I know I keep reflecting on getting older lately, but once again I was thinking about life and whatnot ("life is not whatnot...") and about how it has taken me some time to "find myself." Obviously this is common for most people: we live and we learn; hindsight's 20/20; yadda yadda yadda.
But if I had the chance to go back in time and talk to my high school senior self, there are some things I'd tell her to steer her in the right direction and to help her take advantage of all the opportunities that lay ahead that perhaps she didn't recognize at the time.
1. Don't take everything so seriously. High school is a mere blip on the radar of life. Chillax.
2. Speak up more. Don't be afraid of what people think.
3. Don't always take no for an answer. Challenge people more.
4. Give your parents a break. What they imagine is a lot worse than what you're actually doing (well, sometimes).
5. You aren't fat! Enjoy your high metabolism!
6. Join the newspaper - in HS and college. You like to write and this could turn into something.
7. Don't drink soda.
8. Enjoy your summers off more.
9. Study stuff that's useful in the real world (e.g. computers, journalism, business).
10. Try to appreciate the nice boys.
11. Don't mix gin, rum, vodka and whiskey from dad's liquor cabinet with Very Fine juice and drink the whole thing at once.
12. Don't lay out in the sun covered in baby oil.
13. Don't quote Charles Manson in your senior yearbook. (No joke.)
14. Develop more hobbies you enjoy and stick with them.
15. Don't kiss other girls' boyfriends. See #11.
16. Read all the books you're assigned. They will make you smart (and good at Trivial Pursuit).
17. Be different and be proud of it.
18. Don't go to small, conservative college where everyone looks the same. Go somewhere more liberal with lots of different types of people and opportunities. And with a D1 football team. (Trust me, this will come in handy later in life.)
19. Appreciate not being an adult yet. Enjoy being young and free with no bills hanging over your head.
20. Do a semester abroad in college. You took 5 years of Spanish; go to Spain and use it!
21. Don't smoke, not even a little.
22. Move to NYC at least for a while.
23. Keep in touch with more people along the way. Some of the best people you will ever know were the ones you grew up with.
None of this stuff was catastrophic. Most of it was harmless. But there are definitely some regrets; some opportunities missed or wasted.
Maybe some young person will read this and say "Hey great advice!" and move to NYC and be a writer and not smoke ever. That would be cool.
Oh and if you are reading, young person, don't wear high-waisted jean shorts. You look dumb.