Today, my friends, I would like to grace you with this blue-braces-face, dorky, neon aviator glasses, photo of my barely seventeen year old self. You’re welcome. 😀
1.) You are actually smart
I always felt unsure of myself. I felt like out of everyone in my circle of friends, I knew the least. Not in terms of common sense, but rather in the academic field. I was terrified to go to college because I thought I would fail the classes. My family and friends were always encouraging, and they told me I was smart and I could do it – but I was never able to believe it for myself. I tried to limit myself and my post-high school plans to lesser things than what I was truly capable of. Not because I didn’t want to do more, but because I never thought I could do more.
Well, my very first semester in college I was a straight A student. Finished up with a 4.0 GPA. It’s relevant to mention this because it is those grades and positive feedback from my professors which made me realize that I was actually capable of a whole lot more. It gave me the confidence boost I needed in order to strive for higher things.
2.) Save up some money – like, a lot of it
I have always been very good with money. I never end up overdrawn, I don’t spend what I don’t have, and I have always tried to keep the frivolity to a minimum. However, I was not always saving like I should have been. I knew college was going to be expensive, and when the time came for it I made it through with payment plans, a steady babysitting gig, and help from my parents. But what I failed to plan for was the after college part. I am at a point right now in my life where if I had given thought to it back then, I would have and should have started a huge savings account in high school. Trust me, just do it! Your post-college self will thank you.
3.) Hand-me-downs are great and all…
Hand-me-downs are a blessing, but try to buy your own car before you have to move out and pay off a ton of other things on top of it. Mom’s old 2003 she gave you when you got your license ain’t going to last forever. Better to pay off a vehicle on your own, with your own money, while your parents are still proving the roof, the food, and the health care for free.
4.) Your circle of friends is not static
Your group of friends will most likely fluctuate a lot as you get older. Some of them will stay the same and stay with you for a long time, others might not. That’s okay! Go with the flow, but be true to you.
5.) Don’t be afraid to be heard
This is something I struggle with in certain contexts still to this very day. It was just much more extreme in high school. I am naturally a shy person around people I don’t know very well. On top of that I am an introvert… who gets embarrassed really easily. Those are incredibly hard things to figure out and work through as a teenager, especially when large group participation is forced in things like youth groups and extra curriculars. I was afraid to speak. I hated groups of people looking at me, and I hated the way my voice lacked power and certainty when words came out of it. Through college I’ve broken out of that a bit. I’m still shy, still exhausted by too much social interaction, and still super easy to embarrass, but I have figured out how to do better and I know what works for me. But I wish I had realized that even in high school the things I had to say were important, and that judgmental people are not my problem.
I was (and still am) incredibly blessed to have a familial and friend based support system of individuals who always encouraged me and told me I was smart, beautiful, and could do anything. I just needed to learn it and believe it for myself. SO, I am hear to tell you, my friend, that you are smart, you are beautiful, and you are capable of anything you want to do. I believe in you!
Tell me in the comments, or shoot me an email — what is something you wish your high school self had known back then? Or, if you’re still in high school, what questions do you have that I might be able to answer?
Thank you for reading and I hope you enjoyed! Please share on social media, leave me a comment, have a look at my other posts, read it out loud to your pet, etc. ❤ I appreciate you! Stay safe.