You’ve Got This, Kris!

Dear Kristopher,

Hey. It’s me. I know you’ve been caught up with a lot of homework from the Summer Bridge and the Midtown Program, and I see its making you frustrated, and, not to mention, you have other things to worry about, like band practice and high school (since it’s right around the corner), but I just wanted to tell you that you shouldn’t give up, and yeah, it may seem hard to focus because you play games, but your mom really wants the best for you, and that’s why she signs you up for many programs: to help further your education. She didn’t have anybody to help her, she had to do everything herself, and take the initiative to do what she needed to do. I know you may disagree, but you know I’m right. So, I want you to heed your mother’s words, because when she’s gone, you’re going to have to do everything for yourself, and encourage yourself because sometimes, nobody will be there to, so I want to tell you 3 important things that I believe are very beneficial to you not as of now, but in the future as well. So, without further ado, let’s begin.

First of all, take your education and responsibilities more seriously. I know it’s pretty tough to focus on what you need to do when you have access to video games on your computer or your phone, and, not to mention, YouTube, but those games won’t help you get straight A’s, or help you finish your assignments, and neither will those YouTubers. Remember, what your mother always tells you, like “There’s a time to work, and there’s a time to play.” and “Work first then play later.” They’re both true, so, to actually put these statements into action, I suggest you refrain yourself from playing on your phone or computer so much and pick up a book, and, if not possible, prioritize your game time, but always make sure to do work before playing.

Second of all, start making goals, and creating new habits. You’re currently learning this in the Summer Bridge, so put the knowledge you learn to use! If you have the knowledge and don’t use it, then it’s worth nothing, and has no value. Making goals allows you to prepare for the future, and also allows you to complete your tasks based on a deadline (which is very beneficial when going to the workplace. You’ll understand when you get your first job), and creating new habits allows you to complete long-term goals, like getting a new car. You know what I mean. Your mother is making you street-smart, like navigating you on road, and making you aware of your surroundings, shaping you into a mindset of an offensive and defensive driver, so when you get your own car, you’ll know exactly what to do, so it’s not too late to get started.

Lastly, don’t be afraid to make new friends. I know you don’t socialize with a lot of people, but you might find people with similar interests, ideas, and hobbies if you try to talk to other people. If you want more friends, be more outgoing, especially when you get to high school. I know most of the students there at Marist are predominantly white, but they may be like you, and they could be your life long friends, if you all are committed to the friendship you have.

Remember Kris: being a black teenage boy at a prestigious high school, you’re going to have to step your game up. Remember how you placed on the Entrance Exam? Yeah, you didn’t do so well, so you need to take every opportunity you get. You know the book Piecing Me Together, that you all are currently reading? Be like Jade: do you, show the world who you are, and take the windows of opportunity, because they may happen only once in a lifetime, so seize the moments and grow into the best, most intelligent black man there is! And, hey, when you think about this when you’re in your 20s or 30s, remember what you said about never giving up, and keep moving forward. Hope to find you well in your new endeavors, and your future ones as well.

Yours Truly, Kristopher Smith (You, Age 13)