as you love yourself, you can love your family and friends with all your heart. You’re awesome my 12-year-old-self, never stop doing you!