What would life be like if you could tell your younger self something important that could positively impact your life? It’s a question that crosses many humans’ minds at least once. APN staffers certainly desire that chance to go back in time. Here’s what they would have said to their little selves.
“Everything is temporary,” is a quote I heard as a freshman in college. Since hearing it, it has stuck with me, mainly because it’s painfully true. Whenever I remind myself of this quote, I flashback to my middle school days, when I was an outcast for being myself. Some may have said I was “weird” because of the red locks that fell from my face, or they may have said I was “annoying” because I’d tell teachers about their ongoing bullying antics towards me. In those moments of sitting down at lunch having orange food objects thrown at my back, I felt alone — the kind of alone that eats you alive, urging you to run away and never return.
Today, I’m a 21-year-old woman, who has zero tolerance for bullying and hurtful “friends.” I stick up for myself, rather than run and hide, like I used to. Geesh, if I could sit my younger self down, I’d tell her, “Angela, you’ve got this. Nothing can get in your path.” Too bad I wasn’t told this as a kid. If I knew where I’d end up, I would have used it as inspiration, as my driving-force. Instead, I told myself, “Next stop: College. Please, God, give me the strength to get through the rest of high school.”
If I’d known that being an adult would be so hard, I would’ve enjoyed my childhood more than I did. I was always in a rush to grow up and be on my own. Once the “adulting” began, I was clueless.
When I was 10, I’d hope and pray my mother would allow me to stay up past bedtime, but now I pray for those extra hours of sleep. If I’d known I wouldn’t be getting so much sleep as an adult, I would’ve told my younger self to go to bed. I’d also tell my younger self to enjoy the journey we call, “Life.” When I was 12, I wanted to be 16. When I was 16, I wanted to be 18. When I was 18, I wanted to be 21. Now that I’m 21, the only thing I want to be again is 6 years old (when life was simpler and things had more meaning).
Growing up sucks.
Growing up in a small town can be hard — especially as a middle school student. Since I’m from a small town, I have a very close-knit friend group. We pretty much do everything together. I was never the type of girl to hang out with just one friend — I liked to hang out with everyone. Not all my friends liked that. In middle school, my friends tormented me for it. They said I “used my friends” and that I would drop them when I got bored. To me that was never the case. I just wanted to be friends with everyone. In my seventh-grade years, I remember crying and telling my mom I wanted to switch schools.
I wish I knew that those feelings didn’t last. One day, I’d move away for college, meet 60 new girls and be able to call them my sisters. Girls can be cruel, but although some of my previous friends made me feel terrible, they only made me the strong person I am today. I don’t let drama get to me, and I didn’t let that stop me from being friends with everyone. Everything I felt in middle school — all the hurt, betrayal and abandonment — taught me that feelings are temporary. If I knew that in just a few short years I would be this happy, I don’t think I would’ve let it affect me so severally. Life works in mysterious ways; that’s something I wish I knew.
For years, I was always labeled the quiet one, and I was OK with it. I kept to myself and had little to no trouble. Keeping to myself especially helped during my middle school and high school years. It was easier to make friends with people who made me feel comfortable. I was OK with not needing to venture out much. I was comfortable. But college is an entirely different ball game. Being the quiet person I am, my qualities seemed to burden me when it came to making friends. What was once an advantage, became a disadvantage.
If I could go back to my freshman year of high school, I’d tell myself, “Don’t be afraid to speak more. It’s good to branch out and try new experiences, hence being well-rounded. You’re going to meet people who are different from you, but that doesn’t mean you can’t find a friend in them. Finally, make it your mission to refrain from keeping to yourself. You will get left behind that way.”
I don’t believe it would have been beneficial to have known in advance the things I know now.
The beauty in life are the mysteries every obstacle has to offer. Those moments in which you
lack knowledge and the mental fortitude are what builds character. When you go through these
Situations — your first time at the playground or battling depression — you meet people
who end up becoming your friends, through success or even failure. Those experiences are vital to
the growth of an individual, and without growth there is only a person, one without personality. That
personality is built when you fail an exam or go through a bad breakup and then move on
from those situations.
Those moments in which I knew nothing helped me shape how I wanted to seek out the truth, not
only about the world but for myself.
I wish I knew I wanted to be a journalist before deciding on a major in liberal arts. I spent two years at Clinton Community College clearing up any classes related to the liberal arts degree. It was during my second year at SUNY Plattsburgh I decided to major in journalism, and I learned that there were a dozen more prerequisites I needed to fulfill. I suppose this should’ve been obvious going into this major, but it didn’t make it any less surprising.
If I hadn’t been so indecisive with my life goals, I could have saved money for college. But, instead, I started college focusing primarily on liberal arts. On top of that, I’m still second-guessing myself in the journalism career field, although writing is my passion! The thought of finding an internship or job related to this field worries me even more.
Why can’t time machines exist?