Some advice for my 16-year-old self:

Oh hindsight, you are always 20/20.

Dear me…

1. Don’t complain about driving an old car. Old cars are cool and safe and make you more awesome than the kids who get beamers on their sixteenth birthdays because your ride has character. Acquiring a driver’s license is not a passport to becoming a good driver – let’s face it – the first few years you’re behind the wheel your brain isn’t even fully developed. Better to cruise around in a righteous, dinged-up tank than anything you’ll back into a pole and ruin. Not that I ever did that. Believe it or not, in 15 years, people called hipsters will seek out old vehicles as a trend – even station wagons – ON PURPOSE. So maybe hold on to that beater for its unexpected return to coolness.

2. There is literally no chance that you will live happily ever after with anyone you’re infatuated with in high school. Zero. Consider it a blessing. High school romances are fleeting for good reason – so that you can become an adult before you decide who you’d like to spend the rest of your life with. Take comfort in knowing that one day you’ll be 30 and randomly remember some boy you loved as a teenager and you will laugh uproariously. Because he might work at Subway now, or be gay, or have become really ugly. I cannot divulge how I know all of this could happen, just trust me. When you finish laughing you’ll be incredibly grateful that no weird stars aligned to make the wish of marrying him come true.

3. Don’t prioritize being popular. Crazy talk, I know, but it will save you so much grief. As teenagers, the opinions of others play a huge role in the opinions we form about ourselves. This is a necessary growing pain. But for the record, no one in your post-high-school life will care about your prom date, how many yearbook pages you were on or what brand of jeans you wore. Take pride in knowing that most of the popular kids in school will be less popular as adults in the real world. As you age, coolness requirements rapidly transition from participation in varsity sports and older siblings who can purchase Keystone Light to being smart and kind and successful.

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