Dear Younger Me,
In the 18 summers you get to spend at home with your family before college and work become a part of your life, make the most of them.
Get off the couch and set down the book you’re reading and go play with your sisters. Don’t get me wrong, the summer reading program is great and valuable, but when you keep reading and reading to try and win the top reader award for the most pages read during the summer, you’ll realize later in life it was not worth it to give all your time to that. You read more that summer than you’ve ever read in your life, and it’s neat to think that you read over 8,000 pages, and I don’t think there was anything wrong with seeing how far you could go, but where you missed the mark was realizing that there was life to be lived. You’ve forgotten most of those books you read, but there’s only so many times you’ll get to play three-way Battleship in your life with your sisters. Or do puzzle races.
There’s going to come a time when you reach high school that you’ll realize much of your summer will be devoted to sports, and you’ll have to decide how much you really want to do and if it will be worth it to spend mornings and nights all summer in the gym for two sports. You might question yourself for giving up a sport, but know I’m proud of your decision. Looking back, I can see how physically draining it would have been to do everything, and I can still say I wouldn’t have enjoyed giving my whole summer to being in that gym.
You have 18 summers with your family. Absolutely put value in grabbing hold of life-growing opportunities like reading and sports, but don’t let them consume you. Live life with your people, too!