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March 6, 2014

if i could tell my 10th grade advisees (and my 16 year old self) 10 things, they would be…

  • it’s never ever that bad.  so your boyfriend dumped you or you walked around all day with your skirt tucked into your undies.  it’s not that bad.  trust me.  i know people who have it bad.  and they’d laugh at your silly high school problems.  but that wouldn’t really help anything.
  • care for each other.  it doesn’t have to be in the mushy way.
  • sleep in.  it’s such a luxury.
  • learn to say “please” and “thank you” and “i’m sorry.”  those three phrases will set the tone for all the relationships you’ll ever have.
  • but only say “i’m sorry” when you actually mean it.  quit apologizing for stupid stuff.
  • stop using words like “stupid” and “stuff.”
  • learn how to address a proper envelope.
  • read the classics.  watch a hitchcock film.  learn to appreciate museums and battlefields and record stores.  try guacamole and tofu and hamburger helper.
  • don’t tolerate mean people.
  • be 16.  not 18, not 21, not 25.  be 16.

i thrive on the energy radiating from my teenage advisees.  they make me happy.  they break my heart.  they drain me down.  but they fill me up with their raw, unbridled energy.  they’re full of possibles and what ifs and maybes.  they’re question marks and exclamation points.  they don’t know what they don’t know.  and that’s where i come in.  but along the way, they teach me things i couldn’t know.  because i’m 28 years old and rooted in a world of realities.  they keep me young…and make me feel ancient.

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