Dear 13 year old Danielle,
Wow- you’re finally a teenager! Every year seems to go by so slowly, but then you look back and BOOM- you’re in 8th grade.
Well, let me start out by saying congrats to you for sticking with ice skating for so long. You may dread it now, but when you’re older and not skating any more, you’ll miss it a little. State Games of America will be one of the greatest experiences of your life, and you will skate the best you ever have. I have some bad news, however- you won’t get over that mental gap with your jumps, and your coaches will never let you skate to “Fireflies” by Owl City. Okay, maybe that last one isn’t so bad. When you quit, start tennis sooner. It’ll be one of the best decisions you’ve made in a while.
You’re gonna look back on 8th grade and you know what- it’s gonna be painful. Those girls your hanging out with right now? Yeah, the two you thought were your best friends will hate you, and you’ll be friendless by the end of the year. There are other kids in the group who are way better, and you shouldn’t cling to those two girls because they seem cooler. However, one of the girls who ditches you ends up becoming your best friend again, so don’t hold a grudge against her.
When you enter high school friendless, don’t try and force your way into a friend group. Go back to your old one, because while those girls may not be “cool”, they’re way better then the others. You’re going to spend most of freshman alone, hanging out with people who hate you, call you names behind your back, and think you’re the strangest person in the entire school. You’ll meet one girl who will give you a reason to come to school, but even then, you’re gonna be lonely.
Remember in those lonely times that things will get better, and that there is so much more to life then middle and high school. Those petty problems you have about three girls liking the same boy as you? In less than a month, you’ll realize how much of a jerk he is. That girl who gave you the mean look when you sat at her table? You hate her too, so at least the feelings mutual! That geometry test you got a C on? You’ll be back to equations next year, so hang in there.
Keep going to camp. Camp is the best thing you have in your life, and never take it for granted. Learn to appreciate all the people you meet and the stories you hear. Stop complaining about how bad the food is there- EVERYONE THINKS THAT AND IT’S ANNOYING. Go on that kayak trip, and don’t lay around on the beach because it seems cool.
Don’t compare your body to others. Just because someone’s able to eat mac n’ cheese and not gain weight doesn’t make you fat. Appreciate what your body can do, and thank it for putting up with you through all the ice skating injuries. Start going on walks with your dad, and really appreciate the time you two have together. Don’t skip family dinner with your grandfather who you adore because Pretty Little Liars is on- you own a DVR for a reason.
When you go to China, PACK SOMETHING OTHER THAN THOSE DAMN LEMON LUNA BARS. THEY’RE GONNA MELT ON THE FIRST DAY AND YOU’RE GONNA BE HANGRY THE ENTIRE TRIP. PACK SOME DAMN PRETZELS OR GOLDFISH, AND DON’T EAT THE FRUIT THEY PROVIDE YOU. Take more photos on the trip, and don’t worry about feeling awkward for asking to get your photo taken in front of something- six million people have taken a photo there as well.
Most of all, SMILE MORE. Yeah- the end of 8th grade and most of 9th grade is gonna suck. I’m not going to sugar coat it. Smiling will help you- the saying “fake it till you make it” is very real, and you should apply it more often. Things will get better, believe me.
Never Miss a Recipe!
Subscribe for recipe updates, bonus content, and more goods!