Dear Teenage Me,
Although at the moment this Georgia suburb town and all the people surrounding you make you feel excited for what else you are yet to experience, don’t be in such a hurry to move past it. Be mindful in that one day soon, your high school days will feel like a million distant memories, and you will yearn for that carefree, secure feeling back.
I am proud of you for making your teenage years the best ones yet by taking every opportunity for enjoyment and growth head on, while still staying true to yourself and knowing your limits. It’s so important to hold onto this mentality and truly enjoy this time period because one day, out of the blue, your way of thinking will be altered and anxiety will take over. I can’t explain why or how this will happen to you, but I can tell you that your high school years will be the time you look back on as the years of absolute freedom.
The feeling you have now of always knowing you have a handful of friends down the road and your family right at home to be with every day is something not to be taken for granted. You will soon move away and always desire for those close bonds and that security back in your life. But as you grow older, you will find your strength and although everything may feel vastly different than they do now, it will all turn out okay.
Looking back on you now, I am grateful for the way you chose to enjoy life and hold friendships so closely. I am grateful that you never fell off track or strayed from your ultimate goal of going to college and making something of yourself as some of the people around you did. I am grateful for the family you always had nearby because they will keep you grounded and remind you of where you came from so you never stop being true to yourself.
In all, life will get more difficult for you moving forward as anxiety will chose to plant itself in you, but just know that this will shape you into the person you are supposed to be. Always remember who you are, never take family or friendships for granted and know your limits during these carefree days and happiness will certainly ensue.
Kayla Rowe recently received a Bachelor’s degree in Communication with a concentration in Journalism and a minor in Professional Writing from Kennesaw State University in Kennesaw, Georgia. She is currently living in Greenville, North Carolina, and plans to attend graduate school to earn a Master’s degree in School Counseling with hopes to one day become a school guidance counselor for high school students.