Blogger Amy Koester

Dear Teen Amy

On October 30th Dear Teen Me: Authors Write Letters to Their Teen Selves,  edited by Miranda Kenneally and E. Kristin Anderson, was published. It is a new book of letters from 70 different authors to their teenage selves. The publisher offered an opportunity to bloggers to write their own letters to their teen selves.

Think about it. What advice would you offer to your teen self? Today you will find a variety of posts from different ALSC Bloggers writing to themselves as teens.   We hope they make you think about the kids you work with and what they may be going through. And maybe you’d like to write your own letter to yourself as a teen.

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Dear Teen Amy,

For you it is the spring of 2002–freshman year–but I’m writing to you from 2012. It’s like time travel! Woah.

Would you do me a favor and take a moment and think about your friends? You know, the people you met in middle school. The ones you hang out with in the yoga aisle at Borders. The ones who have hilarious theme parties and who only play Truth or TRUTH so no one has to do something they don’t want to do. Those people. Your best friends.

2002 Amy, with Mike, at a 60s-themed party. Photo from Amy Koester.

In the next few months, you’ll join marching band (WHAT?!? I know.). And you will have lots of fun. You’ll get to meet and hang out with a whole new group of people, many of them older and quote-unquote cooler than you. Most of the time it’ll be fantastic. But don’t forget those people who are your best friends now.

Don’t worry, you are still friends with them. You’re still friends with Melanie and Beth and Sam, and you see them as often as your grown-up schedules allow. And you’re still friends with Mike–the fact that you broke up with him twice, once at the bookstore and once in that note in Social Studies, is not awkward at all, but rather an amusing anecdote. You’re still friends with them, so you obviously don’t stray too far. But you do stray. That is certainly true.

I want to encourage you to really appreciate your best friends even as you make new ones. See, what I’ve learned is that, in this life, while you often meet really wonderful people, it’s not every day you find best friends. I’m talking about the people who can finish your sentences, who willingly put up with your moody Hemingway phase even though it immediately follows your spacey hippie phase. People who know and care about your crushes, hopes, and dreams. People who have a streak of weirdness just like you do, and who appreciate it.

Those are the friends you’ll make plans to see every Thanksgiving and Christmas even though none of you live near one another anymore. You’re going to get involved in lots of new things over the next few years–and you should! Just be mindful of your relationships with the people who always value you for you. Stay close to those people, because they matter.

Much love,

Amy

P.S. David Duchovny is still looking good. I thought you’d want to know.

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