Dear Freshman Year Victoria,
The next four years are going to be a doozy. Obviously we make it out okay, but believe me, there will be times when you question that. Drama in high school is inevitable, and you’re going to be involved in a lot more than seems normal. Whatever you need to do at night to cope with what those mean girls say, do it. Write it out, cry it out, scream into a pillow, run until it hurts. But that next morning, keep your head up, enjoy your friends’ company, and don’t let them know they’re hurting you. You’ll find out a few years later that they had their own insecurities that they could only deal with by making you feel small. Please don’t let them change your outlook on high school, and please don’t stoop down to their level of mean jokes and Myspace comments, you know how much that would disappoint your mom.
You’re going to meet so many new people, some of them negative influences, and some of them positive.Those people will come and they’ll go. Some may stay way longer than necessary, and some will leave you way way too soon. You have to take it for what it is and enjoy the time you have with them. You’re going to get in fights with your best friends, that’s just another one of those inevitable things. And I know that you guys are going to say some things that really hurt and seem unforgivable, but if you could only see how far you’ve come together in the last seven years, all of that won’t matter in the least. There may be times over the next few years where it doesn’t seem like it, but I can assure you that they have your best interest at heart. Through everything that you’ve been through with such a diverse group of people, I think that you chose the right bunch to keep with you for forever.
Some of the people that you’re going to meet in high school are going to be boys. Have fun and enjoy having a little crush and experiencing your first kiss, but please don’t let it take over your life. It’s really not important whether or not you have a boyfriend or even if a boy likes you like that. The amount of guys that would “totally tap that” have absolutely no correlation to your worth or how you should view yourself. Just because some of your “friends” are advancing quicker than you, does not mean that you need to make up for lost time. Do not ever go faster than you are comfortable with and that goes for all aspects of your life. Also, do not let anyone, boy or girl, take advantage of you in the hopes that they’ll like you more. You have plenty of qualities that make you likable and anyone who doesn’t already see them, is not someone worth convincing.
You’re going to meet a boy who makes you feel a certain way that you’ve never felt before. And you’ll meet another boy who makes you feel that same way and stronger. And after him, you’ll meet one more boy who makes you feel that way and even stronger still. And I can tell you right now that feelings get even stronger than that. So don’t waste all of your love on the boys that are going to change their minds. Because they will change their minds and it will hurt like hell. Please don’t dwell on it. Please don’t write lists on what you could change or what you could have done differently to change their minds. Do what you need to do when you’re alone to make it hurt less. Write it out, cry it out, scream into a pillow, run until it hurts. Lean on your friends and talk to your mom. I know you’re afraid to tell them everything, but they’d never judge you, and they give some damn good advice. And most importantly: move on, let go, be free. Please don’t go crawling back, time and time again. Please learn your lesson the first time.
When things get rough at home, because they are going to get ROUGH, just know that there will eventually be a light. As dark and cold and confused as you are now, it all manages to work itself out. Your little family, as crazy as it is, will come out okay, and maybe even better than before. Always know that whatever happens in those two or three bad years, could never compare to the good ones. Your mom and your step dad love you so much, and they’d do anything to keep you safe. You really got lucky with this pair, and you’ll figure that out soon enough. But do yourself a favor and don’t listen. Go for a walk, put in your headphones, or plug your ears and hum for all I care. And please don’t be that person that lets your parent’s mistakes define the way you look at love.
Spend time with your brother and sister; go on hikes, go get ice cream, and build forts with them even though your the cool kid in high school now. You may think you’re always stuck with them right down the hall, but don’t take advantage of that little simplicity. Even though you’re confirmed and you don’t technically have to go to church anymore, go every chance you get. Whether it be the Sunday morning service with your grandma or The Rock on Wednesday evenings, always give yourself somewhere to go and someone to turn to. Hang out with your great grandmother and your great uncle and never ever forget how proud they are of you. Embrace your bonus family members from your step dad’s side and get to know them and all of their personalities. Sure, they can be a little bit overwhelming at times, but you’ll never meet another group that has so much love and so many fun times to share.
I’ve only survived three more years after high school, but I’m going to go out on a limb and say that the high school years, are no where near the best ones. Although your Senior Year does get pretty dang good. Take advantage of every opportunity. Go to every dance, cheer in the student section of every football game, and dress up for all the spirit days, no matter how silly you think you look. Embrace having a job and making your own money, and don’t take advantage of having your first car handed to you. Make sure you appreciate everything that your grandma and aunt do for you. They’d give you the whole entire world if they could. Take a shot out of every bottle you can find at your best friend’s aunt’s house while she’s house sitting, even though you know you’ll probably regret it. Every group of friends needs that night where they spill their deepest darkest secrets to each other in a moment of drunkenness. Call in sick to McDonald’s once or twice because you drank too much or because you wanted to go to the beach with your friends. But also learn when to say when, and where the time request forms are located. Kiss that boy on your best friend’s front lawn, and the boy on the park playground, and the boy that you know is way out of your league. Learn what makes you feel good and find that and keep it. Most importantly, don’t have any regrets. Learn from your mistakes and grow from them, and everything will turn out okay. Trust me I know.