What amazing adventures you are about to have! From this side of high school, that might be difficult to believe. You've had the worst summer of your life (trust me, the next 17 summers will truly be a vacation in comparison), and you don't feel particularly intelligent, beautiful or friendly enough to make any kind of difference. You won't be valedictorian, voted homecoming queen or give the commencement address, but you are about to meet some of your best friends, discover your biggest supporters and figure out who you are.
Freshman year will start off better than you expect. You'll be cast as Patty in a local production of You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown, and you'll enjoy singing, dancing and acting with a group of people who will continue to be a part of your life for years to come. Enjoy every minute of your time in the spotlight.
|14-year-old Kathryn sings "The Book Report" in You're a Good Man Charlie Brown.|
|15-year-old Kathryn marches in the West Aurora High School homecoming parade.|
|16-year-old Kathryn walks through the particle accelerator at FIRMILab.|
|17-year-old Kathryn meets with other internes on the steps of the Old Capitol Building.|
Right now, you look at yourself as an awkward girl in thick glasses and too much fat who doesn't know how to dress or do her hair. Your family's not wealthy by any stretch of the imagination, and you can't imagine being able to afford to go to college. Well, those things won't really change, but your perception of yourself will. You'll soon realize that it's the experiences you have that define who you are.
So grab every opportunity that comes your way and live a life well lived. I promise, you won't regret a thing.
Dear Teen Me Blog Tour. The Dear Teen Me: Authors Write Letters to Their Teen Selves anthology by editors E. Kristin Anderson and Miranda Kenneally will be available from Zest Books on October 30. Don't miss this amazing book that features insights from some of my favorite YA authors, including Tom Angleberger, Daniel Ehrenhaft, Carrie Jones, Kekla Magoon, Jenny Moss, Cynthia Leitich Smith, Sara Zarr and more.