An Open Letter To My Freshman Year Self

chloe-pic-edited.jpgBy Chloe Treat

I’ll start by saying congratulations. Congrats for making it through what could have quite possibly been the lowest 4 years of your life. Not the worst, but the lowest. You had highs, plenty of them, but when those lows hit, they hit hard. I’m not exactly writing this to fill you in on all the things you’ll eventually learn, but to ease your anxiety on how those things are going to go, and to let you know that you’re doing fine.

You’re 14, so I hate to tell you, but that boy you met, it’s not going to work out. He’ll become your “whole world”, and that world is going to get thrown upside down and turned inside out. I also regret to inform you that the friends you have now are going to be long gone come senior year, so cherish them while you can.

So yes, you’re going to lose a lot, family even, the people that kept you going day and night, but these losses are going to bring you some pretty amazing gains. You’re strong. The universe and God will never burden you with something you can’t handle. It is NOT going to be easy, but it will be damn good in the end.

The Hyphen? Yes you made the staff, and believe it or not, you’re the Editor-in- Chief. This is going to stress you out more than you’ll ever know, but you’re going to win first places and find something within yourself you didn’t even know existed. You’re going to become opinionated and educated, and you’re going to find your voice in this loud world. You will debate, argue, and shed some tears over the things you’re passionate about. Keep your head up, because one of these days you might just change the world.

You’re going to have to grow up a little faster than your peers, and junior year is going to make you question everything you thought you knew. About yourself, your family, your faith, and the universe in general. Some really messed up stuff is going to happen, but you’ll make it through with the help of some genuine people.

Senior year is going to start off strange, but you’ll quickly fall into place. Football games and late nights at IHOP are going to become the highlight of your week, soak in the moment. You’ll soon become friends with girls that you never even imagined you’d talk to, and one of them is going to become your best friend.

I know what you’re thinking, “I will never have a best friend, I’m just too different”. Well think again because you’re going to find someone that may be just about as different as
you, her name is Lizzy, and you need to keep her close. You won’t be able to do it without her, but she isn’t the only one.

I know this is a lot to take in at once, but you need to know that all of the pain and hardships you go through truly do pay off. Stay true to yourself, be respectful yet skeptical. Find something to believe in and carry it close. Speak out and up when the room is silent, because someone has to. Keep fighting for social justice, gender equality,
and for this earth, even when it isn’t the cool thing to do. But most importantly, stay you. Stay loud, weird, and somewhat annoying, because as you know, well-behaved women seldom make history.

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