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Dear 15-year-old Self:

Put down the Tolkien book right now and listen up.

You're not going to be a lawyer. You're probably never going to be rich and you probably won't marry rich either. You may or may not get published and a lot of things in your life are going to change by the time you're 25. For one thing, Crossfire is going to get canceled in favor of more political coverage that is just yelling back and forth. Quit that pipe dream right now because you don't want to be one of those yelling crazies featured over and over in videos on the Internet (and yeah, videos on the Internet will become a really big deal).

Participating in debate is going to give you a lot of good research and logical skill, but don't let it go to your head. There will always be people smarter than you, and there will always be people dumber than you. The trick is to realize where you fit on the spectrum and listen to those on both sides and then decide for yourself where your ideas fit and what those ideas are. You'll do yourself a big favor if you stop parroting your elders' positions now and learn how to think for yourself.

9/11 just happened. Remind yourself: the taking of a life to avenge a life stolen is never a good idea. A lot of people will use this tragedy to justify a lot of politics in the future - this is your generation's Pearl Harbor. Mourn the lost, but remember to let reason speak in areas emotion can't.

You probably haven't heard this term yet, but "megachurches" aren't all they're cracked up to be. Find a church, now, that challenges you to be a better follower of Jesus, not just a better "you." This church will likely be small and unassuming, and that's okay - you'll like knowing everyone's names and being able to react to the sermon right then and there. It'll be okay.

Also: There are some times you should just stop talking. Learn to identify those times as quickly as you can and you'll save yourself a lot of trouble.

Your friends are not mini-yous. Stop trying to make them that way and let them be themselves. You may not like anime, but you'll be living in Japan someday (I know!) and you'll wish you'd paid closer attention when they tried to introduce you to things like Fruits Basket and Dragonball Z.

You're never going to be as "cool" as you want to be, and the sooner you learn to embrace your nerdiness (hint: Are you wearing your Lord of the Rings "One Ring" replica on a chain around your neck yet? You're a nerd), the better. You'll be a lot happier if you just be the nerd you are and quit trying to like things you don't like just to be "cool." The "popular" kids aren't going to give a rat's patoot where you end up. Be concerned about where you, yourself, are going, and only you should have input on that. You'll end up with an awesome life anyway.

Doubt is okay. It happens. Roll with it. Showing doubt about things shows that you're thinking about your life and not accepting things at face value. Be afraid of the moments you stop asking questions.

Your 24 year old self.

PS: Oh yeah, and Harry Potter? Yeah, it's not as bad as you think. Just read it already.

Inspired by Vlogbrothers


  1. ...and also:
    Listen to your 24-year-old self. She knows what she's talking about!

    Some great wisdom in here, Dianna.

  2. This is great. It makes me want to write a similar letter. Though I shudder to think of all the bad character traits I'll have to call my 15 year old self out on. "Quit trying to be cool! Quit hurting people! You're an arrogant, insensitive jerk!" He probably wouldn't listen, anyway.


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