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6 Things I’d Like to Tell my Ninth Grade Self

Let me start off by saying that in ninth grade, I swear we were infinite (or some other cheesy quote from Tumblr that would have lured my ninth grade self in to read this article). My closet was full of neon V-necks and Hollister clothes, my iPod was full of blink-182, and my idea of a crazy night out was walking to get $1 burritos at Taco Bell with some friends. At a time when I was so convinced I was finally growing up, I did not yet realize that the trials and tribulations of teenhood and young adulthood had not even begun. It was a time when the only freedom I knew was walking through my high school’s hallways during class without needing a teacher’s pass. It was a time when I had to own a black JanSport backpack or else I’d be at risk for social torment. Those were the days of Vans sneakers, waiting to call your friends past 5 p.m. so your talking minutes were free and wondering if there was anything more amusing in the world than Tumblr. Though I wish I could go back and stop myself from spending at least $35 on every single shirt that said “So Cal” on it, I would also like to extend a few other pieces of advice to my ninth grade self.

1. Your first heart break will hurt, but life goes on.
You know your first relationship that didn’t work out and left you feeling something you’ve never felt before? You know, that empty feeling you swore would never be filled with happiness and love again? You know all of those love quotes you found on the Internet that you were convinced were the only things that could describe what you’re feeling? It won’t last forever, and it definitely does not mean you are falling into some deep, misunderstood depression. Being a teenager is hard, love is confusing and relationships have expiration dates. It gets better, and with time you will learn how to not let sadness hit you so hard. You will learn how to turn disappointment and hurt into new opportunity and hope for the future. Heartbreak will happen many times in your future, but you will learn how to turn those grey days into growth.

2. Side bangs = forehead pimples
Your skin will clear up, your makeup skills will improve significantly, and thank goodness you will finally let yourself grow out those side bangs. For some reason, every 15- and 16-year-old girl is totally convinced that this is the hairstyle that will make them edgy and older looking. In reality, this is probably a contributing factor to those forehead pimples. Eventually, you will also discover the right hair products so that those frizzy embarrassing pictures that you will one day untag yourself from on Facebook will be a thing of the past. But your tragic hairstyle days aren’t over yet: Get ready for the feathers in your hair and the random shiny strands fad. Those will look great in future yearbook pictures to come.

3. You are beautiful.
Believe it or not, one day you will miss your androgynous body and lack of curves and wish that you could have that size zero body back. But even though your future may be curvier, you will still be beautiful. Your body will keep changing, and so will your open-mindedness on what you consider pretty. You will learn that beauty radiates from the inside out, and that it does not really matter how hot you look in a black dress, sweatpants or a bikini. What really is “hot” about you will be your kindness toward others, your unquenchable thirst for learning and your determination to make every day a good one.

4. Be nicer to your parents.
Right now they seem as if their heads are stuck seven planets away from you and that there is no way they could comprehend what your life is and what you’re going through right now. They tell you to take school seriously because you will find out that your education will stick with you much longer than those people you call your friends. They tell you to eat healthier because one day you’ll be on your own and I promise, although you can technically survive off a pizza-only diet, you won’t want to. You will come to find out that your parents are figuring out this big confusing mess of a world just as much as you are, but they have a few years advantage over you. You will one day learn to cherish their wisdom and advice and hold on to their words because they won’t always be right down the hallway for you to ask.

5. School does matter.
Despite the fact that your high school transcript will not literally follow you to the first day of your career, it will pave the way toward what that career ends up being. Take school seriously now because this will allow you to have better options for college and more opportunities for your future. It might seem “cool” and acceptable to skip class, miss days of school and not prioritize your education at a time when your boyfriend already failed out of eleventh grade, but don’t fall prey to this. That Advanced Placement course seems unnecessary now, but future you will be thankful when you’re excused from general education courses in college that just waste your time and money.

6. Treat your body like a temple.
This sounds like some ancient advice your grandmother, mother and then father gave you that you chose to ignore, but it is completely true. You only have one body and one life to take care of it. Don’t start destroying it with bad habits, bad food and bad people. Embrace that stretch mark like it is your own personal brand, don’t let that boy touch you just because he feels like he has a right to, and brush your teeth every night. Treat this one body you were given in life with as much love and respect as you can.

In ninth grade you had an interesting sense of style, your sweatpants may have sagged a little, your favorite word was “swag” and you probably had a cellphone signature at the end of all your text messages. Though you can never actually go back and give yourself this advice, it is nice to see that with age and hindsight, and against all odds, we got over our high school hump and turned into real, functioning people. So what is my best advice to my future self? I’m not quite sure, but I’ll let you know when my hindsight vision kicks in 10 years from now.

Photo credit: Flickr.com

Hi, I'm Jenna and I'm currently attending the University of Florida as a Finance major with a specialization in Pre-Law, and minors in Entrepreneurship and Mass Communications. I grew up wanting to be a Carrie, but I know I'm going to end up as a Miranda. Interests include melted cheese, pink blazers, and fluffy puppy pictures on Pinterest.
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