Dear Teen Me with Christie G
|Reading, always getting us through
Yes, high school sucks. And yes, you’ve become extremely good at hiding that you hate it, and the fact that your inner monolog is more Daria than Disney. You keep joining things because that is what you’re supposed to be doing, because that’s what’s expected. And getting good grades because it’s expected. And keeping quiet because that’s what’s expected. And really, that’s what’s going to keep us going through high school.
|At Space Academy, where we thought our life was heading
But guess what? WE GET OUT. It doesn’t seem like it now, but we do. We get out of our town, and we get into not one but three major colleges, including the BIG ONE, and everything changes. It doesn’t seem like it at first, because our best friend, the one who we plan on rooming with at college, doesn’t bother to show, doesn’t call, doesn’t write, and you never hear from her again. But, the switch in marching band from flute to baritone? You know, the one you’ve been debating because you actually have hated that stupid flute since you picked it up in 5th grade, remember, your older cousin picked it, and it was the least expensive to rent, so in our head we figured that even though everyone said it was our choice, and we really wanted one of the really cool brass instruments, we should get the flute too? Excellent choice, because we end up in marching band, and that’s where we start to find people who like us for *us*, not for the image we show everyone. We start to make friends that will stay with us for a lifetime. We find Florence, and Drew, and Susan and Mel, and Adam, all that first semester of college.
|Us with That Guy, when we first start dating
Then that next semester, I kid you not, you actually find a guy that likes you back, that doesn’t make fun of the fact that you read and solve math in your head, and thinks that we’re amazing. It’s a little weird that his name is similar to yours, but that’s OK. And there will be verbal fights with him, but he’s the one. Trust me. And we keep adding friends…so much so that by the time we’re seniors we have almost 20 people that we run around with together.
|Current heart kids
And we’ll start to become a voice- first creating book lists through ALA and then through our writing (YES, weirdly enough, people actually care what we write sometimes!).
|Our Dad in 2007 at Le Cellier in Epcot
And there will be really tough times- health scares for us and that guy and our folks, and money scares, and nasty times for all. But so far, we’ve gotten through it OK. This year (2012) and next are going to be really hard, and we’re going to have to lean on That Guy, and our Texas Family and our Work Family just to make it through, but we have to have some faith that we will.
Just keep believing in us. We’re worth it and our future is worth it.
Filed under: Dear Teen Me
About Karen Jensen, MLS
Karen Jensen has been a Teen Services Librarian for almost 30 years. She created TLT in 2011 and is the co-editor of The Whole Library Handbook: Teen Services with Heather Booth (ALA Editions, 2014).
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