Mhm. That’s me on the right. 18. Oofta. What a road ahead I have. After meeting so many 2018 and 2019 seniors this spring, it made me think about how I felt being a senior myself. This post is a letter I wish I could have told myself nearly 14 years ago when I was just closing the books to my senior year in high school. Here we go…

Dear Girl-Who-Thinks-She-Is-Ready-to-Grow-Up,

First of all, the high school years are not the “best years of your life”. So, just let that thought go for right now. You will LOVEĀ  college and starting a family.

No, that boy you have been dating (and will date for 4 years is NOT your future husband, and no the guy after that isn’t either)….Just. Be. Patient. He will find you and will blow both of those two out of the water–Love you, Josh:). *Side note: Your are right…you will marry a hot cop just like your crush Keanu Reeves in your favorite movie, Speed.

Remember your friends. Keep in touch with them. Some of them will text you every week–even in your 3o’s.

Always buckle up. You’re going to get rear-ended in your favorite pick up truck and it will be totaled. Don’t worry, you buy an identical pick up in college and will fall in love with that Toyota too.

Speaking of college…Go. OUT. More. Don’t sit in your dingy-cigarette-smelling apartment night after night. Go out and explore the world and meet new people…it won’t kill you to have some fun. Stop worrying about the midterm or test. Try your best and what will be will be.

Buy the plane ticket. It was worth it every time.

Hang out with people who build you up–not who tear you down.

Trust your gut. It’s right, more often than not. The Bible verse from Matthew 3:5 will be your most visited and trusted scripture, “TRUST in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take.”

Do what makes YOU happy–not your friends, not your boyfriend–you. Believe me, you will discover that constantly trying to make others happy only leads to discontentment and unrest.

Take care of your body. You only get one!

Comparison is the killer of happiness. Your road looks different than most of your friends. It will be very rocky at times, but God will lead you to smoother times ahead. Just hold on. Don’t give up.

You CAN do it. Don’t let your subconscious (or others) tell you you are not good enough, not smart enough, not pretty enough, not skilled enough. You will surprise yourself if you just pick up that softball, that pencil, that camera.

Enjoy the “firsts”. First night at college. First D on a term paper (ok, maybe not this one), first overseas trip, first true love. These “firsts” are fleeting and exciting. Don’t let them slip by without recognizing them.

Remember to love your parents. You don’t know it yet, but the time with your mom will be only a few years left. Cherish them. Learn from her. Let her touch your arm when she laughs. Let her hug you even if it is an uncomfortably long amount of time. Call her back, no matter how “busy” you are.

Oh….always remember your sunscreen.

If you enjoyed this post, you may also like:

https://kellyvandykephotography.com/2018/04/10/helena-montana-senior-photographer/

https://kellyvandykephotography.com/2018/01/27/gofundme-changed-life/

https://kellyvandykephotography.com/2018/01/18/mama/

What I Wish I Could Tell My 18-Year-Old Self…

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