Kay Cassidy is the author of The Cinderella Society, which is being released in March of next year. She's hear today to tell us about what she wishes she knew when she was sixteen.
Three Little (BIG) Things
Most adults I know aren't overly thrilled at the thought of reliving their teen years. Yes, there are tons of stresses that go along with being a grown-up (mortgages and job chaos top the list), but being a teen has its own unique set of stresses. With the recent milestone of my *cough*sputter*must-not-divulge-number* high school reunion, I've been thinking lately about whether I'd want to go back and relive those years again, and I think the answer is a... maybe. I've decided I would only go back if I could give myself three pieces of advice to make those days a wee tad more bearable.
Piece of Advice #1: Quit worrying so much
Sheesh, Loueesh. I'm an old school worrier from way back. In high school, most of my worries were related to what other people thought. What does Person X think of what I said in class? What does Guy Q think of hearing the rumor that I like him? (A rumor which, incidentally, was generally true because I was pretty guy crazy.) If I'd spent even half of my worrying time doing the things I loved, I'd have saved myself heaping truckloads of grief and had a great time to boot. (Plus, most of the things I worried about never even came to pass. More fodder for the whole Quit-worrying-already! mantra.)
Piece of Advice #2: Planning is great, but give yourself a break too
I started planning where I wanted to go to college when I was a freshman. I can remember sitting in the public library the summer between my sophomore and junior year pouring over the annual College Review Guide. When a friend of mine came up to me and asked what I was doing, I told her I was looking at college stuff. We were still over a year away from college applications. She looked at me like I'd lost my mind. A beautiful day and I was making lists of college app stuff a year early? Um yes, it's possible I had lost my mind. Planning is great, but not if it comes at the expense of living life.
Piece of Advice #3: Appreciate your friends every day
The friendships I had in high school are the kind I've never really found beyond that. Adult friendships are awesome, but they're just... different. Sharing the experiences of growing up together trumps just about anything. My Varsity cheer team mates were the best buds I've ever had. Most of us were honor roll, non-partying good girls and our personalities meshed like I've never seen since. Going to midnight movies after basketball games and yelling out the window of my friend Lisa's car "Guess what?! Chicken butt!!!" are some of the best memories I have of high school. (There's no accounting for taste in humor, I know.) I wish I'd taken the time to slow down and appreciate how fab those times were instead of letting them zoom by like so many high school days did.
So... if I could go back and give young Kay those three bits of advice, I would gladly relive my high school days. Especially if it meant I could fit into my old cheerleading skirt too.