Dear Teen Me from author Juliana Stone (BOYS LIKE YOU)

Teen Julie!

Teen Juliana!

Dear Teen Me:

Hey, you…yeah you with the big hair, the neon green T-shirt and the harem pants that won’t quit. Listen up ‘cause I got a few things to share. First off, let me tell you that THINGS WORK OUT. So, there’s that but still….

You know the guy you’ve been in love with since sixth grade? Get over it. He was just a fantasy and once you do finally date, the result is such a letdown. Don’t waste anymore time on a guy who flirts outrageously,(listen to this part because it’s important) ESPECIALLY A GUY WHO HAS A GIRLFRIEND. Bad precedent my friend. BAD.

Also, the guy you dated for the only reason being that he looked like Jim Morrison? Not cool. He gave you a hell of a lot more than GIRLFRIEND GUY and you kinda broke his heart. Continue reading Dear Teen Me from author Juliana Stone (BOYS LIKE YOU)

Dear Teen Me from author Chris Struyk-Bonn (WHISPER)

Angela, Chris Struyk-Bonn's sister, took her senior pictures at Kohl's farm in Sioux Center, Iowa, 1988.

Angela, Chris Struyk-Bonn’s sister, took her senior pictures at Kohl’s farm in Sioux Center, Iowa, 1988.

Dear Teen Me,

Let’s face it, you’ll have some regrets about high school. Hey, I know you were quiet, shy, introverted (and, trust me, that never fully goes away), but you had opinions and you knew right from wrong. You knew when you saw injustice happening and you’ll wish that you’d done something about it.

Senior year. You’re walking home from the bus stop with John. It’s a nice day, sunny, May-ish, and you’re comfortable with this guy—he’s been your friend since stuffed animals were cool and riding cows was cooler. But on this particular day, he tells you something that stays with you for a really long time, twenty-six years to be exact.

“You changed when we got to high school,” he says. “A lot.” Continue reading Dear Teen Me from author Chris Struyk-Bonn (WHISPER)

Dear Teen Me from author Rjurik Davidson (UNWRAPPED SKY)

Brooding teen Rjurik

Brooding teen Rjurik

Dear Teen Rjurik,

Grey skies loom ominously over Rue d’Alesia, a typical Parisian boulevard, its apartments reaching up to the sky on both sides. The smell of fresh bread drifts from the nearby bakery. Your father leads the way, your sister walks beside you. Every step is like that of a condemned man heading for the gallows.

You are thirteen years old. Today will be your first day at College Jean Moulin, and you speak no French. There is a blind fear that accompanies that fact. Your mind is filled with a sense of powerlessness. What happens when you can’t communicate? It’s as if you are suddenly mute. Nightmare scenarios flood through your head: What if I need to ask for something and no one understands? What if they ask me something and I can’t answer? What if I look like a fool, an idiot? Continue reading Dear Teen Me from author Rjurik Davidson (UNWRAPPED SKY)

Dear Teen Me from author Lindsay Smith (SEKRET)

Lindsay blows out the candles on her 18th birthday cake.

Lindsay blows out the candles on her 18th birthday cake.

Dear Teen Lindsay:

I know, I know. You think you’ll never fit in, and that’s just the way you like it. You may be short, but no one fucks with a girl in four-inch platforms. No one looks to cause pain to someone who wears corsets every day. The spiked collar might as well trumpet KEEP OUT when you enter a room. Red lipstick flashes STAY AWAY.

It’s not that you mean to be stand-offish—prickly—a barb-wire fortress. It’s that you’ve looked across the dusty plains of Tulsa, Oklahoma and found nothing worth standing down your guard.

But it aches, doesn’t it? The loneliness throbs like a tooth. You spend Friday nights playing MUDs and Switchblade Symphony, waiting for the phone to ring. (You know it dials out, right?) Why are you so surprised to learn people think you’re scary, or a snob? The only thing you fling yourself at open-armed is the Internet, in an age of phone cords and wheezing modems. Don’t you see those friends waiting and ready for the changing guard? Continue reading Dear Teen Me from author Lindsay Smith (SEKRET)

Dear Teen Me from author Cat Clarke (ENTANGLED, UNDONE)

Cat rocking a hat and a bad attitude at her dad's birthday party, after a disastrous haircut the day before.

Cat rocking a hat and a bad attitude at her dad’s birthday party, after a disastrous haircut the day before.

Dear 14-Year-Old Me,

How’s it going? How are those green Doc Martens with tartan laces working out for you? Sore feet, huh? I’m sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but you will NEVER break them in. The leather will never get soft, and they will never look worn and battered like everyone else’s. You might as well go back to Converse now, because guess what? That’s exactly what you’ll be wearing twenty-two years from now. No grown-up shoes for you, because you don’t have a real job! You get to make stuff up for a living, just like you always wanted to (and you don’t need to rip off Christopher Pike’s stories to make that happen, FYI).

OK, it’s time to get serious. There’s something you need to know: you spend FAR too much time obsessing about the people you love dying. Closing your bedroom curtains in a certain way or lining up your shoes making sure the laces don’t cross over or having to have the door slightly ajar while you sleep or any of the other weird little rituals you have? Pointless. Utterly pointless. None of these things make the tiniest bit of difference. It’s just very time-consuming! And unbeknownst to you, Mum messes up those shoes and curtains at every opportunity. She recognizes this as OCD-like behaviour, even if you don’t. Continue reading Dear Teen Me from author Cat Clarke (ENTANGLED, UNDONE)

Dear Teen Me from author Sarah Combs (BREAKFAST SERVED ANYTIME)

Dear Sarah,

Teen Sarah and her friend/accomplice Alycia

Teen Sarah and her friend/accomplice Alycia

It is Monday, August 9, 1993. You are sixteen years old and about to make a significant error in judgment, the result of which will mortify you even more than the mortifying consequence of the sonnet episode.

Stop. Rewind.

It’s sophomore English, and the assignment is to write a sonnet in the style of Shakespeare. You write one and although it’s sort of sub-par, you’re convinced it’s proof of your genius. Some classmates buy into this ruse and you agree to write their sonnets for them, five bucks a pop. The teacher, although she appears dim, catches on, and she is not amused. Cheating is a serious offense, she says. I’m going to have to call your mother.

Stop. Rewind.

Your mother left forever ago. It’s just the way things are in your family, and you’re fine with it. Your dad is an excellent mom and you’re anchored to your sister and you have fantastic friends and are even—dare I say it—the embodiment of that rare oxymoron: a happy teenager. You’re smart! Well-adjusted! But this thing with the English teacher threatening to call your long-gone mother sends you right over the edge. You sort of lose it a little bit and say—right to the teacher’s face—some stuff that you probably shouldn’t say.  Continue reading Dear Teen Me from author Sarah Combs (BREAKFAST SERVED ANYTIME)

Dear Teen Me from author Amy Carol Reeves (The RIPPER Trilogy)

Teen Amy!

Amy in high school.

Dear Teen Me,

It’s two weeks before senior prom, and you still don’t have a date.

This is partly your own fault. Except for a small close circle of friends, you’re painfully shy. You and your friends are in the honors English classes and you talk about existential angst and female poets such as Sylvia Plath and Anne Sexton. And yeah, you all were at the movie theater at the opening night of Kenneth Branagh’s Hamlet. (And you all have crushes on Kenneth Branagh.) Sure you have a couple of close male friends in this group, but they’re gay. (Although they don’t officially “come out” until after high school.)

It’s not that you particularly want to go to prom. You’re by nature an introvert and would much rather stay inside watching Buffy the Vampire Slayer and eating Cheetos. (You love the show and all of your clothes look like Willow’s in Season One.) But because you’re a budding writer you see your life as a narrative—prom just seems like something every teenager has to attend. At least so you can laugh about your bad hair and clothes someday with your children. Continue reading Dear Teen Me from author Amy Carol Reeves (The RIPPER Trilogy)

Dear Teen Me from author Sharon Lynn Fisher (THE OPHELIA PROPHECY, GHOST PLANET)

Dear Teen Me,

Christmas Eve, age 18

Christmas Eve, age 18.

There is something I want to tell you that it will be hard for you hear or believe right now. I’m going to tell you anyway because it’s super important.

You are beautiful. Just the way you are. Inside and out. You have a kind heart, a bright smile, and SERIOUS determination. People value you much more than you realize. Please value yourself.

That’s worth saying twice, but I know if I do you’ll start tuning me out. Probably you have already. So let’s lighten things up a little. Some tips from Old You, for easier traveling along your path. Continue reading Dear Teen Me from author Sharon Lynn Fisher (THE OPHELIA PROPHECY, GHOST PLANET)

Dear Teen Me from author Skylar Dorset (THE GIRL WHO NEVER WAS)

See? She does get to go! Skylar’s first trip to England. (She is wearing a fanny pack. We don’t speak of these things.)

See? She does get to go! Skylar’s first trip to England. (She is wearing a fanny pack. We don’t speak of these things.)

Dear Teen Me,

I know you have no reason to trust me. Other than, you know, I’m YOU, but I know from experience that we are not the best at trusting ourselves and wow, the English language is really not equipped with enough pronouns for this situation.

I know what you are thinking right now. Well, right now you’re thinking, “Have we invented time travel? If we’ve invented time travel, why are you wasting your time talking to me? Why don’t you go hang out with Oscar Wilde because he always seemed like a lot of fun?!” (See? I KNOW YOU.)

But underneath that, what you’re really thinking is what you’re always thinking, which is: “How am I going to do it all? How am I going to figure out what I want to do with the REST OF MY LIFE (which I know seems like a long-ish time right now) while also keeping up my grades and making sure that I have enough extracurriculars that a college will look at me and want me while also trying to have cool friends or good friends and are those two things even the same thing and what about—” Continue reading Dear Teen Me from author Skylar Dorset (THE GIRL WHO NEVER WAS)

Dear Teen Me from author Deborah Ellis (MOON AT NINE, the Breadwinner series)

Dear Teen Self:

I can see you.

You are trying to be invisible as you slink along the halls of Paris District High School, but it’s not working. I can see you.

You are wandering the halls, trying to look like you have somewhere to go because it is lunch time and you’re too shy to go into the cafeteria. There are fifteen long minutes between the time the lunch bell goes and the library opens. Fifteen minutes when you are stuck out in the public world of the halls with no one to talk to and no place to hide. So you go from floor to floor, you plant yourself in front of the bulletin boards and stare at them as if there was something interesting there. Anything to get through those agonizing fifteen minutes.

Finally, the library opens and you feel safe again for a little while, at least until the bell rings and the mind-numbing boriness of classes start up again. Continue reading Dear Teen Me from author Deborah Ellis (MOON AT NINE, the Breadwinner series)

Letters by Author

RSS What would you say to your teen self?

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Janine
(Tuesday, Apr 15. 2014 10:41 PM)
It will get better don’t worry about what other people say. Don’t believe people easily as they may be the first to stab you in the back any chance they get.
Until next time xoxo Gossip Girl
Sharryna Lou Inolino
(Tuesday, Apr 8. 2014 03:50 AM)
Dear teen me, Be yourself love who you want to love, create memories everyday and remember to bring back souvenirs. Please don’t be scared because you right now is beautiful and strong person.
I hope you would never end up like me who regretted something that cost me a lifetime to forget. So Have fun to the the teen me :D
aniszolkapli
(Tuesday, Apr 1. 2014 09:59 PM)
yeah, its hard to be a teen.. a complicated life its like frivolous.. ggaaaahhh,, confusions, boys, educations, love, study, family… its all been a hard challenges during my whole life journey..! but, sometimes, i be like, kill mehhh!!
avalone
(Monday, Mar 10. 2014 02:41 PM)
Dear Twelve year old me, When you had been at the thrill of growing up and when you thought you could change the world by becoming a teen prodigy. Little did you know about the dark and dingy world which only craved for money and forgot all the moral values. You were trapped by the unrealistic alms of fairy tales and believed naively in your fantasies which were so far from reality
Amanda
(Wednesday, Mar 5. 2014 05:24 AM)
Dear Amanda,
It does get better, as cliché as it sounds. Some people take a long time to blossom and we just happened to fit that category, but keep your head up and continue to do what makes you happy. p.s: He comes along eventually
Sydney
(Sunday, Mar 2. 2014 04:39 PM)
Lots of love!
Sydney
(Sunday, Mar 2. 2014 04:38 PM)
Hi there teen me I’m 13 already a teen and stuff i still like the saxophone and my best saxophone friend! Lol hope you will ready this later and keep readying and life gets better Kay? Lots of love ~~~~~sydney~~~~~ P.S. Make sure to have a fun life and never give up also love and take care of Matthew and mom and dad and gramda and grandpa and still Aaron even know he is a jerk.
Aaliyah
(Friday, Feb 28. 2014 01:26 AM)
Dear Teen im the biggest One Direction, Cody Simpson and Big time rush if I could meet any of these 3 I would just be so grateful p.s my favorite member from 1d is Louis and btr is kendall thx Aaliyah

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