Moved by the letter sent to all year 6 pupils by their school which has flooded the internet, I want to share my own letter to my own 11 year old self. I would love to hear your thoughts.
As you embark on the next chapter in your life, leaving the safety of your primary school class mates to venture into a school 3 times the size I want to encourage you to go without fear. You are a confident, talented and capable young woman, and your passion for life should be cherished.
As you enter high school you will feel as though your natural strengths make you different. Different is good. Different is unique. Don’t conform. It doesn’t make you better than anyone else or worse, it just makes you you. Don’t shy away and play down your inquisitiveness, embrace it.
High school is tough. It is for everyone. You body is changing, and everyone will change at different rates. Everyone is suffering the same insecurities in their own way. Maybe you will develop physically before your classmates, you won’t like it. However those who aren’t developing as fast as you will also hate it. Be open, honest and share your experiences.
Champion each other and celebrate your successes. Ignore those people who say don’t show off. If you are good at something, or are proud of something, celebrate it. Your being big, brave and living your uniqueness will inspire people. We all need inspiration.
Don’t put others down, tease or judge. This is hard, but valuable. You never know the impact of your words on others. Be kind, compassionate and loving. Be brave, and vulnerable in your heart.
Be inquisitive and curious. Learn. Not just what is on the curriculum, but learn life. Run, jump, build bridges and dens. Play on your bike, get off your phone. Your social and interpersonal skills will give you far more of a foundation in life than your grades. Take risks. Learn from them. Take the lead, but learn when to hold back and support others.
That said, learn. Unfortunately the world will judge you by the grades you get, so play the game. Then you will have the academic, social, emotional and physical strengths to be a balanced whole person.
Dream big. Share your dream, own it. Don’t let others say you can’t, because you can! Be innovative, pioneering and brave. The career you may want may not have been invented yet, so go create it.
Don’t give up. If you want something enough, know that you have everything you need within you to achieve.
Don’t compare yourself with others. You don’t know what is real and true in their lives.
Say NO. Practice saying it. Own your identity, and your body. Only give it when you choose to, not because others want it.
Travel. Connect with people. Get curious. Be real.
You are incredibly lucky. You have a loving family, who you may not appreciate for a number of years, but know that they will love you regardless of the path you take. So take YOUR path.
Dance! Sing! Move! Be still!