One of my favorite Brad Paisley songs is "Letter to Me." Every time I hear it, I wonder what I would say if I could write myself a letter "and send it back in time to myself at 17." I think it would go something like this:
Take Spanish. Your college self will curse your existence if you don't.
I know you love your Volkswagen Golf and you are weirdly proud of the bruise on your right hand from all the times you punched the steering wheel to get the speedometer to work, but you'll save yourself thousands of dollars if you trade it in for a car that isn't possessed.
It's great that you don't plan to have a boyfriend while you're in high school. But leave some room for boys in your life.
The real reason you're hesitant to try out for softball isn't that the team is comprised almost solely of cheerleaders or that you're afraid you won't like the sport anymore if you have to dedicate so much time to it. Quit fooling yourself; you're hesitant to try out because you're scared. Stop being a chicken and do it.
Take more risks. Allow yourself to fail.
You don't have to be the best at everything.
Treasure every moment you have in choir. And thank Mr. Dahlquist for letting you be one of his accompanists; not many accomplishments will be as gratifying as that one.
Don't forget about your cousins.
No matter how long you've been on your feet, no matter how tired you are, don't speed on Elk Ridge Drive. And don't tell the cop that pulls you over that your speedometer doesn't work, geez.
No one in this world pays as much attention to you as you do. Think about that for a few minutes.
Just admit it; you like your family more than anyone else.
Mr. Paisley is right—these are nowhere near the best years of your life. Enjoy the experience while you can, but know that the best is yet ahead.