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RareDenver's avatar

If you were to write a letter to your 16-year-old self, what would it say?

Asked by RareDenver (13145points) November 12th, 2009

There is a book called Dear Me: A Letter to My Sixteen-Year-Old Self with a collection of such letters from celebrities. Now we hear far too much from celebrities these days so I thought I would pose the question to you fine people.

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92 Answers

OnaBoat's avatar

“You’re so money and you don’t even know it!”

nzigler's avatar

High school is NOT the greatest time of your entire life.

Don’t be in such a hurry to get a job.

You are NOT too cool for prom. Also, you can go ahead and write on the college paper, it isn’t lame. And another thing, go to one football game- it’s not going to kill you and you might enjoy it.

ummm, was that too specific?

Jude's avatar

Don’t call your best friend’s (the girl whom you had a serious crush on) sister a slut. It’d save you from getting a punch in the mouth. You’re outta here in three years, sister. Stick it out/have a good time. There’s no need to date the fellas when really you have interest in the ladies. Don’t date the boys just to fit in. That’s silly.

You really don’t need to take finite math.

acidlogik's avatar

Obviously I’d write all the winning lottery numbers from the past six years. ;)

jeffgoldblumsprivatefacilities's avatar

Pay attention in driving school!

gemiwing's avatar

Stand up for yourself. You’re not as horrible as they would make you believe.

CMaz's avatar

Put the joint down!
You will have plenty of time for the ladies.

Study your ass off. Other then that, you are right on! I am very proud of you.

Keep following the beat of a different drummer.

Oh and one more thing, bang a few more head together. There were a couple that did not get bitch slapped, that should have.

MrItty's avatar

“Don’t worry, it gets better. A lot better. Don’t stress out about the crap you deal with – in 4 years, you won’t give a damn about any of it.”

KatawaGrey's avatar

You will get boobs in college, I promise.

dpworkin's avatar

Lay offa the LSD. And go to college, fer krissakes.

erichw1504's avatar

Don’t lose your thirst for knowledge and be more ambitious, dammit!

Facade's avatar

“That guy may be sexy as hell, but he does still have a girlfriend. He’s lying to you. No, no; don’t drive him home…
Go get your damn license already!
It’s ok if you don’t fit in right now.”

PrancingUrchin's avatar

Don’t waste 2 years of your life with her.

rangerr's avatar

Do your fxcking homework, and pay attention to how to do a research paper.
Sign up for college classes on time if you want to be able to sleep in.
Don’t let yourself get overly attached to that boy… it will only piss him off and make the next 4 years hell.

erichw1504's avatar

Buy lots of stock in Google Inc.

jeanna's avatar

Be honest with yourself.

erichw1504's avatar

Nothing will happen on January 1st, 2000.

kellylet's avatar

Don’t be afraid. Go after what you really want. There are way more opportunities than you can even imagine.

erichw1504's avatar

Invent a website where people can ask questions that anyone else with an internet connection can answer.

RareDenver's avatar

Dear 16 year old RareDenver

Your college work will be boring as hell but please try and do the work and go to University, it will be worth it in the long run. Oh and try not to fall for every pretty face, try and look a bit deeper, don’t be afraid to break off relationships that don’t make you happy.

Yours

A boring old fart RareDenver

Likeradar's avatar

Be nicer. Remember that everyone is feeling insecure, and having a tough, bitchy exterior won’t make you feel any better about yourself.

PretentiousArtist's avatar

@RD Also don’t sell the maiden records for LSD

RareDenver's avatar

@PretentiousArtist I think it was too late by the time I was 16 for that one

drdoombot's avatar

Keep doing exactly what you’re doing, but try to read more and definitely exercise more (and save yourself the trouble of losing weight when you’re older). Be nicer to your younger brothers.

And goddammit, go out with I_____ when you have the chance, kiss S_____ back when she plants one on you in the break room, and let J_____ “return the favor” in the back of your car! And try not to take it so hard when D_____ “just wants to be friends.”

There’s actually quite a few more regrets I’d tell my younger self to fix, but I find this kind of exercise to be a poor exertion of energy. If you dwell on past mistakes for too long, you miss opportunities for a future with no regrets.

DominicX's avatar

Dear 16-year-old self,

Don’t waste so much damn time on Q&A sites. You’re going to spend over 3 years on them. Come on. Also, you could’ve been with Rory for 2 more years. He was gay and you didn’t even know it. Come out of the closet now! Other than that, you’re doing great. You’re going to get into UCLA and decide that’s where you’re going and you’re going to tell everyone that, but then you’re going to get into Stanford and completely change your mind. You’re going to continue your A-streak, so don’t worry about it. :)

XOXO

-18-year-old me.

Yes, I know it hasn’t been that long. But I just don’t regret much, sorry. 16 was a great year for me.

Judi's avatar

DON“T DO IT!!! YOU ARE BETTER THAN THAT!!!!

Lightlyseared's avatar

Its not my 16 year old self that needs the talking to. My 30 year old self, however, needs to be told to stop being such an annoying bastard an to get over himself.

wundayatta's avatar

It’s ok if you don’t save the world. Really. Stop think about that NOW! Don’t worry about the Great American Novel. Don’t worry about making a billion bucks. Study mindfulness and your life will be much happier.

Oh, and you don’t have to worry about birth control. Have a lot of fun! [wink]

erichw1504's avatar

Don’t press the red button that says “Do not press this button”.

smack's avatar

“take the right medicine, you dumb bitch.”

nah…

“stop doubting people, including yourself. you’re doing fine. stick with eric, don’t let other people tell you that what you’re doing is wrong.”

ratboy's avatar

It’s okay—you don’t really get hair on your palms.

erichw1504's avatar

No, you will never be able to grow a full beard… sorry.

: (

smack's avatar

@DominicX 16 was my peak. don’t worry about it hahaha

Aethelwine's avatar

Don’t lose your virginity to that asshole. Save it for someone who actually cares about you.
Also, stay in band.

ubersiren's avatar

These people ____ are not worth your time.
These people ____ have stds.
These people ____ are taking advantage of you.
These people ____ are liars.
These people ____ are your best friends for life.

Get a math tutor. Enjoy your music classes. Don’t conform; you don’t have to go to college like everyone else. Everything will be okay, just be yourself and you’ll be rewarded. Also, your parents are not as smart as you think they are.

trumi's avatar

She broke your heart once, don’t give her another chance.

jeanna's avatar

Stop hanging out with people your own age.

acidlogik's avatar

There’s lots of people who seem to wish avoiding people who have caused pain & heartache. Don’t forget the lessons you have learned from these experiences.
Besides, if you dodge that bullet you can be sure there’s another not far behind.

‘Tis better to have loved and lost than to have never loved at all.

Sarcasm's avatar

Dearly beloved Sarcasm, aged 16.

WHAT UP MOTHERFUCKER I’M YOU FROM THE FUTURE. It is the year two-thousand and nine! We have a black president. You’ll see him on The Daily Show in 2 years.
Your suspicions about Travis are true, he is gay.
Furthermore, don’t bother with “C”. You know that you don’t want a religious girlfriend, and you know you don’t want one who loves fart jokes. “D” is the one you want. Go for her. And go for her before “P” asks her to prom. Just a hint. Her stepbrother is annoying, but it’s probably worth it.
More tips? Get a job. Keep the goatee. Move out of the house, the cats really aggravate your asthma. Brush your teeth. Find a way to invest in Google.
When you start attending college, don’t take that English class at night at MCHS, you’re going to fail. Don’t take the Java programming class either a few semesters later.

Oh, and start watching Doctor Who,and Stargate SG-1. You’ll like them.

Signed,
Awesome you from the future.

Judi's avatar

Oh I would also tell myserlf to remember the name MICROSOFT!

hearkat's avatar

Dear Kathy,

You have spent too much time longing for a life and family that you can not have. You have been neglected by two people not fit to be parents, and molested by a narcissistic asshole. You have no reason to be ashamed because of this… you did nothing wrong.

You are not defective, damaged or useless trash… NEVER allow anyone to treat you as such again. You are worthy and deserving of love and respect… NEVER settle for anything less. You are stronger and more resilient than you know, but there is no need to test yourself by choosing poorly.

Joy is everywhere around you… seek and you will find it. Focus on what is good an beautiful in the world. Notice what you find admirable in others, and find a way to incorporate those traits into your own personality.

You have amazing potential, and you can be successful and happy. You’ve never heard of it, but Audiology is the perfect profession for you.

Yesterday is gone, and tomorrow is unpredictable… do your best with today, so that you will enjoy the experience of life, and make choices that will leave you with the fewest regrets in the future.

I LOVE YOU.
~~Kat

aprilsimnel's avatar

Dear 16-Year-Old Me,

Guess what? One day you are going to meet Michael Palin! And he’s as nice as all get-out!

Love,
40-Year-Old Me

PS – You’re going to meet Terry Jones too! :D

PrancingUrchin's avatar

@erichw1504, I was looking at the new responses to this question in My Fluther, you cleaned house on this question. Nice job! :)

ItalianPrincess1217's avatar

You think you have all the answers, but you really don’t.

ItalianPrincess1217's avatar

@Sarcasm Thanks for the laugh!

Sarcasm's avatar

laugh? But it was all completely serious :(

shrubbery's avatar

Dear 16 year old me,
Study, study, study. Prepare better for the end of year exams or your hard work will be wasted!
Do NOT get involved in the massive love triangle that will happen just before the mid-year exams between three particular people. Yes they are your three best friends but no it will not turn out alright so for once don’t even bother. It’ll be better in the long run because you will stay closer to all your other friends rather than retreating into yourself after the pain of being betrayed by those couple of close friends.
DON’T compromise your friends and study for that boy, heck, think twice about going out with him. It was great, but, you went through so much pain when it ended I’m not sure it was even worth it, probably should have just kept him as a friend, and again, you would have stayed closer with all your other friends too and possibly done better in your exams.
Keep working hard at your job, you will save enough money for the parents to be satisfied to chip in the rest for your trip to Africa, and enjoy that trip it was awesome, don’t even bother getting homesick, seriously, you’ll miss being there when you’re back home.
DON’T put up with that stupid guy at work though, stand up to him and tell him to fuck off and stop making dirty jokes. It will make your life easier.
Don’t do Maths Specialised. Even if you enjoy it, unless you forget about all your other subjects you won’t do well enough. Do Maths Applied, even if it’s boring you will get a much better score to go towards your university applications. Heck don’t even do chemistry, do some easy subject like health studies, you just need a good score remember!
Iiiiiiiii think that’s about it…. basically just concentrate on study and treasure your friends and family.
Love, 17 year old me. (yes, it’s not long ago, but I’ve learnt a lot in a year :P )

ItalianPrincess1217's avatar

@Sarcasm That’s what made it funny :)

Val123's avatar

Don’t let anything or anyone derail you from what you want to do with your life.

holden's avatar

Dear 16-year-old self,

hope those condoms you just bought have a shelf life of like ten years, because you won’t be needing them for a long time.

Val123's avatar

@holden LOL!!

DON’T MARRY HIM!!! But then I wouldn’t have my children. :(

janbb's avatar

You are lovable.

Jack79's avatar

Be patient, you’ll get your chances.
Communism is about to fall…write a book about it now and call yourself a prophet!
All the girls in your school think you’re hot, so start taking advantage of that.
Invest in computers.
Avoid Greeks.

If I could go back in time or something, I’d probably just not say anything and watch myself make the same mistakes all over again and chuckle. I don’t think I’d change a thing because everything I am and everything I’ve done are closely related and affect each other. I cannot imagine what my life would be like if I’d changed one simple choice. And most of the times there was no real choice.

I was just at the cinema, and watched “2012”, and how on several occastions in the film people had to choose between saving themselves or doing the right thing and what their conscience tells them. For most of the audience it was a hypothetical situation, but I was just thinking about how I’ve actually had to make such choices in life. And you can never really choose the other option without changing your very essence.

J0E's avatar

Hey Joey (I call you Joey because it’s just so gosh darn cute) what’s up? Have you quit your horrible job yet? Have you gotten better on the basketball team yet? Do you know where you’re going to college? Do you know what career you want to go into?

Don’t worry, all those things will be figured out and solved in due time. My advice is to keep doing what your doing because I’m happy I did (and you will be too.)

Blondesjon's avatar

Dude,

She has crabs!

Jon

NaturalMineralWater's avatar

Mine would say a lot of things… but mostly it would warn me to start investing money ASAP as I could have been a millionaire by now if I had.

ThePeanutGallery's avatar

No matter how much your friends beg and plead, do not get behind the wheel on the night of May 20, 1996. Drinking and driving is not OK.
Also, don’t wait until you’re 32 to get a computer. Get with the program, dude.

Val123's avatar

@ThePeanutGallery Oh geez…what happened….

le_inferno's avatar

Dear 16 year old Me,
Having a boyfriend is not all that important. Also, calm down. You’ll kiss a boy soon enough, I promise. But you still won’t have a boyfriend. Sorry. And you’re gonna get fucked over by falling in love again over the internet. Sorry. Stop moping about Jason, it’s not worth it.

Love,
18 year old me.

ThePeanutGallery's avatar

@Val123 About the computer? Just kidding. It involved wrapping my Bronco around a telephone pole, and seriously injuring a close friend (one of my passengers). He has a permanent disability, and I live with the guilt every day. Needless to say, I’ve never repeated my mistake.

Val123's avatar

@ThePeanutGallery I am so sorry you have to live with that….so sorry….

filmfann's avatar

Dear me,
You will be sucessful. Just be who you are.
Take college seriously. It’s not about what you learn. Completing the courses and getting good grades ARE important.
Bet on the A’s to win the series in 72, 73, and 74. Then sink everything into a computer company called Microsoft.

Val123's avatar

@filmfann Is this a true story, or are you reading the future for your 16 year old self?

tyrantxseries's avatar

Dear asshole me
Don’t get up early to review for tests, they are easy sleep in
the voice in the back of your head isn’t your imagination…you’ll see
Jan 1st 2000 call 9–1-1 before starting cpr
never hesitate
he does deserve what you are about to do to him
Oct 24 1998 don’t leave until 4pm leaving at 3:30 will be bad
Nov 23rd 2001 8:35pm JUMP AS HIGH AS YOU CAN
May 1st 1999 7pm Remember life before limb it only hurts for a wile
March 3rd 6:45pm that tree if farther away than you think
Enjoy the ride

February, 2001 cough 649 cough 12 13 14 32 41 43 6 October 1, 2008 cough 649 cough 2 8 22 29 34 48 47

toomuchcoffee911's avatar

Dear 16 year old self,

Any stock investment tips?

:P

Val123's avatar

@tyrantxseries OK, can we have some details please?!! LOL!

tinyfaery's avatar

Dear 16 year old me,

That boy is not worth all the heartache. There are others who will care for you. Yes he is beautiful (damn), but there will be more.

Yes, you like girls. Your crushes are not innocent. You want to kiss them, and you are going to LOVE it.

Don’t be so hard on your mother. Yes, she is a shitty mom, but you will eventually understand.

Do not leave your nephew and niece in the care of your sister. Do whatever you can to save them from her.

Try to find a connection to the world, something that you care about and that has meaning for you. Give us a break, huh.

Love,

35 year old me. (Yes. You make it to 35.)

aprilsimnel's avatar

PPS- So glad you love water! Our skin today is very happy.

hungryhungryhortence's avatar

Get better grades, swallow your pride and ask grandpa Fred to help pay for college, if he refuses then ask him to put you to work in his brokerage.

kerbear1786's avatar

Things will get better, I promise. High school is not the best time of your life. Study harder. You’ll make friends in college but then you’ll fail out, and you’ll survive. Why the hell haven’t you asked him out yet? At least once? At least he apologizes for being an asshole.

Aethelwine's avatar

@aprilsimnel Love the PPS! Can I steal it?

PPS-When mom and dad ask for your opinion about moving from Vegas to central Illinois, give them a big hug. You’ll eventually meet the love of your life and end up with some awesome children.

really!? How often do parents ask their children about such a big decision. I love my mom and dad!

dalepetrie's avatar

I’d tell myself that I wouldn’t be surprised if I thought this letter is full of shit, but I’m you, and I’m writing you from 22 years in the future. Here is proof: [At this point I would proceed to prove to my former self that this was legit].

I’d explain I knew I wanted to be wealthy wealthy, but that my 38 year old self has discovered there are things a lot more important than money…but that money makes things a hell of a lot easier. So first off, I’d help myself make an assload of money. [At this point I would have a collection of the most successful IPOs in the last 22 years, and probably one or two sets of winning Powerball numbers, on dates one drawing before record sized jackpots].

Then I’d tell myself to still go to college, but not to go into Accounting, but to do something with writing, train myself to be a better writer, and actually put some time into creating a coherent book that I could shop around.

I’d tell myself my opinion on the girls in my school who I think would go out with me if I’d just ask, and let myself know that in a couple years I’d never see most of them again, so I got nothing to lose.

I’d also tell myself about my wife and my son and explain how I met my wife so I could be at the right place at the right time.

And I’d tell myself that if I didn’t change certain dietary habits, if I thought I was fat at 16, I wouldn’t want to see myself at 38, would probably even send a picture, and I’d tell myself about my current health problems that I could avoid if I just got my act together.

I’d have a HARD time deciding to send it though.

tyrantxseries's avatar

@Val123 lol, ok sure:

he does deserve what you are about to do to him- I hurt someone worse than intended for being a bully not to me but kids in younger grades and found out later he was planning to hurt one of my friends in a different way

Oct 24 1998 don’t leave until 4pm leaving at 3:30 will be bad- I left a friends house at 3:30pm on my bike and was intentionally hit by a car had to swerve to hit me I was unconscious in the middle of the road for 2 hours 3 broken fingers, broken wrist, broken arm, broken leg, alot of missing skin car and driver never found (good idea who it was)

Nov 23rd 2001 8:35pm JUMP AS HIGH AS YOU CAN- I was standing on the side of the road talking to someone winter time and a car skidded on the ice and pinned me to another car broken leg

March 3rd 6:45pm that tree if farther away than you think- DRUNK climbed a school to get some kids basketball off the roof for them 2 floors too drunk to climb down sooo there was a tree nearby didn’t look too far away, simple plan (jump to the tree, climb down the tree) MASSIVE FAIL Missed the limb by a foot, but it’s ok, the ground caught me broken arm, dislocated fingers and shoulder, broken wrist

J0E's avatar

@tyrantxseries You sound like Eugene from ‘Hey Arnold’.

J0E's avatar

He had really bad luck and always got hurt.

vicnav's avatar

Don’t eat those egg’s on that desk.

Val123's avatar

@tyrantxseries LOL! Get away from ME!!!

BTW, when I was 16 I actually DID write a letter to my teenage children. I’d had the heartbreak of my life, and I wrote a letter of understanding to my future daughter, telling her how I felt so she would understand that I would understand how she felt. Don’t know where it went…..

Judi's avatar

@Val123 ; The person who bought the house I grew up in recently gave my mom my old journals that they found hidden behind a wall when they were remodeling. I have to go to Oregon to get it, and I’m really kind of scared. I sealed it with duct tape and promised to give it to my daughter without reading it first. That was nearly 40 years ago. My daughter is now 28.

Val123's avatar

@Judi Who wrote them?

Judi's avatar

I wrote them!!

Val123's avatar

@Judi Oh shite!!! You SURE you don’t want to read them first?? LOL!! I wanna read them too!

RareDenver's avatar

@Judi you have to publish them here first!!

Judi's avatar

@RareDenver ; Hec, I’m afraid to read them! I was a pretty disturbed kid!

Sarcasm's avatar

@Judi All the better!

tigerlilly2's avatar

Don’t be so insecure! Realize that you do have potential. Dump the jack wagon who is gonna cause you misery for the next two years. Tell a few more people were to go and smile at a lot more than that! Apply for a damn scholarship ughhhh facepalm other than that, don’t even worry about this petty stuff, in four years you will be a confident, single woman with her head screwed on right.

That felt pretty nice :)

12Oaks's avatar

Don’t listen to those who think they know better. Dropping out of high school on your 16th Birthday WAS the best move you’ve ever made. The “education” you missed out on won’t be missed in the least. You know what you’re doing, so keep it up!

aprilsimnel's avatar

What an ideal place to put in the latest from the Dear Sugar column at Rumpus. Someone asked her a similar question, and Sugar had a lot to say.

hearkat's avatar

@Judi – What did you do with your journals?

Judi's avatar

@Hearkat, Now I can’t remember! I know I didn’t read them but I’m not sure if I gave them to my daughter or I’d they are sitting in a box in storage. This was 2009 and a lot has happened since then.

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