Dear 13-year old Allison,
You’re probably confused as to why you’re getting this letter from someone also named Allison. That’s okay, it’s a confusing time for us all. You’ll be in high school soon, and that’s why I’m here, to help you through it.
First of all, you’re going to meet some new people, both good and bad. There’s no way to distinguish which they will be at first, but just know that you don’t have to like every new person you meet. In fact, knowing you (and being able to look back on it now), you’re going to hate about 90% of them. And that’s okay, just suck it up and be civil, because the drama isn’t worth it, and when you’re out of school you can stop talking to all of them (which worked out pretty well, if we’re being honest).
Second, you’re going to be sad. You’re going to be really, really, really sad, for no reason. It’s going to be hard to breathe sometimes, and hard to sleep, and you’re going to hate your life and consider taking it on multiple occasions. Spoiler alert; you won’t do it. Not because you’re too scared to, but because you know that maybe the future won’t be so bad (and you were right; it’s still bad, but it’s also a little better). Don’t lash out at your family so much, and maybe consider therapy or medication (i.e. stop drinking all the vodka from your parents stash downstairs in the kitchen, because it’s going to ruin sad drinking for you in the future). You’re going to have a lot of “worst days,” but the actual worst day of your life will come much later (April 11th, 2015, put it on a calendar and save the date). It’s okay to cry and feel like dying, even if nothing specifically happened to make you feel that way. You’re still going to feel crippling depression when you’re older, but it will come and go a lot quicker.
Third, focus on school. It’s stupid and you hate it, but just try and do well. Around senior year you’re going to realize how much time you wasted hating it, and how easy it is to bullshit the work when you actually try to. You’re smarter than you think, and you can do well. Don’t waste your first two years being mediocre. The American education system is shit, but you can get out of it (that’s a lie, there’s no getting out of it. But still try to, you little shit).
Fourth, you have social anxiety. That’s why you can never turn your test in unless other people stand up to turn it in too, and why you get nervous about going to your first day of classes because you don’t know who will be in them (and why you are going to skip your first days freshman, sophomore, and junior year). But you can live with it. Don’t think too much about what everyone else is thinking, and remember that no one cares what you’re doing.
Fifth, spend more time in the art room. Senior year especially, that’s going to be your home away from home at school. You’re going to eat lunch there, spend time there during free periods, and also when you skip those pointless assemblies, you’re going to spend time hiding in that dark room. So just start out by going to the art room. Play with the clay, and use the shitty acrylic paints to your heart’s content. You’re going to meet some pretty awesome people there, and those are the people you want to spend time with. Forget the rest.
And lastly, college will be better. You’re going to do well, and you’re going to meet people you couldn’t imagine your life without, and you’re going to travel (which, spoiler alert again, you’re going to love). You’re going to find what you want to do with your life (maybe, nothing is set in stone after all), and you’re going to have a lot of fun. You’ll even be kind of happy, so that’s pretty awesome too.
Remember that all of these things are inevitably going to happen, but at least you’ll know the outcome is good. You’ll go to college, and meet people you genuinely won’t hate, and you’ll have fun. You’re going to be okay, and all that sadness you once felt will slowly go away (although not entirely, because sadness is one persistent little fuck, just like you). So go ahead and fail Humanties in 9th grade and get that 2.5 GPA freshman year, because that’s what needs to happen. That’s the push you need to grow as a person, and you’re going to be a good one.
And stop talking back to your parents, they’ve given you everything.
20-year old Allison
Editor's Note- this was posted on Allison's birthday and in honor of her being birthed, please snuggle with the nearest dog or cat for at least ten minutes