If I Could Give Several Messages to Myself at 15

  1. Teeth
    Take care of your teeth. You have been told this by everyone constantly, but you roll your eyes and ignore them. Thirty-five years from now you'll have two partials. Listen for once.
  2. High School Dating
    When you get a date with the prettiest girl in your school, and surprisingly you will, do not drive her to see ET in a major American city. You will not be a good enough driver, and you will terrify her. Also, don't be nervous and ramble. Thirty years later you will see her again and she'll be great but really conservative and evangelical, so just relax and have a good time. P.S. Your best friend's sister is going to be just as sweet and look exactly the same for decades. Hint.
  3. College Dating
    In college, you're going to wonder if someone is hitting on you, but you will consider dismissing the possibility because of self esteem issues and the laws of probability. Ignore those doubts, because twenty years later when they are married and safely settled, they will confess that you missed the chance of a lifetime all those years ago. And yes, that's a little messed up.
  4. Career
    Consider computer science as a career more seriously. Sure, right now computers are just keyboards attached to dot matrix printers, but someday they will catch on. Teaching is a great option, very personally fulfilling yadda yadda yadda but the big bucks are in computers. P.S. You'll eventually overcome your fear of public speaking if you go into teaching, so there is that.
  5. Exercise
    Try to work exercise into your life more. Weight is easier to gain and harder to lose when you get older, so do yourself a favor and don't put it on in the first place. Thirty years later, stairs and yard work will not be your friend unless you start exercising now.
  6. Smoking
    During a dark period in college you may consider smoking. Don't you do it! You'll get hooked for twenty years, waste a lot of money, and the stairs and yard work will be even worse.
  7. That Odd Friend
    The odd friend with the difficult home life might develop long term mental health issues and try to kill you with a pipe wrench in about twenty years. You probably want to reconsider that particular friendship.
  8. Use Sun Block
    Turns out you are particularly sensitive to the sun and unless you you wear hats and use sunblock you going to get a pretty serious life scare in thirty years. Avoid sunburns. For example, don't fall asleep on a beach in San Diego, pale Indiana boy. Also, don't burn your shoulders flirting with your best friend's sister in a public pool. The flirting is fine though, just do it better (see above).
  9. Collections
    Don't sell your vast Star Wars collection in the 90s. Hang on to all of it and keep them in their packages like you've been doing. That's the best thinking you've done so far. Well done! Just no selling!
  10. Appreciate People
    There are a lot of wonderful people in your life right now who aren't always going to be there. Right now it seems like they will be, but, as you get older, more and more of them will slip away, and not always based on age. Spend as much time with them as you can and let them know how much they mean to you. I know telling people you love them doesn't seem cool right now, but do yourself a favor and say it often.
  11. Stick Around
    All your favorite shows and movies are mysteriously going to keep going or being remade forever. Star Trek will be around in 2016! And being a geek is going to end up being cool. You're going to drive a Star Trek car, get on local TV going to see Star Wars VII (seriously!), and you'll even speak at a couple of small Sci Fi conventions. I know you feel awkward and unpopular now, but being like you is going to be pretty cool someday, so hang in there.
  12. And seriously, your best friend's sister is awesome. Trust me. That regret is going to haunt you, so listen for once!