Long overdue, but here goes: what I'd tell myself back in 10th grade:
-- (redacted to protect yours truly, for whom 10th grade was a tremendously harrowing year.)
-- Fer the love o’ Christ, simple speech wasn’t stressful enough? You have to go for DEBATE? I can’t stress this enough: get out while you can. It’s gonna flatten you this year, and you’re gonna deal with repercussions that’ll last for years.
-- Look, I’m with you on growing your bangs out. It’s a good look. But maybe just try the layered look in back just once in the meantime. Just once. No, it won’t make you look gay. And if you don't believe me once you see it, well go ahead and grow your hair back out.
-- Ah. Welcome to the joys of bronchitis. Enjoy hacking up a lung for the next three months.
-- (two months later): See? What'd I tell ya? Listen to that young doc fresh out of residency tell you to "get some sleep." Apparently, listening to your body wasn't cutting it. Feeling your shoulders actually boil with anger and stress while agonizing over American literature wasn't enough to tell you to STOP already. Nor was listening to this while hacking and coughing yourself to sleep at night. So SLEEP already. Doctor's orders.
-- Be careful with the Silver Skating Dame, there. Yes, she’s totally cool, and she’s rockin’ your world, but you know what? You’re rockin’ her world about a hundred times as much. You have no idea. And when she finally says, “Well, because I love you,” please try to think up something classy to say, unexpected though this revelation may be to you. Thoughtful silence for a bit is even acceptable. DON’T drop the phone and say, “Oh shit.” That’s the last thing anyone wants to hear when they open up their heart to you. And someone as awesome as SSD deserves much, much better.
-- Welcome to choir. I know you did it just to get a credit out of the way. And those shoulder rubs before singing are pretty nice, ain't? Well, trust me when I say that your life is going to shift dramatically for the better now. And yes, leaving journalism was the right move. Holy CRAP was it the right move.
-- Oh, and on top of all this, swim team!? Holy Mary, you really are turning masochism into an art form. Can't you just go easy on yourself and instead...I dunno...lift some light weights here and there, eat better, and...oh, God, I'm sounding like a broken record...SLEEP.
-- Congratulations on making it into the honors choir. And get ready to really enjoy life and school next year. You deserve it after somehow surviving hell this year.