You’re 14 and just started high school. You have a few girlfriends and aren’t quite sure of who you are or where you are going. You’ve had braces for years, are tall and thin and mostly gangly and awkward. You’re smart and ambitious and not afraid of the world – don’t change that.
You’ll try out for the cheer-leading team even though you aren’t a dancer or gymnast but it seems the high school thing to do. When you find out that you didn’t make the team, you’ll pretend it doesn’t matter but you’ll go home and cry for the rest of the day. I know it’s painful now but there are better things in store for you.
By the end of your freshman year, you will have made a few more friends, longed for a boyfriend but are still gangly. Cue the dual casts. Yes, you will break both your wrists in tennis practice. It will be more awkwardness but it gets you introduced to some of the cute upperclassmen boys. Of course they are gawking but still….
Your sophomore year will be quiet as you continue to figure out your changing body and boys. You will meet several girls that will be the beginning of a life long friendship.
This year, you will welcome a step-mom to your family. I know it’s hard adjusting to the new role of stepdaughter. Give her a chance, I promise she’s worth it.
You hit your stride when you turn 16, getting your license and all the freedom that comes with it. You’ll get your braces off and even 20 years later you will remember your boyfriend’s pleased reaction seeing you the first time without braces.
Oh yes, you have your first boyfriend. He’s not at all whom everyone thought you would date and he ends up breaking your heart. Even now, I can see you sitting in your room crying your eyes out after hearing the news that he had found someone else. I promise, you are stronger than you know. You are gracious and will end up friends with both of them.
Your crew of girlfriends, affectionately named “The Clan”, will solidify and the 8 of you will experience Friday night football games, slumber parties, boyfriends and prom together. Take these relationships seriously. Treasure and protect them. They allow you to be who you are.
You will feel on top of the world by your senior year. With more freedom, you will find parties and alcohol and more. You’ll be curious about other crowds in school and feel like you have to partake to be part of them. Your conscience will tell you otherwise but you’ll ignore it. I would reconsider, you will regret this later – it’s not who you are.
While you struggle with teenage rebellion, your little sister will be coming into her own as a sophomore. She will be your friend and confidant and help you navigate life at home. Spend as much time with her as you can, you have no idea how much you will miss her when you leave for college.
You will finish high school with good grades but you could have done better. School may be easy for you but you’ll be prouder of yourself if you try harder. This will pay off in college, too.
I know high school may seem rocky, some days high, some days low. But I promise that 20 years from now, you will recall it with some of the fondest memories of your life. You’ll tell tales to your husband and share photo albums with your kids.
Oh and speaking of photos, your senior photos sucked. Spring for a better photographer.