Dearest Yours Truly, Hello. It’s you. I just wanted to take the time to congratulate you for making it to high school. The ninth grade is the beginning of a brand new adventure that you will (believe me, I know) look back and smile at. I know you are excited. Scared, but overall excited to start the next four years of your life. But if I may, I have some first-hand experience that I would like to pass down, free of charge. First and foremost, stay active and start changing your eating habits now. Seriously. You will thank me in nine years. Next, I know that you are in a weird place right now, despite the fact that you may be burying it down beneath that sense of humor. You are figuring out who you are. It’s something that everyone has to go through. Let’s just get it out in [...]
Dear Amy (high school senior version), You’re probably freaking out right now because you feel overwhelmed with everything that’s going on in your life at the moment. You’re worried about acing those AP tests and finals, graduating with a strong GPA, and being able to balance your numerous extracurricular activities. On top of all that, you’ll also have to deal with the fears that come with leaving the nest for the very first time. However, not to fear! Those worries are superfluous, because everything will turn out to be more than okay. College will be one of the best experiences of your life. The journey you will embark on will be enlightening, and at times, arduous and frustrating. In fact, things won’t exactly go according to plan. However, you will grow so much as a person. You’ll cultivate independence, learn so much about the world, and meet some amazing people [...]
Dear High School Matt, You are about to make the biggest jump of your young life, try not to worry about it so much. It is a significant transition, but you will soon find that you can handle it, so embrace it as soon as possible. And I know that you stumbled on UC Davis as your school, but don’t worry about it. You will come to love the school and the town of Davis sooner than your imagine. While it was not an easy decision for you, it will turn out fantastic. After you get settled in at Davis, get involved as much as you can as soon as you can. Don’t waste your freshman year in a mess of drama, when you could be participating in many productive ways.
Even though it’s been five years, I remember what you’re going through all too well. Let’s see…you’re freaking out about passing precalculus, waiting on pins and needles to hear back from colleges, and wondering why senior year has been the complete opposite of the idyllic year promised by yearbooks and teen movies. Am I right? Thought so.
I remember you at seventeen, about to start your senior year of high school as the new student at a private, Catholic school in the Los Angeles. The earlier years of high school were a challenge for you – your mother being diagnosed with breast cancer and constantly feeling out of place within the LAUSD school system. You had too many passions and too little outlets for them. Would college be the solution to your feeling out of place? Would college allow you to make up for the social and extracurricular experiences you missed out on, when you came home early to provide support to your mother because you could not bear to be out when someone you loved so dearly was in such tremendous pain?
Dear 17 year-old high school senior self, Stop being such a chump. And stop whining. Senior year’s about to start, and I think you should know a few things. You’re going to spend this year cavorting like a madwoman with a bunch of crazy Russians, partying, ditching school and lamenting about your ex boyfriend. But these things do not define you. These things do not last. These things will not follow and shape you the way other things will, the way tutoring geometry students will teach you patience, the way writing your senior thesis on morality will teach you about yourself, the way applying to music schools will show you that you’re not meant to be a musician. Don’t take these experiences lightly. They will shape your college career. First off, you really, really will get over your ex. Soon. It won’t even take the entire summer before college for [...]