letters to myself

all at once (day seventy six)

high school is not destiny. it’s part of life, but i feel like when you’re in high school, people act like it’s the most important thing you’ll ever do and like the whole course of your life is being decided.

-john green

i think that teenagers are pressured beyond belief to find their calling. perhaps they are not pressured by certain people, but feel the pressure, the need, to find what they excel at. this happens to everyone, but i think teenagers especially. because they’re in that limbo between being a child and being someone who’s supposed to be able to take care of a child. everything that happens is magnified, everything is crucial. can you call it overreacting if an entire age group goes through this teen angst?

i am usually dishing out this nonsensical panic; rarely do i provide advice. but, when the tables are turned and someone confides in me about their issues, it makes me realize how absurd everything is. usually this dreadfest comes after something bad happens. not something major, like a death in the family or a sudden move across the country, but more along the lines of a bad test grade or not getting a varsity letter. something that you may still have a chance to fix, but is still a bummer. and to tell the person grieving over that defeat that it is not the end of the world is a bad idea. almost insulting. like a slap in the face by a dead, cold fish. it’s not the time to say that, even if it’s what the person needs to hear.

even though i’m still stressing over what lies ahead, i have to admit that the future is not in our hands. even if we go to the best colleges and intern at the best companies, success is not definitive. and at the same time, even if you’re failing now, that doesn’t determine your wage bracket or how you’ll end up living. it’s a biting thought, especially if you think about how many people forgo social events for studying. i’m typing this, but i still have trouble believing it. accepting it, really. teenagers are great at giving advice that they wouldn’t take themselves.

i’d like to think that this is a letter to myself, for when i’m crying about failing my math test or something, but maybe it’s nice to just get this out. it’ll probably be irritating to read if i’m down on my luck, because when you’re losing everything is annoying.

i don’t trust my words. but i do have faith in vlogbrothers. so here’s to the 3:19 long video that inspired it. thanks john


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