Dear eight-year-old Emma,
Let me tell you about the next seven years: you think you have your life all planned out, but things will change. There will be times when you will be pushed to do things out of your comfort zone, good or bad. You will go into life one way and come out as a whole new person. All these changes will shape who you are at seven-years-old, at 20-years-old, or even 50 years from now.
Right now you dream of being an Olympic swimmer or a veterinarian, but you will come to find that you have new passions as you get older. Don’t be afraid of trying new things even if it means leaving behind old friends to make new ones.
Even if you don’t fully understand it right now, you will strengthen your relationship within your faith, and you will increase your understanding and see how He is present in your everyday life. You will experience how He takes you through ups and downs but in the end, and you should trust that He knows what’s best for you. Next year, you will choose to surrender your life to Him and get baptized.
You will finish third grade, and soon, elementary school. In a few years, you will appreciate how much you enjoyed being that young, and how much you wish to go back to when things were that easy. Be sure to cherish the friends you have right now because as you get older people drift apart.
Elementary school will be remembered as some of the best years of your life. You will change physically and mentally in the next few years, so hold on. Puberty is about to make your hormones go crazy.
Enjoy your eleven-year-old summer because when middle school starts, you will be with a bunch of new kids. Making new friends is tough, but the kids you meet that year will travel with you to high school.
Middle school will be some of the worst years of your life but remember that every middle schooler is awkward, so try to embrace it and make the best of situations. Also, don’t get roped into peer pressure; trust me, it’s not worth your time or energy. Instead, focus on your schoolwork, keep swimming and keep your grades up, and you will be an honor roll student-athlete with no time for drama.
Enjoy the summer of 2018 while it lasts. You thought middle school was tough, but high school is a whole new ballpark. Dunbar seems super scary but you will get the hang of things–don’t worry. As a freshman, you will start to form your own opinions, and whether it is politically or socially, you will grow in knowledge and critical thinking. Not everyone will feel the same way as you do, but don’t get offended. Try to hear people out even if you don’t agree.
Also, it will be tough being back at the bottom of the school. You will have to learn how to really manage your time, but you will get your first B in a class. Realize, though, that this is not bad considering you are in the MSTC program and still swimming eight times a week.
You will still have your old friends from middle school, but you will also make new friends from different middle schools.
Freshman year will be full of both good and bad things, and will definitely be a year you will not forget.
In your sophomore year, there will be a lot of changes. You will no longer be in MSTC, and you will no longer be swimming. Instead, you try something new: cheerleading. I know, I know–never in a million years did you think you would be anything but a swimmer.
Now that you know how the next seven years of your life will go, I hope to give you as much advice as I can to help you out. Overall, stay your quirky, wild, and energetic self. You will be awkward at times, but so is everyone else.
My best word of advice is to not worry about what everybody else thinks and just do you.