I have the weirdest moods when lying in bed trying to get to sleep. I'm sure I'm not the only one who stays awake because of worries or sudden genius ideas. Like, for instance, I have the most random ideas for funny comic strips. Recently, I had the idea to tape a huge piece of wall paper to the wall and create artwork using only crayons. Sometimes when I can't sleep, I'll stay up and memorize really hard rap verses... seriously, though. One day I'll write about it. First, however, I need to get this out. These past couple weeks, I've been having really bad anxiety dreams... about high school. These dreams had to deal with the sports I played, basketball and soccer. In them, I would leave my "away" uniform at home, or I would grab the wrong jersey number, or I would leave my socks in my locker... etc. and I'd have mini-panic attacks. I'd also have dreams about missing a wide open shot, or miss a beautiful cross in front of the goal. These dreams have made me reminisce about high school and I can't help but go back and ask myself, if I had the chance, what would I do differently? Or, if I could go back and talk to my 17 year-old self, what would I say to me? For now, this is what I can gather:
Dear 17 year-old Me,
First of all, I congratulate you on being drug-free. Yes, curiosity was a constant presence in your high school career, but you kept your head. As for the parties... well, good job on being drug-free :)
I know you hate school and I know you don't enjoy reading, but it would probably be best if you tried to like both. In a couple of years, it'll be a complete turn-around and you will actually have fun doing homework and studying. Laugh now, but deep down, you're a nerd. I'm very proud of you for signing up for Senior Grammar; that will definitely help you in college. When it comes to that 20 minute presentation, though, it may be best not to write your note cards the day of. You've always loved to procrastinate, but one of these days you are really going to regret it (hint: that 20 page paper coming up).
As you continue to play your favorite sport (basketball), keep in mind that this is your last season playing with girls you've played with since 5th grade. No other basketball team you play on will even come close to the family that was formed these past several years. Yes, you will have the opportunity to play in college, but it won't be the same and you will be very disappointed when it doesn't work out.
Now on to the other parts of high school. "Fitting in", as they say, is important to every high school student, I think. Honestly, you are too weird to fit in... you watch game tape for fun and analyze it. You have this weird obsession with socks. Don't even try. Yes, people can be cruel, but never stoop down to their level. They won't matter in a few years. In fact, they won't matter in a few months. Don't be afraid to stick up for other people, either. Yes, I know you don't like people that, even though they may be nice to you, are really mean to others; so next time you see them treat someone with disrespect, for goodness sake, woman, say something. Why bother trying to fit in? You'll be in a totally different state in a few months. Even if you don't go to college outside of the state, everyone will still move on. I can also tell you that the people you will encounter in the next year will be some of the best and funnest people you'll ever get the chance of knowing.
When it comes to guys... you have the next twenty years to deal with them and their issues and your issues and all of the baggage that comes with relationships. Don't waste your time when you know no-one there is right for you. I know it gets hard when you see your friends falling in love and all of that, but don't get discouraged. You'll have other opportunities to learn those lessons in the coming years. For now, just try and focus on being you.
You might ask, who am I? That's another area that is extremely important, especially in high school. Your faith. You might not know or understand a lot about yourself, but you should always know that if you stay close to God and stay true to the Catholic faith (your faith), you won't need to rely on an answer to that particular question. I will tell you that there will be times when this will be the hardest thing ever (the first couple years of college, especially), but you will also experience amazing grace and I cannot even tell you how great of a feeling that is. Keep strong and you'll be fine.
These are just some ideas that I would share if I had the opportunity to approach my 17 year-old self.
And as I close this up, I'd like to add a few tips:
1. Orange hair doesn't suit you.
2. If you are going to dye your hair, get a professional to do it
3. Instead of going for a second cartilage piercing (one that will, again, end up being wrenched out of your ear from a soccer ball to the head), get a nose ring... only if you're feeling REALLY rebellious, though.
4. If, at any point, you want to throw a party at your house... DON'T.
5. Preseason is going to kill you, I'd start running... now.
6. Don't wear make-up, your face is too young and healthy for that icky stuff.
7. You should probably check out the academics side to the school you choose before committing. Yes, sports are important, but you are going to die the first semester.
8. Homesickness cannot be solved with psychotherapy... it's a slow process; hang in there.
9. Procrastination in college= a countless number of all-nighters (not occasional-napping-allnighters, no, the real kind!)
10. Finally, you are not too cool for school. Get over yourself and do some work.