Letter to My Teen Self

Being a teenager can be tough. I remember my teen years well, and while I think I was a pretty good kid overall, I definitely had my drama-filled moments. If I could go back in time, here’s what I’d tell myself…

Me at 18 years old

Dear Teen Self,

It has been 10 years since you left high school and you have come a long way since then. Trust me when I say you should take the advice that follows:

– Eat healthier. Skipping breakfast and eating Skittles and a popsicle for lunch is not a good idea and will set you up on a path of bingeing on junk in college. Indulge in healthy food and you may be able to avoid the freshman 15.

– On that note, you are not fat. Not even a little chubby. That little pinch you can give your sides? That’s nothing. Stop comparing yourself to other girls. Your body is great. Enjoy it while it lasts because beer and babies will forever change your shape.

– The boys who have broken your heart? Yeah, you don’t need them…Believe me. Cry if you need to, but please know the future is bright and you will eventually find a man who will make you laugh daily and never make you cry. You will be incredibly lucky in love.

– Don’t skip school EVER. School is awesome. Soak it all in and learn everything you can. Believe it or not, one day you will miss going to school.

– Wear sunscreen and skip the tanning booth. You are pale. You will never have a beautiful, dark tan. Embrace it.

– Be nice to everyone in your class. You may end up living back in your hometown and running into a lot of old acquaintances and it’s nice to have good memories to look back on. Also, someday there will be something called Facebook and you’ll connect with people. You don’t want to be remembered as the snotty girl.

– Volunteer more. It fills your soul to the brim. Volunteering is going to take you amazing places in college. Get an early start and make friends with the other volunteers – many of them are your soulfriends.

– Don’t lose touch with your best girlfriends. They will be your friends for life. Time may pass and some of them will move away, but when you get together, it’s like you never missed a beat.

– I know you write for the school newspaper now. Keep it up. For some reason, people like to read your ramblings and it will help you make all sorts of friends in the future when you start a blog.

– Don’t mix different kinds of alcohol. Beer and liquor do not mix well for you and you will end up puking every time.

– Listen to your mom. She seriously knows what’s up and has a lot of wisdom to impart. On that note, take time to visit and call your grandmas, too. They have a lot of wisdom as well and won’t be around forever.

– Believe in yourself. Be confident. You may feel lost, sad, depressed and confused at times, but keep your chin up. Your future is very bright.

So there you have it, some advice you should listen to, teen self. Rest assured knowing there’s so much goodness waiting in the wings.


Older self

{{Thanks to Mama Kat for the fun writing prompt}}

Mama’s Losin’ It
What would you tell your teen self?


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  1. says

    Well done, Lauren! Do you suppose any of us would heed those letters if our “older selves” could, indeed, write them…???
    I love what you wrote about your hubby: makes you laugh daily and never makes you cry. That sounds like my Motor Man!!
    Great post !
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  2. says

    So much truth here, Lauren!!

    I think the tanning booth one is huge. I tanned during two springs during college. But, now that I’m a little older, I embrace my pale skin. Looking at my wedding photos now, I am so happy I didn’t go tanning and try to make myself look “better” according to someone else’s standards. Plus, skin cancer is not sexy. Did you read about the girls last year who vowed to not tan before prom?

  3. says

    Now that is a great list… and so many of them I need to tell myself… a couple of them my teen should embrace too!

    Tanning was such the in thing to do… why in the world did we do it though?!?! Geesh… crazy kids!
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  4. Andrea W says

    Lauren, this made me cry, hand to God. I loved all of these. I would tell myself to stop worrying about what other people thought so much, and just like me for me. Easier said then done of course, especially when you’re an angsty 16.