Letter to my High School Self: Mr. Williams


Picture from harthighschool.org

Dear High School Self,


Trust and humility are two characteristics that you need to tap into and develop more fully as you grow up.  As a teenager, your life is often filled with concerns that are somewhere between superficial and trivial.  Trust yourself.  If you could step back and see the bigger picture, you wouldn’t spend nearly as much time filling your head with negativity and doubt.  The sooner you can release unrealistic expectations and overcome the challenges of coping with failure, the better off you will be. Trust your teachers.  There have already been many teachers that have made a formative mark on your academic success.  Your AP US History teacher, Mrs. Dowler, pulled you toward a path that you will someday turn into a career and taught you that the Astor family can be used in nearly every essay you write.  Trust Mr. Pease in English class who captivated his audience using a simple passage from Old Man and the Sea.  It was the way he sent a message that was just as important as the message itself.  Trust Mr. Allison, your AP Calculus teacher, who said “there are many fine careers out there for you that would not involve calculus.”  Trust your parents for the safe haven they have provided.  There are many successes that you can learn from your parents and trust that they will always stand by you in all your life decisions.  Trust your friends to pick you up when you are down, keep you down when you are filled with rage, take you aside when you need a new perspective, and invite you in when you need to escape.  Trust your coaches who push you to perform and call on you when the game is on the line.

Try to use humility more often.  Look beyond the borders of your home town and open your eyes to the struggles that exist in your state, your country, and your world.  When you experience hardship, know that there are others that have experienced and are experiencing greater hardships.  Your home town of Ventura, California has provided sanctuary from many socioeconomic challenges that exist elsewhere, but, at the same time, has given you a warped sense of homogenous “normalcy.”  Listen to the struggles of others and develop a deeper sense of altruism.  Try to identify with multiple points of view so you may develop a balanced perspective on important issues.  With humility, you may discover that you are more open to forging new relationships and strengthening existing ones.  Oh, and speaking of relationships, you may want to pursue that girl that you met in Mr. Takeda’s 3rd period ASB class because she will end up being the important person in your life and give you three beautiful children some day.