Like many of us, the other day I was scrolling aimlessly through Instagram when I should have been studying. Trapped in the labyrinth that is social media, I came across a post that led to some pondering. No, this post wasn’t life-changing content about a celebrity nor was it uploaded by one. Quite the contrary, it was a simple post that said something like “If your 13-year-old self would have thought present-day you was cool, that’s all that matters.”
Looking back at my eighth-grade self, the one with glittery t-shirts and braces, she definitely would have thought that college me was pretty dang cool. I’d like to think that many of you could say the same. After all, middle school days were brutal.
I recall moments being livid hearing adults demeaning us saying, “Just wait until you’re an adult.” While middle school didn’t mean paying absurdly pricey apartment bills every month, it did mean other issues like the growing pains that come with getting older. I mean, you couldn’t pay me any amount of money in the world to make me relive those years. (Okay, on second thought, I take that back, however it doesn’t change the fact that middle school was rough.) It physically pains me to see photos from that era of my life.
It’s for this reason that I will forever rue the day that society began evolving over time. Nowadays, kids around my hometown elementary school are looking much more put together than us in fifth grade. Curse the difference in trends. I mean, truly. How is it that my 13-year-old cousin can rock Doc Marten boots and baggy jeans when my middle school days were filled with painful awkwardness and Justice?
This is beside the point, though. The point I’m trying to get across here is that you (yes, you) are wickedly cool. Each of us has our own dreams and ambitions that will lead us to where we are meant to be. I think as college students, we often lose sight of who we are, trying to secure what we hope to one day achieve. It’s ironic because people often say that you get your life together in college: You’ll find your lifelong friends, passions and more. I could easily debate that this isn’t true — at least not entirely. I’ve been in college for one complete semester and I’ve never felt this disconnected from my identity before.
With that said, channeling your inner child for the sake of making that clumsy 13-year-old you happy be all it takes. Bring back the bright blue pants you wore to school. Wear the bracelet your childhood bestie made for you. Heck, even jump rope despite it feeling silly. Do all of it to remind yourself that you’ve come so far and you still have so much more to accomplish.
So the next time you feel even the slightest bit of insecurity within yourself for whatever reason — whether it be academic or otherwise — just know that if all else fails your younger self would think that you’re cool. And frankly, that’s all that matters.