So you are seventeen and of course, you know everything. It is an exciting time -- senior year, graduation, college, a lot of change. You have your life mapped out: you are going to be an attorney -- a plan that you devised in grade school (where all sound plans are formed), you have your first boyfriend and awash in young love, you think you are probably, more than likely going to marry him ... maybe. You might be clinging to familiarity right now because the rug was just pulled out from under you with your parents' divorce. That is okay, but it will have consequences later.
Katie? Throw away the plan. You haven't yet realized that you don't have to stay in the box. Because although you are a child of the nineties and consider yourself a feminist, there is still an expectation for your generation that girls choose a female-friendly degree, get married and have babies. And while you are beginning to peek outside the box -- law is not exactly baking cookies -- that is not for you either. When you do finally try to climb out, it will cause strife and heartbreak. Do it anyway.
Write your grandmother more. Your time together will end much sooner than you think. Don't cut off all of your hair. Short hair will never be a good look for you. Devote more time to studying for your history class. Avoid downtown Murfreesboro late at night -- that upcoming car accident takes a big bite out of your savings account. You could be more tidy, that really bothers Amy. Be confident.
I want to tell you to avoid certain upcoming mistakes but without those mistakes, you would not be me. I know how much it hurts when you wear your heart on your sleeve. Don't compare yourself to her because she has the boy you want. Don't listen to that other boy -- he's an idiot. But let's be honest, you could be a little choosier with the guys. After this all-encompassing, endless love you are in right now ... ends, you will date. Accepting some of those dates because you are bored or because you do not want to hurt anyone's feelings does no favors for anyone. You eventually figure that out.
Yes, the unknown is scary. But your life will take you in a direction that you can't yet imagine as you sit inside your new dorm room. Careers do not travel a straight path and yours will take some major detours in the next twenty years. Stay open-minded and don't be so hard on yourself when it does not happen the way you think it should.
Somewhere out there a twenty-three-year-old boy just started his first post-college job. One day your paths will cross but until then, you have some growing up to do. You will have you heart broken more than once. It won't feel good at the time but when that boy finally appears on your doorstep, you will understand.
Whatever you do, don't try to rush your life. Be patient for good things are coming.