A letter to my high school self: Mrs. Graves

Lizzy Snow, Copy Editor

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Dear seventeen-year-old (stressed out, about to graduate) Laura,

Take a break from debating whether you should hang a Bob Marley poster or an Incubus poster (or both?) in your dorm room, and listen to me for a minute. Every single decision feels massive right now, but I can tell you from experience that you are going to be okay. Take a deep breath. Give yourself a break.

Being terrible at calculus isn’t the end of the world. Not being able to carry a tune isn’t a crime. This may be impossible for you to believe right now, but it’s okay to not be perfect at everything. Embrace your strengths. Forgive yourself for your weaknesses.

I know that you’re really excited and proud to be preparing to attend your freshman year at UC Davis, and you should be. It’s a wonderful school and you will meet people there who will teach you so much about yourself. You’ve always imagined going to a UC school and that’s an admirable goal, but I want to remember that UC schools are not the only path to success.When unforeseen circumstances in your life cause you to need to be close to home during your sophomore year of college, CSUN is going to offer you an education perfectly geared to your future career.

You’ll meet a close friend there that you’ll end up working with one day, you’ll take some incredible creative writing classes and you’ll discover authors that will be deeply important to you. Try not to feel like you’re giving up on a dream by leaving UC Davis. Realize that you’re just chasing a different one.

Don’t ignore that part of your heart that is drawn to teaching. Sure, your mom is a teacher and your rebellious side is itching to forge your own path. I get that, but I have news for you. There’s no escaping the fabric of your very being.

Wandering secondhand book stores, checking out seven books from the library every week, and staying up late into the night reading has left an indelible mark on your soul. That passion for the written word will never leave you. Teaching will give you an opportunity to share the fervor for literature with others, and with that will come immense fulfillment.
Remember that little girl that walked to school while reading a book? You were willing to risk a few bumps and bruises to see where the story would take you next. Life is like that. Your path isn’t going to be painless. That’s okay. That’s part of the beauty.

Your life will take twists and turns that sometimes feel exhilarating and sometimes feel terrifying. In the end, life will take you to a place that is even more beautiful than what you could have imagined for yourself. I promise you that it will all be worth it.

Sincerely,
Mrs. Graves

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A letter to my high school self: Mrs. Graves