If I knew Then What I know Now

Dear younger me,

I know things are though right now. You just got into middle school, and it seems everyone changed over the summer. No one wants to go outside and play on the playground like they used to do in fourth and fifth grade. Everyone is starting to get into the idea of wanting to be “popular” and the “coolest” kid around. You’re “best friend”, who promised they will stay by you forever, will eventually leave to be part of that “popular group”. Now you might be thinking, whats so special about them? Why are they so popular? Why can’t I be like them? Well let me tell you. You are YOU , and don’t need to be anything else. Everyone will see you as an outcast, but I promise you, you will meet you’re true best friends and find people who are like you and understand you. Great things will happen in sixth grade, and I won’t go into detail, but you will go on an awesome trip outside of Illinois and spend time with you’re friends and build an even stronger bond with them.

Let’s fast forward to seventh grade now. Everyone is so excited to apply to high schools, and are so excited to finally be “adults”. Well let me tell you, WAIT for the right time! Your time to become an “adult” is coming soon, and I would recommend you to have fun as a teen instead. Now, everything seems to start going off a great start, you have good grades, great friends, a wonderful family who loves you, and our mom has a huge surprise waiting for us, but a HUGE change will happen soon, Covid-19. At first, it might seem like, “Oh, a 2 week break! Awesome!”. NO,NO, and NO. Everything starts going downhill, 2 weeks turn into a month, which turn into a semester, and then a whole 2 years of virtual learning. Now, you think, this can’t get any worse right? Well, I am very sorry to say, but we have lost 2 wonderful members of our family due to covid. Everyone in our family goes into a state of depression. Your grades fall to C’s , you have big arguments with your friends, and you don’t even want to talk to your family anymore. I will give some advice, please don’t think this problem will stay forever. You will have help from your family and friends, and you should and will give them help back too. You will move forward.

Remember earlier when I said Mom had a huge surprise? Well, that surprise was that you were going to have a baby sister! It’s now the beginning of October, and you and Allyson are saying good bye to Mom and Dad as they are going to the hospital, getting ready for Moms labor. A week passes and you finally get to see your new baby sister! But wait, your dad pulls you aside, telling you horrifying news. I won’t tell you what this is, but I will tell you that after this,you should appreciate your mother more, and always tell her how much you love her.

Back to school. It is now application season for high school . You obviously want to go to that private high school, 5 minutes away from home! It seemed like your ideal school, and you were so excited to apply. But obviously, private schools are a lot of money, so you decided to apply to that scholarship your counselor told you about, Daniel Murphy Scholarship Fund. And guess what? You both made it in to that high school and was awarded that scholarship! But let me tell you something, that high school was not where you were going. Everything started to go uphill, when suddenly Dad lost his job. Even with financial aid and DMSF, he would still not be able to pay for this private school. Your dreams are crushed, and your parents hearts are broken to tell you this, but remember it is not the end of the world.

Eight grade. Now, you are entering virtual eight grade, not how you expected your last year of middle school to go. I know everything still seems like its over, but let me tell you that even though you might of have not entered a private school, but you have entered one of the best CPS schools, Lane Tech. You are even still a part of the DMSF scholars! Everything will be fine, so just go with the flow and live everyday to the fullest. Always remember those who helped you along the way, your family, your friends, your teachers, and especially your counselor! Don’t forget to give her a huge thanks for all the help she gave you these past 3 years of middle school.

I will end this letter in a bit, but I want to give you a bit of advice, DON’T TRY THAT MAKEUP IN MOMS ROOM! I’m being serious, you had a really bad allergic reaction after that, so don’t use it. On to the real advice now. Always be you, and don’t try to be anyone else, it is your life, so do what you like the most. Try not to be so hard on yourself, most of the problems you faced are not your fault. Be you and learn to love yourself, ok? Give your best shot at life, because like mom says, you only live once!

Take care,

Your future self

Ashley Pacheco – Lane Tech High School – DMSF