I was recently listening to an old Brad Paisley Song, “Letter to Me” The song talks about writing a letter and sending it back to yourself at age 17, reflecting on the past. That started me to thinking about what kind of advise I might give myself if I were to reflect back on my youth. I thought it would be easy, but it isn’t. What would I change if I could? What would stay the same?
I would probably tell myself to have more self-confidence, not be so timid. Although the popular crowd seems desirous to be in as a teen, they are all just people and having one or two good friends that last and you can trust is better than having a lot of casual friends.
I started working at age 14. While this was good experience, I would tell myself to do more extracurricular school activities and work less. You are only young once and have a whole lifetime to be committed to a job and making money. Try out for a play, join a club, enjoy the high school experience.
If you skip school less and spend more time on your homework you would have a higher GPA. But then again, you did have fun, and an A-B average through high school isn’t bad.
Don’t start business college the same month you graduate high school. Take the summer off. Enjoy life. You may have not gotten frustrated and/or burned out on school if you had at least taken a summer break. Push to go away to college, experience living on your own a little. If not college, get an apartment with a friend. Experience single life without being under the shadow of your parents.
Follow your dream career, not what your mother thinks is safe and/or proper. Although her advise led you to solid jobs throughout your adult life, you will never know what you may have been because you didn’t fulfill your own personal career dream.
That boyfriend you have been with off and on for years is not the one you’ll marry, but he will eventually become a good friend. The experience, both the good and the bad, helps you to form the person you become as an adult.
Follow your gut instincts about people and situations. Regardless of what others think, you have good instincts, use them. Never regret standing up for your own safety and your moral standards. They will serve you well.
You have a lot going for you, even though you think the things you are dealing with now are critical, they don’t even begin to delve into what life is all about. Enjoy your youth. You will met someone and marry, have kids and grandchildren of your own. You’ll move away, build a life and as an adult look back on this day and realize that what you have now are some of the easiest years of your life, but the best is yet to come.