Special shout out to my best friend, Rachael, because I have almost no birthday pics from either of these years without her in them. Luckily we started taking more normal pictures after 5 years!
As I get closer to finishing college, (I can’t be a senior already… right?) I’ve found myself reflecting back on the past few years more and more. My little sister, Kendal, turns 16 in two days. This is crazy to me, because I feel like I was 16 not that long ago. I thought it would be fitting to write an open letter to myself for when I was her age, and hopefully she can learn a thing or two from what I would tell myself.
Dear 16 year old Hunter,
You’ve made it halfway through high school. Seems like you started just yesterday, doesn’t it? You’ve just gotten that first little taste of freedom with your driver’s license, and it has you itching to be finished with high school and out of the house. Enjoy these years while you can, because one day you’ll be forced to grow up.
It’s okay to not have the rest of your life figured out. I know you worry about these things, but trust me, you will change your mind 500 more times before you figure out what you wanna do. Enjoy right now. Worry about tomorrow later.
Your mom is not your worst enemy. Every 16 year old thinks this. In two years, you’ll move off to college and realize how much your parents have done for you. Enjoy the fact that you have two parents who make sure you’re fed and will grocery shop for you, being an adult really isn’t as much fun as it sounds. Except for the whole being able to buy your own wine part. That part is fun.
You always hear how your friends in high school will be your friends forever. This is true. I don’t care who stole who’s boyfriend (that boy is a psychopath anyway…) or who said what behind who’s back. 5 years later those
girls women will still be the ones who will pick up the phone on the first ring when you’ve had a bad day. They’ll always know you better than anyone else, and will know exactly what to say when your heart gets broken. They’ll pick you up when you don’t have the strength to pick yourself up, and they will always be the first to cheer you on. Don’t let any stupid boy (or anyone for that matter) come between those friendships.
In the words of John Mellencamp, “hold onto sixteen as long as you can, changes come around real soon make us women & men.”
21 year old Hunter
P.S. Quit freaking out about failing your driver’s test the first time. It makes for a funny story later!
What would you tell your 16 year old self?