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Saturday, January 1st, 2005
|letter to the kids
I remember when, at the end of my 6th grade year, we had Highschool students as guest speakers. At the time I brushed it off like every other speech given to us about growing up, staying away from drugs and sex, and not neglecting school work. At the time it felt like just another thing keeping me from going home and watching the Simpsons. I never would of thought I'd regret not listening to those speeches. Because they're exactly true. You may think you'll never run into things like that, but I promise you that in less than a year you'll be wishing you'd listened, just like I did. Because once you're there, you need as much advice as you can get. But you don't want to turn to parents, or teachers, and you can't turn to your friends, because they're as clueless as you are. Don't get me wrong, my first year of Junior High was one of the most amazing years of my life so far, a real turning point for me in how I viewed things, and I'll never forget it. But you can't walk out of this room thinking, "I'm going to have an epiphany and do everything right." You have to make the mistakes, you have to learn on your own, that's what makes the experience so great.
Everyone always says what their regrets are, and for elementary it seems like everyone's is the fact that they didn't stay in touch with people. You're always aware that, hey, after that last day of school, you may never see 95% of these people ever again. But you don't really realize that it's actually going to happen. And it does. Two years go by and you may not even remember their names. It's insane how time makes people drift apart. And I wish I could reverse it. I wish I could take back all those times I deleted people's screen names off of my buddy list to add new people because I thought oh well, I don't talk to them anyways. But now I see that that doesn't even matter, even if I don't ever talk to them, and they get a new screenname that I don't even know about it, it's nice to scroll through my buddy list and see them, see a part of my elementary days. It really brings me back. And for the ones you do stay in touch with, you'll never find better friends, or people that know you better than they do. Look around you, and you'll see the people you've known for almost 7 years. 7 years. That's the better part of your life right now.
I also wish I could have told a few people how much their friendship meant to me, and how much they impacted me as a person. It's sad to say that now it's too late, because I don't even have a clue as to how to contact them at this point. I haven't talked to my best friend from elementary school since the first week of summer vacation after 6th grade. And I blame myself for that. I took advantage of our friendship and let it slip away. I'd give anything to talk to her today.
People say it's bad to try and fit it. That it's all caused by magazine articles and things you see on tv. That it's not necesary. But you're going to do it at some point or another. It's a way for you to find out who you are and where you feel comfortable. And that's important. If you're not comfortable with where you are or who you're with, it's going to ruin your Junior High and Highschool years for you. You'll be too busy worrying about that to focus on anything, much less school.
And as for everything else I'm supposed to warn you about, just be smart. Honestly. The only situation you'll never run into is one where you'll become 'uncool' for not smoking, taking a drink, or anything else. It's not like that. How much you smoke or drink is not a status symbol. Yeah, it's something people just do, but it doesn't mean they're cool because of it and it doesn't mean you're not cool for not doing it.
There really isn't anything you can say to sound original.