Dear k-3-er, enjoy the naps while you can and don’t forget your Christmas dress for picture day. Showing up on time with the right attire is so crucial.
Dear k-4-er, enjoy being dual enrolled at two preschools because your mom is a substitute teacher. Enjoy the hot afternoons spent under the Florida sun in the back of a car waiting to pick up your older brother in his carpool line. Also keep using the purple crayon because everyone else already took the pink crayons. It’s really good to be different.
Dear kindergartner, I’m proud of you for getting over yourself and memorizing a poem for school poetry day just so you could stand on top of the teacher’s story time chair. The views from up there were incredible. Never stop reaching for more.
Dear first grader, slow down on your work. The first to finish their work isn’t always the best. Quality over quantity, kid.
Dear second grader, don’t be suspicious of coincidences in life—that’s all they are. Your first time taking standardized testing was rough because you went back and changed answers because you got 4 C) answers in a row. But professors love to pull that on you all the time so don’t be afraid.
Dear third grader, don’t get involved in drama. Your teacher got in trouble with the law and you had a lot of substitute teachers that year. Rumors about people were flying around that tiny school faster than you can run. Don’t listen to them. Listen to yourself.
Dear fourth grader, don’t give up. Your teacher will be so obsessed with the correct procedure for everything. You won’t like her and you’ll hate all the work she gives and the hours of homework you had each night before gymnastics. You’ll cry a lot in the backseat of mom’s car saying how much you don’t like this teacher. But a few years later you’ll realize that was your critical period in the development of your work ethic and it’s getting you pretty damn far in college.
Dear fifth grader, you’re adjusting to living in a new state, have no friends at school and this time around, you hate school because it’s too easy. You do extra practice problems at home in the afternoons to keep up with the rigor of the Florida schools you were used to. Don’t settle for other’s standards just because its okay with them. Set your own standards.
Dear sixth grader, you’ll travel across the country to Tennessee and stay in a college dorm for your gifted team competition and you’ll be amazed at how many different type of people there are in this world. Keep your mind open because not everyone is like you.
Dear seventh grader, you moved back to Florida and were reunited with your closest friends. You’ll start running cross country and you’ll fall in love with it and swear you’ll run for the rest of your life.
Dear eighth grader, you and your best friend will rule the school that you’ve grown up in. You’ll have the best year of your life so far enjoying the company of familiarity.
Dear ninth grader, you’ll join your high school’s cross country and track teams. You’ll be terrible and finish second to last in a race. You’ll befriend some people that are your mentors still to this day. Your AP Human Geo teacher will not be your favorite, but later on you’ll find out that’s what you want to do with your life.
Dear tenth grader, you’ll become comfortable with your surrounding. You’ll be challenged with chemistry and barely pull a B in that class. You’ll realize that STEM is not for you. You have an incredible AP World History teacher that you’re still in contact with today. She taught you that shit gets messy sometimes but all you can do it stand up to it and keep pushing. And also that its far more important to know than to be known.
Dear eleventh grader, you’ll start taking the SAT and ACTs. You’ll take the ACT five times and still end up with the same score. You’ll be captain of your schools cross country and track teams. Never stop running, its only harder to start again. You’re class president and think that everything is perfect because you have it together on the outside. You’re a wreck on the inside.
Dear twelfth grader, you’ve moved out of a horrible home life and have grown closer to your mom. You stop running to work and recover from the culmination of everything that has magnified over the past two years and has exploded in your face. You get accepted into your dream school. You’ll cut off a lot of people that you used to be really good friends with, but that’s alright. It’s okay to drop toxic people.
Dear college freshman, yeah good luck with that. Your roommate will be your only friend your first semester besides the three people you talk to from your high school. You seriously contemplate transferring home. Your dream school is no longer your dream school. It’s nothing but a nightmare. Christmas Break is well needed and you figure things out. You decide to change your major, step out and rush DNZ and spring semester is so much better. It’s good to be uncomfortable. If you don’t like your life, then change it.
P.S. Yes that’s me in the picture–I was definitely serving looks at the ripe age of four years.