An Open Letter To My 16 Year Old Self

February 3, 2018

Dear Emma,

 

Right now, you’re a junior in high school. You’ve completely immersed yourself in theater and that feels good right now…  maybe this could be something you want to do for the rest of your life? Speaking of the rest of your life, you’ve really had to start thinking about college and life after high school. It’s hard to imagine yourself anywhere that’s different from where you are right now. I know you really don’t want to move on from your small little high school world because you’re scared. The anxiety you have about going to college really paralyzes you. The constant battle to ignore the inevitable is really starting to take a toll on your mental health. Unfortunately, this is just the beginning of your struggle with anxiety. You’ve barely had a taste of the effect that it can have on your life. My advice is that you should never give up on yourself no matter what, because at the end of the day, you are in control of your life. You’re in control of what happens to you. Don’t let anyone else dictate how you live because you’ll end up feeling worse than you do right now.

 

As for college, don’t worry about it too much right now. I know that the teachers at school are pushing you to start getting serious, and then you go home and your parents push you even more. You’ve almost reached your breaking point. I know that no one understands that you’re just really scared. You don’t want to admit that it’s almost time to grow up and move on, but don’t worry, you will be okay. College will prove to not be as scary as you think it is right now. It’ll definitely prove to be dramatic, which is something you’re definitely used to. It’ll also be a time when you are going to grow up and become your own person. It might come as a shock, but you won’t always have your theater identity to hide your true passions and personality. You’ll soon learn exactly who you are.

 

The journey definitely won’t be easy, but you will make it through stronger than ever.

I know that your life may feel as though it’s falling apart right now. You always get a little down during the winter months, but soon you’re going to be a senior. Senior year will be one of the best years of your life so far. It’ll be the time when you decide to stop caring about what everyone thinks and you’ll finally start to live your life the way you want. You’re on top right now, and you will feel absolutely unstoppable. Don’t let anyone push you off the top. Don’t let any stupid boy drama dictate your happiness.

 

Photo: Emma Berry 

 

At the end of the day, you have amazing friends and an amazing family. Just because he doesn’t like you, it doesn’t mean that nobody else does. You’ve always been a fighter. You’re going to fight for what you believe in and what you stand for, even if that means fighting with the people around you. One thing you should watch out for is your stubbornness. You should really try to look at the world through a different lens. When you do, you’ll definitely find that you won’t need to fight with everyone so much. For example, mom really does have your best interest at heart, and in a couple of years, she’s going to become one of your best friends. At the end of the day, she probably knows you a little bit better than you know yourself right now.

 

The next couple of years are going to feel very strange because you basically have to reinvent yourself in a new community that you’re very unfamiliar with. I have no doubt that you’ll find your way… you always do.

 

Your Best Friend,

Emma

 

My name is Emma Berry, I'm 20 years old and I am a junior at the College of the Holy Cross. I'm an English major with a concentration in Creative Writing. I also joined the Pre-Business program, as I hope to get a job in the publishing field after I graduate. I basically run on iced coffee and when I have free time I love to just read or watch Netflix (and Game of Thrones). ​

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