17 Things I Would Tell My 17-Year-Old Self

I keep seeing these type of articles all over the Internet and thought I would make one myself, so in class a couple of weeks ago I brainstormed these 17 things I would tell my 17-year-old self!

  • Keep up with Spanish. German. Heck, even Afrikaans (a language I did attempt to learn when I was hell-bent on studying abroad in South Africa my junior year of college). You won’t grow up to be a teacher so you won’t need a second language minor in college, but keep up with it anyway. It will be so helpful when you travel abroad, and believe me, you’re going to do a lot of that when you’re older.
  • Write. Write more. Write until your hand falls off. You were born to be a journalist and will have the dream of writing novels when you’re older so you should get all the practice you can while you’re young.
  • Take more pictures. You were also a born photographer (and sometimes model!), so get used to having that camera in front of you 😉 Plus it will be SO fun looking back on your younger self.
  • Floss. Make flossing your new best friend, because getting cavities filled isn’t fun. Also remember to wear your retainer more, otherwise you’ll have mom commenting on yourbarely crooked teeth for the next five years.
  • Don’t straighten your hair so much. Seriously, you’re going to come to love your wavy just-woken-up bed-head hair, even thought you won’t when you’re 17. Take care of your gorgeous blond locks! And don’t for a second think you can successfully dye your hair from a box. You’ve got way too much hair and it looks beautiful the way it is.
  • Speaking of looking beautiful, lay off on the makeup. Here’s one of the moments when you should listen to mom and grandma. Too much of a good thing (makeup) is a bad thing (cake face). Raccoons may be your favorite animal but you do not want to end up looking like one.
  • Remember your mentors and those you look up to. Mrs. Geyso, your 8th grade creative writing teacher who inspired you to be a writer; Judy from the Pharmacy Station who will later become your sorority sister; Kara who will join the Peace Corps. Get to know them better and ask them for advice.
  • Drive carefully. You’ll get into more accidents and receive more speeding tickets in the next two years than you will from ages 19-23.
  • Work out more. The thigh gap is going to be sooo in in five years and you’re gonna want one. Okay I’m kidding! About the thigh gap part anyway. Work out, though, girl.
  • Eat healthier. Once you get to college, you’re going to be living off macaroni and cheese, cereal, and Nutella-covered everything, so learn to cook more than mac and cheese and pizza rolls.
  • Know that it’s completely okay to be a hermit. You are a textbook definition introvert. Don’t worry what all the haters say (and by haters I mean those annoying people who will sarcastically say, Gosh Kelsey stop talking, you’re so loud and talkative!). Be proud of your introvert self! And remember that it is totally okay to sit by yourself or only one or two people at the lunch table because all your friends are in a different lunch period.
  • Speaking of high school, know that it will be over sooner than you think. Take one day at a time and every embarrassing moment with a grain of salt. Also know that it’s totally okay if you don’t attend your high school reunion…ever. High school won’t be the best four years of your life, but college definitely will be.
  • Watch out for boys who don’t treat you well. Remember your mother’s words – there will never be a man good enough for you. Remember those words as you go to the homecoming dance with some loser or if your friend wants  to hook you up with some handsome but hick guy who smokes cigarettes – eww! Not saying that you can’t have fun, because by all means – have fun! Get wild! But if you’re in a relationship with a guy who doesn’t treat you well or makes you cry unintentionally (and I mean, come on, what 17-year-old boy is going to treat a girl like a princess? Boys have got a lot of growing up to do – remember this), reevaluate your life.
  • Save your money. You got your first job when you were 15 and will have at least one job for the rest of your life (unless you marry some rich old dude…which will be part of your life goals when you’re 23. Ha!). You’re also going to be in college for five and a half years (this will thrill mom and dad). Pick up more hours at the Pharmacy Station and don’t go out as much on Mackinac Island when you work there for a summer. P.S. you do not need another graphic t-shirt from American Eagle and don’t even think about buying jeans from the Buckle.
  • Seriously look into getting scholarships for college (don’t justsay you’re going to). You’re going to be in college for a long ass time and you know who won’t be happy about paying for most of it? Mom and Dad.
  • That being said, be more grateful. You are a royal brat at 17, I’ll admit it, and you’ll only get worse when you’re 18. But you live with your parents, don’t have to pay for any bills or gas for your car, are going to a relatively cheap university next year and have had the privilege of traveling all over the world. Get off your high horse and appreciate the things you have, how much your parents have given you and all the support and love you’ve received from friends and family.
  • Know that the best is yet to come. You’re going to fall in love, get your heart broken, break other people’s hearts, travel all over Europe, have your writing published in many different places, change your mind about a dozen times about what you want to do after you graduate college and sometimes feel so lost you want to give up. There will be so many good times in the years to come though, so even if it’s tough now, you’ll get through it and it will all be worth it.
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  1. Pingback: Be Humble and Appreciative | Kelsey Welke

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