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Letter to My 17-Year-Old Self

Your mindset now is different from when you were a teenager, with the knowledge you have today, what would you tell your teenage self?

Dear Heidy,

You’re in your last year of high school, and you cannot wait until you graduate. You’re ready to leave the school that you believe is full of so much unnecessary drama, but there is drama everywhere, and you think you’re prepared to leave your house. You feel you’re ready to take on the world because you feel trapped and ready to be on your own. You have a job right now, save up as much as you can because once you get to college, you will struggle a lot. You’re going to be hungry, a lot, you don’t like cooking and eating out gets expensive quickly. All the shoes you buy aren’t going to matter because you end up moving so much that all those shoeboxes become a hassle, and you end up throwing them out anyway, save money!

I know you’re disappointed you didn’t get into Western Michigan University, and you wish that you could go back to freshman year and care about your grades, but its senior year, and you cannot undo time. GRCC isn’t that bad of a school, but right now, you refuse to go there because your heart is so set on going to Kalamazoo, but first try to figure out what you want to study, don’t make decisions based on other people’s lives.

Your self-esteem isn’t at its best, and I know it feels like nothing you do is correct, and you have no purpose, but believe me, once you establish a relationship with Jesus, you will find your purpose. Stop comparing yourself to your friends and stop trying to be someone you’re not. People will love you for who YOU ARE, not who you’re trying to be. Be authentic always; there is nothing better than someone who is their true self, although I know that at this time, you’re trying to figure out who you are. I’ll be honest, it takes you a little bit to figure yourself out, but you do eventually. ๐Ÿ˜Š

Enjoy every second of playing sports, enjoy the practices, and enjoy the games, both the losing and the winning, although it was mostly losing, LOL, but have fun! Try to enjoy the days you have left in high school because after this comes the real world and the real world is hard and filled with mostly struggling.

Be thankful that your father is the way he is with you. He cares about you A LOT and loves you A LOT, and although right now it’s hard to communicate with each other, please know it does get better, and you grow closer. ๐Ÿ˜Š He is just doing the best he can how he thinks is best. You’ll understand later, but be grateful.

You will go through some tough years, and it’s going to feel like there isn’t a light at the end of the tunnel. It will also seem like it all came onto you at once, one thing after another, but find Jesus soon. He helps you through these challenging times and remember you are NOT alone. Don’t let those evil thoughts overpower your light. You are worthy, and you are here for a reason!

Those trails and challenges you will go through will help shape the woman become, and she is beautiful, resilient, loving, caring, understanding, and compassionate. You will find your voice, become more confident in yourself, I promise, and learn to love yourself, although you don’t right now. Continue to have self-respect and remember you are in control of yourself, not others. People will hurt you, but you will learn forgiveness, and your heart will go on. Remember, God is with you ALWAYS!

With Love, Heidy

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Me when I was 17 years young!

I asked a few women to give advice to their 17-year-old self and here are their responses.

God defines you, not the world. Learn to seek His Will for your purpose & have the courage to step out in faith… also workplace is just like school, some people don’t grow up, and will spread gossip just the same. โ€“ Age 33

You are good enough no matter how others make you feel. โ€“ age 26

Guys suck; save all your money, traveling is so much fun, make it work, and also start college as soon as you finish high school and do it fast. โ€“ Age 33

The biggest thing I could say would be, “you’re going be ok, God is always in control” โ€“ Age 25

Honestly, though, my teenage self was very naรฏve about the world and thus I feel like she didn’t really need that much advice. She was pretty confident about herself and very optimistic as a person. It wasn’t until I got to college that I started facing some insecurities about the real world such as being the only person of color in a room full of white people or not feeling smart enough or adequate in the professional world. When I was a teenager, everything seemed so easy. Sports were life, friends were so easy to keep up with, and my home life was great. Looking back I think I would tell myself to cherish every single minute as much as I can. And to hold onto those friendships even post-teenage years (something I didn’t do). I think I would tell myself to not forget how good it feels to be a part of a team. And to always, always, always remember how happy those moments made me feel. โ€“ Age 29

Donโ€™t get hooked on anybody, enjoy as much as you can, don’t take high school so serious, time flies so fast, and learn to say no, don’t sell yourself short. Enjoy yourself! Don’t take any guy relationship seriously. โ€“ Age 27

Donโ€™t be scared to take risks and save more, invest more, take the trip, and be vulnerable itโ€™s OK! โ€“ Age Unknown

Be patient! You have so much life left! โ€“ Age Unknown

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What would you say to your teenage self? Let me know in the comments or let’s connect!

Twitter.com/HeidyReynoso13

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By Heidy De La Cruz

Daughter of God, Wife, Writer, Poet, Mother, and lover of life

14 replies on “Letter to My 17-Year-Old Self”

Great post. I am 44 now. I would probably tell my 17 year old self โ€œyou are ok. Boys are not all there is to life. God is your knight in shining armor. Let Him be that in your life. There are hard things that happen in life. But God will be there with you.โ€

Thank you for sharing. As Iโ€™ve heard Jim Kwik say recently, practice makes progress, and you certainly have been doing just that.

If I could talk to my seventeen year old self I would give myself two pieces of advice. 1. Waste less time. 2. Listen to what God is telling you.

Keep on keeping on being awesome. ๐Ÿ™‚

I love this! Itโ€™s such a beautiful letter~ Iโ€™d tell my 17 year old self to just be patient, lay low and keep praying because things will get better. It may not seem like it now but youโ€™re going to have lots of love in your life and you WILL have a child ๐Ÿ’–

I really loved that post, and I also particularly enjoyed the fact that you asked other women to send their own advice. It was really interesting, definitely something useful to A LOT of younger women.
Sincerely,
Camille

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