10 Things I Wish I Could Tell My High School Self

I'm sharing my 10 on the 10th list a few days early this month. I really struggled with this prompt... mostly because my high school self was a hot mess.  I had major anxiety about most everything and while I was super smart (think straight A's) I had zero confidence in myself or my abilities.  I preferred to blend into the background as much as possible and failed miserably.

1.  Don't worry what others think of you-- I knew this advice back then but had no idea how to follow it.  Let's face it no one wanted to be that kid that got picked on and ridiculed (which often happened for such seemingly small insignificant things) so I was petrified of making any "wrong" decisions.  I worried until I made myself sick and it wasn't until I had my own family that I began to let go of those fears.  I have been so much happier living my life the way I see fit.

2.  These 4 years may seem long at times; but they do go by fast make lots of memories.  I do have a lot of fond memories of school and was lucky enough to have a great group of friends; especially by senior year.  We certainly weren't the most popular kids in school but we all had lots of fun with one another and while I may have lost touch with most of them it's wonderful to look back at prom pictures, dances, and pep rallies and know we tried to make the most of it.

I'm second from the left in the middle row (with my husband standing behind me)
3.  Treat everyone else the way you would want to be treated-- It can be so easy to pick and tease along with the crowd... those students who are strong enough to be different, who go against the grain, who don't care about fitting in (as much), are real people too.  Those students who can't afford the "in" clothes, shoes, backpacks, etc. are just as eager to have friends and be liked.  Everyone has feelings and no one enjoys being picked on.

4.  It's OK if you don't know what you want to do with the rest of your life-- I must have changed my ideas about my future a million times in high school (and even in college and beyond if I'm honest).  At the time I thought I had to have a life plan all mapped out but I kind of wish I had known it was OK not to have set ideas about the future and that I should have been open to all sorts of ideas and suggestions.

5. Eat something; not everyone is made to be a twig like the women you see in fashion magazines!!  I struggled with body issues and fad diets... bordering on anorexia for quite a few years in school.  Looking back I really was quite skinny; probably unnaturally so.  I rarely ate at school (party because the anxiety made me nauseous most of the day) often thinking I needed to drop a few more pounds.  

6.  Trust yourself, your gut, and your judgement.. well, maybe not your gut just yet-- Sadly, my gut was always telling me that imminent danger was near and I spent most of my 4 years (and even several years in middle school before that) feeling so incredibly sick.  It wasn't until I was about to head off to college that I began truly understanding how to combat my anxiety.  But I second guessed every decision I was making and living with such uncertainty made me even more anxious.

7.  It's OK to be a afraid of failure but it's not OK not to try-- There are so many things I didn't do because I was afraid of what might happen.  I often sat out parties, field trips, even school assignments (think public speaking) because I did not want to have to deal with my anxiety and fears.  It was easier to just sit back and let things pass me by.... I am so thankful that I did face some things though; my first dance recital, a class trip to France, trying out for select chorus.  I just wished I had faced even more.

I'm the "tall" one in the back

Me and my best friend from high school (though I had a few "best friends")

I'm in the navy poodle skirt; dancing one of my favorite tap dances with one of my favorite classes of ladies
8.  Ask for help!  Don't be afraid to ask for help when you need it; not from parents and family, not from teachers and staff, not even from your friends.   Everyone needs help every now and then and believe it or not you do not know everything.

9. You are well liked because you are kind; try not to get caught up in all the drama--  Looking back I really was pretty well liked by just about everyone I came into contact with in high school. I never really thought that when I was in school but I was.  I tried to be kind.  Sometimes I failed, I know I did.  But overall I was kind and tried to have a nice word or at least a smile for most of my classmates.

10.  You is kind, you is smart, you is important-- Seriously, if this had been a saying back then it would have fit me to a T!  I didn't feel like I was any of those things nor did I realize just how amazing it would be to feel kind, smart and important.

Want to join in?  Here's the graphic with the topics for the rest of the year.


  1. So well done sweet lady! I wrote a similar post a couple years back and it was fun to reflect and needed to show our today selves how much we mattered then and now. Love this so much, you’re so cute!

  2. I had a hard time in high school. Will be publishing this prompt for tomorrow and may have some similar advice as you.

  3. Nice, I'm sure your not the only teenage self who could have used these words of wisdom :)

  4. We have so much more perspective as we get older don't we? I've been trying to tell Lauren (my 14 yr old) some of these things.

    1. Yeah that old adage "With age comes wisdom" is very true. I'm sure my mom tried telling me most of these things too back then but I just wasn't ready to listen or didn't truly understand.

  5. What a great reflection, and do I recall correctly from another post that you actually MADE that lovely prom dress?

    1. The purple velvet dress I ended up buying (it was on sale for only $30 and I knew I could not make it cheaper or fit better!). But I did make most of my other semi-formal and formal dresses (like the navy one in the photo where I'm sitting down).

  6. These are all amazing things to tell yourself. I wish I would have told myself some of these.

  7. Ah, if we only knew then what we know now! Great list, and I love #10!

    1. I know! Funny how I thought I knew it all then...

  8. I really enjoyed your post. Some great things to think about here :) Thanks for sharing at Welcome To The Weekend Blog Hop.


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