A letter to my 17 year old self

Dear Judy,

You’re in your last year of high school, and boy are you not looking forward to leaving this place that has become your safe haven. This last year has been crazy! You have solidified friendships with people that will stay in your life for a long time, and you have lost friendships with people who weren’t able to accept and see the real you. and that’s okay! Trust me, your are going to meet a lot more people over the next few years, and you will learn that sometimes friends come and go, but you have a few people in your life who are very special, and who love you for who you really are! Hold onto those people.

Now, this year you have to navigate through a new part of your life. You might have a bit of a rough year this year, but remember your favourite quote that a close friend told you;

“The sun will continue to rise and set regardless of what you achieve.”

When this year is over you will have learnt a lot, and you will be entering a really amazing new chapter! Your anxiety will start to rear it’s head this year, and you’re going to be a bit confused as to why you’re feeling nauseous everyday, and why you’re starting to have trouble sleeping. Just try to remember to breathe, and that you can only do your best! You don’t have to be the perfect student everyday, in fact you won’t be. You won’t be dux, you won’t be school captain, and you might even fail a test, but the world doesn’t end, and the sun will indeed rise again tomorrow! Don’t be afraid to open up to those you trust, they will help you tremendously, and you will walk out of this school at the end of the year a stronger person with much more insight into your inner life.

Oh god, this year you will also turn 18! You will finally be able to go to nightclubs with your friends, and boy will that be an adventure. Just take each new experience in your stride, everything you do is a little milestone in your journey to learning more abut yourself and growing up. You, for instance, may feel the need to try to kiss boys and feel some kind of affection while you’re at clubs. Another interesting part of this journey is the night you learn exactly what you’re limits are with alcohol. You will scare the absolute shit out of yourself , pass out on a train, and go crawling home scared to your mum. But hey, you have never done that again, so pretty valuable lesson I would say!! Don’d judge yourself for these experiences, they are just a part of your journey, and it all happens for a reason.

I promise you that in a few years time you will be in this amazing new part of your life. You have found the man of your dreams, have moved out of home, spend a good chunk of time working on yourself and your mental health, and you’re doing the work that you love! Just stick it out, and stay strong!

You can do this!


Judy Maree