Things I Would Tell My 14 Year Old Self

  1. 1.
    Go to the beach
    You grew up in Hawaii, loving the sun, climbing trees and learning to swim around the same you took your first steps. Much to your parents' chagrin, you've turned into a full-on vampire. Your older, cooler friends hang out at the mall or each other's houses, so the only time you go outdoors is at night to smoke the odd bowl of weed in the park. Getting some vitamin D won't solve all your problems, but you'd probably be a little happier and healthier.
  2. 2.
    You don't have to be an adult
    You think you're an adult. You're not. Nobody expects you to know the answer to everything, so don't feel too embarrassed to ask questions. Talk to your parents. They actually have pretty great advice. You might resent them now, but you will love them and think about them every day when you're a real adult.
  3. 3.
    It's okay to say no
    You don't have to talk shit about people just because your friends do it. You don't have to hang out with older guys that make you feel squirmy inside. You can say no to the Forever 21 saleswoman who is pushing the prom dress you don't like, but will end up buying out of guilt. You know that feeling when you think something is wrong and your heart sinks? That's your body telling you to say no. Standing up for yourself isn't the same as being rude.
  4. 4.
    That being said, good job saying no
    You've said no to a lot of things. You said no to the senior boy you really liked when he casually asked for your virginity as a "present" for his 18th birthday. You said no to your friends when they asked you to do cocaine with them for the first time. You felt left out when they borrowed your learner's permit to cut it up, then bonded over horrendous nosebleeds. And even though you are stuck with a prom dress you don't want, you know your boundaries when it comes to bigger decisions.
  5. 5.
    You're not "fat"
    Most of your friends will develop eating disorders as a result of their changing bodies. You're going through puberty, you're supposed to gain weight, dummy! Please, please, please stop buying into the negative culture of weight loss and excessive exercising. Stop comparing yourself to Britney at the 2000 VMAs. You will eventually discover that ultimate health is not about having a hot body. P.S. You're not going to be 5'8" like the doctors said. You will be 5'4" and totally fine with it.
  6. 6.
    I love you
    You would roll your eyes so hard reading this. You are scared and lonely and go to movies by yourself, but that's ok. You will ditch the "popular" crowd for a diverse group of people who will remain your friends for over a decade. You will dedicate all of your time to theater/writing/art/getting into college. When you're in remedial math class senior year, you'll get a call that you got into NYU off the waitlist and you'll cry in front of everyone and not give a shit. I love you. Deal with it.