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An open letter to my 12-year-old self

There is more for you beyond the walls of this middle school

May 27, 2016


Dear Sakshi,


Twelve is a hard age, especially for you. I know, in your mind, you feel older than you really are, and justifiably so. You hate when people hide things from you to try to protect you, you hate that you do not have the means to take care of the ones you love, and you hate the fact that you can’t really identify with children your age.  


You have been through more than the average 12-year-old but you still have a lot to learn. So here are some “protips”, as they call them in 2016, from the 17-year-old version of yourself.


“Fake it till you make it” really works. Sakshi, I understand you better than you understand yourself and, let me tell you, a veneer of confidence can actually take you a long way. In 2012 and 2013, you will go through things with friends and family that will make you crawl back into your shell. Rejection and bullying will make you feel worthless and purposeless. It’s going to hurt but, take it from an expert, you will get through it and you will be better for it. Smile and take charge of your situation, even if you don’t think you know what you’re doing.


Physical beauty is relative. I know you hate them right now but, one day, your thick eyebrows will be trendy. So, whatever you do, don’t attempt to shave them. Just don’t. There are days when you look in the mirror and feel like you need to be different; you will struggle with your body image for a long time. In the end, however, take comfort in the fact that the standard of beauty changes as time passes and you don’t have to try and match it.


Never be afraid to chase after your own happiness. Stop worrying about pleasing others. Sometimes, to pursue what is best and healthiest for you, you have to forget about how other people will feel. Use your voice and speak about your hardships to the people that really matter.


Simmer down, stop trying to be cool. Word of advice, there is no such thing as the perfect, popular girl. The more you try to pursue a standard that doesn’t exist, the more frustrated you will become with life and the more you will be conditioned to hate yourself. In the end, you will discover that popularity doesn’t do much for you and being the center of attention doesn’t really make you feel good. It’s corny, but you will be the happiest just being yourself and sticking to the small group of people that genuinely care about you.


Failure is not the end of everything. You take everything to heart, which is a problem you still haven’t shaken. In your life, there will be things that will not go to plan. No matter how much you plan and how hard you work, in the end, it might not work out and that doesn’t mean you have to stop loving yourself. Even Oprah was fired at 23-years-old. Most would argue that firing her was a terrible mistake but she needed to be fired to become the Oprah that she is now.


Don’t place your happiness in the hands of others. Your self worth should not be contingent on the actions of an outside source. Whether it be a boy, your parents, an employer or a friend, you need to establish a sense of self that comes from within you. It is much easier said than done but it begins with realization and acceptance of your true potential.


There is life beyond middle school. Don’t stress yourself out too much.


I hope you have enjoyed these protips. Try your best to implement them.


Good luck!



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  • R

    RylaMay 28, 2016 at 10:26 am

    I’m pretty sure we all needed to hear this at 12. Thank you, your voice is so powerful

  • M

    Meha SrivastavMay 27, 2016 at 5:36 pm

    Wow! Such a good idea and story. And the tips are so true