a letter to sixteen year old me...

Dear emo-music-listening, super-quiet, super-naive, 16 year old Allison,

Or should I say Allie? You hated being called "Allison" for so long, but don't worry, that will soon change. Today is your birthday. Surrounded by your best friends, easy classes, and extracurriculars, you're having the time of your life. What you don't realize is that there is a huge world outside of high school. Some day, you'll look back and realize it was just a tiny stepping stone.

First, stop straightening your hair. Just stop it. I know you hate those curls right now, but I promise you, a day will come when you realize what a beautiful thing you have. Hours spent flat ironing your hair every morning will soon seem like a ridiculous waste of time when you realize all you have to do is step out of the shower to have perfect hair.

You don't have to play the ditzy girl to make people laugh. You're quite funny just the way you are. Don't try and dumb yourself down just to make guys feel more comfortable around you. You've always given guys a run for their money when it comes to sports, why let them off easy when it comes to smarts?

All those days spent using online software to edit and transform pictures into pieces of art? Don't pass it off as a spare time hobby. You might not see it now, but you're slowing paving the way to finding your true calling. You've wanted to be an architect since sixth grade but, no, architecture isn't a long term part of your future. It does, however, open you eyes to graphic design and for that, you can look back on those four years spent in architecture school and be thankful.

College won't be easy. What design school is? Everything you are used to in high school will be gone. That's both a good and bad thing for you. It means more design and creativity, but it also means no more teachers holding your hand throughout the year. You'll have to read more than you're used to, you'll have more work than you're used to, and you'll have lower grades than you're used to. It's just a fact of life. College is rough.

Even though you'll look back on high school as a fun time, you always felt like something was missing. Don't worry, I know the feeling. You're quiet, artsy, and just don't make friends all that easily. You have great friends right now, some who have been with you through high school. They've kept you focused on what's important and are always up for an honest good time. Some will drift away over the years, it's only natural. But a few of them will remain your long life friends. There by your side through the toughest days of college, they'll listen to you whine about projects, homework, and tests, and celebrate when Friday rolls around.

Some day, quite soon, you'll find a guy that you can finally be yourself around. He'll turn into your very best friend so try not to give him too hard of a time when he tries to talk to you at first. He'll change your life, make you a better person, and someday become the highlight of your day when you walk through the door.

So happy birthday, sixteen year old me. Have a little fun, you'll end up just fine.

Sincerely, not-so-naive, better-taste-in-music, very-happy, 22 year old you.


  1. I love this!  I'd love to have a conversation with the 16-year-old me today... I think it would be a lot of, "It gets better.  And 99% of what surrounds you now will not matter much other than for sentiment in 8 years' time.  Also, your future husband is super hot.  Sweet!"  ;)

    - Kayla ★ http://www.kaylanaut.com


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