This is future Molly writing to you about some of the things we did in high school that were maybe completely idiotic. Okay, honestly? They were really idiotic. I know you’re not going to believe that I swooped out of the future to write to you so let me tell you a little secret, only I (or you, or us or whatever) we’re the only ones that would know. That diary? Yeah, I know where we keep it. Under the freaking bed. Which by the way is the most obvious of places. It’s right on top of that box of things from Elliott, your freshman year boyfriend you thought you would marry. Girl, that was naive. I’ll forgive you of that, mostly because you were fourteen.
Let’s talk alcohol. There’s PLENTY of time to drink in college and no one really cares either way if you’re drinking or not. Your underdeveloped brain could have had much more fun staying in or hanging out with the choir kids (they’re more like you than you thought). A few beers every now and then is surely fun, but you’re in high school and you have forever to be an adult. You want to know what happens after you turn 21? You turn 22, and then 23, and 24 until the fact that you can legally drink is no longer a novelty. It’s just…a glass of wine after work because your head hurts SO MUCH. Also practically getting alcohol poisoning and throwing up all day right before you start your senior year was maybe not the smartest thing you’ve ever done, but good news – it’s one of two blackouts you’ll ever have. So at least you learned your lesson. The second blackout? Don’t worry. It comes a few years later at a hotel in Panama City Beach where you’re Spring Breaking it MTV Style and adding girls to your wolf-pack.
School. This is where future you is pretty upset with past you. You skimmed past senior year. Everything was a joke to you because “eff this town, I’m moving to Iowa City.” Well that last year of Spanish you didn’t need to take? I’m taking it now. That AP Math test you didn’t think you could pass? EDPS 491 is not that much easier, I should know – my final on it was BRUTAL. Why did you avoid studying at ALL costs? You should have been thinking of your future. Maybe if you were a good student then, I would be a good student now. I know we’re really smart and that’s why it’s hard but you’re eventually going to have to learn how to let someone teach you. It’s not the teacher, the TA, or the class’ fault that you didn’t pass Geology. It’s yours. Because you never went to class. Stop being a lazy pile before it starts.
Never stop writing. Write song, poems, and lists of boys you kissed once. Write the beginning of that novel that you hunched over your journal in the middle of the night to write, tears streaming down your face because a stupid boy didn’t like you back and you were gonna show him because you would be published. Don’t take your talent for writing for granted. Look, I know you had your heart set on an English major turning into law school or maybe an acting career but what you have now is SO much better and it’s tangible, and real, and you’re making people laugh – which is really all you wanted anyway. That tiny inkling to take a journalism class in high school? Yeah, you should have listened a little harder
High school boys were never really your thing, because you were still convinced you were in an awkward stage. I don’t want to be the bearer of bad news but you’re still mostly awkward. However, the braces came off, you learned how to walk in heels, and you definitely learned how to style your hair and what clothes will make you look like a normal sized human as opposed to a dwarf. High school guys were never impressed by your wit or the fact that you REALLY liked Star Wars. Your sarcasm went over most of their heads. They laughed because they knew your joke had a punch line, but they weren’t sure what was funny. In college, being smart is a much more valuable quality to have than being dainty. Believe me, you’ll be glad people are calling you a spitfire by the end of it.
While we’re talking about boys, let me just tell you that it’s okay to think with your heart instead of your head sometimes because if you hadn’t? Well you’d still be in Iowa City (which you loved), you’d still be pursuing Law School, and you probably would have turned out pretty okay. But you did, you followed your heart and moved back home to a school you never even WANTED to go to because you HATE their stupid football team and you’re doing better than pretty okay. You switched your major for a THIRD time, discovered that you could do something lucrative with making people laugh, found out that 9 MILLION PEOPLE have read something that you wrote on the Internet, moved into a house with three other girls (although it feels like 6. I’m looking at you Abby, Schyler, Jordan, Kendra, Kelsy, and LT) and although you wish you could have lived out your days as an ADPi back in Iowa City, you’ve never had friendships that felt more like sisters. So you followed your heart instead of your head and you’ll beat yourself up about it every day for a semester, and then just like that you’ll be reminded that everything happens for a reason.
So disregard all earlier points made in this letter. Skip studying for that test to go watch One Tree Hill and eat cheese quesadillas over at Brittany’s house. Stay out a little too late and feel alive for the first time at Sokol watching The Faint play with Caitie. Drink too much and spend your first day of senior year trying to put together what happened the night before. Cry. Dream. Laugh. Decide to give up, change your mind. Decide to wear jeans every day for a week, change your mind. Decide to forgo college and move to LA, have your mom change your mind. But don’t worry, because look at where you are now?
Are you looking?
Love you crazy,
A lot changes between high school and college. Living away from your family (sometimes far, far away), leaving behind old friends and making room for new ones, gaining roommates and professors and a few hangovers — over the course of just a few years, you look back on your high school self and realize just how different you were way-back-when.
Because we can’t actually travel back in time and impart wise words on our 17 year-old selves, we’ve decided to do the next best thing. Over the coming days, you’ll see letters on the site from the CC staff writing to their high school senior selves. If you’re getting ready to graduate and are looking for a little guidance before setting foot on campus in August, take notes. We’ve been through it all and want you to learn from our experiences — for better or worse.