Letter To My 7th Grade Self


The author on the right with best friend Johnelle Troutman at the Prom.

Jess Walter, Writer

If I could go back and have a talk with my 7th grade self, there would be so many things I would want to say.  I’ve learned so much through all the difficult and sometimes painful times in high school.  These times are not necessarily in the classroom, rather, in the entire high school environment.  Whether I was in the cafeteria, playing softball, or walking down the hall, I would go back and tell 7th-11th grade Jess a mouthful.  But, wouldn’t everybody want to go back with the knowledge they have now?  Looking back on my high school career, there is a lot I would tell myself.  This is what I would say:


Dear Jess,

Always stay true to yourself and don’t change your personality based on who is around you.  Always be yourself, always.  Do not be afraid of what people think of you because you will be judged here regardless.  It will be okay though.   Learn to let loose and have fun with whatever comes your way.  There will be tough times when all you want to do is be alone and listen to sad music.  You can do that for a little while, but then you need to make yourself go out with friends and get over it.  Don’t get me wrong– it’s okay to be sad, but it won’t do you any good to stay sad.  Don’t let anyone dull your light.

Don’t complain about going to softball practice.  Varsity softball will be coming to an end in the blink of an eye.  You should cherish every moment of it, even when Coach makes you furious (which is more often than not).  Learn to laugh at your mistakes, that’s the best way to overcome it.

You will get burnt out.  Several times you will think about how badly you want high school to be over.  You will hear people tell you, “Don’t wish it away,” but it’s okay to wish it was over.  It’s okay to feel tired and cranky in high school.  Just don’t let it eat at you.  Go to school, do your work, and try to fight your senioritis.  I know it will be hard, and you will be so tired sometimes, but it’s alright.  Go home after school and nap it off.  Yes, nap.  Naps can be so beneficial, especially after a sleepless night followed by an exhausting day at school.

Don’t forget to help Mom and Dad.  They will do so much for you through high school and never forget to thank them constantly for all they do.  They make it seem effortless, but it is stressful and tiring for them, too, I’m sure. Even if you clean the kitchen or take the trash out, any little thing they will appreciate.  It does make a difference for them, so do it.

Don’t let anyone get in your way of happiness.  Keep your head up and keep trucking.  Go out with friends and be spontaneous.  Also, get used to stepping out of your comfort zone because at one point or another, you will have to.  Don’t let your anxiousness get in the way of doing the right thing.  I know sometimes it will be hard, but always make good decisions.  Even though it will be challenging, I promise that you will regret making choices that only benefit you and not others.

So, Jess, I hope that you take these words to heart.  I wish I could go back and walk you through all the difficult times, but I know you’ll make it through.  Everything will start to fall into place as you end your senior year.   Even though you are struggling to figure out what you want to do afterwards, it’s all good.  You will figure everything out and you shouldn’t worry.  Senior year has come and gone and you are moving on with your life.  So here’s to you, Jess.  Go and do your thing and let your light shine.