Ashley: Letter to My Younger Self

Three photos of Ashley VanWyk "Letter to My Younger Self"

Hey there Ashley Pink Princess. Woah! Haven’t heard this nickname in while. I have grown up quite a bit since we last chatted. Have you started high school yet? That’s where things get pretty crazy. 

High school is when you start experiencing a new environment for really the first time. New school, new friends, new everything. You may feel intimidated now, but just wait until bigger, better, and way scarier things come along in your life. You got this! 

Put yourself out there, try to meet as many people as you can, don’t settle for the comfortable. Push the anxiety aside and use this time to have fun! Enbrace being called the “floater” friend who doesn’t have a set group, but instead be happy going from friend group to friend group and feeling like you belong. 

Work hard at cross country even when your body is in pain and you mentally want to walk for the next 2 miles. Embrace being the back of the pack and don’t let anyone tell you that you should quit because you are too slow. Are those people able to run 5 miles? 

Don’t be afraid to ask questions and admit when you don’t know something. Ignore people who give you a weird look or laugh at you for not understanding the new trend. Trends come and go and the things that happened in high school are so lame today (well actually fashion trends are coming back and you’ll start sounding like mom saying that you already did that.) 

Get ready for the future, because it’s a lot crazier than you think! You will be prepared to skip senior year of high school and go straight to college, but slow down and take this time to enjoy being a teenager. Because once you are in college, a lot of the real world will begin. Working 2 jobs and being a full time student is going to kick your butt but you will meet a lot of amazing people that are still part of your life in the future. You get to travel and live abroad and have to navigate living away from your family for 6 months. You’ll learn more about yourself and what you think your plan is for the future. 

And then the future comes and the really scary stuff happens. You graduate from college and work 5 jobs for a year and half before you land your career job. You work hard so you can buy a house on your own at 25. You still have a great and supportive friend group. 

So have fun in the now, don’t stress about the future, and know that if you are confident enough (or at least seem confident enough) you can pretty much do anything.

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