We’ve known each other for the better part of 13 years. You’re growing up quicker than I ever would have imagined and I’m having trouble wrapping my head around the fact that you’re a 7th grader and you’re going to get into a cadet college. I know that right now September is far off, you’re just focused on putting one foot in front of the other. When the nerves, fear, and excitement start to sink in, it may overwhelm you.
It hit me the other day as I was about to cross the stage that you and I are both jumping headfirst into transformative times in our lives. I’ve graduated, and you’re about to leave home for the first time. These are big steps to take and I’m sure there will be bumps in the road.
I’m your elder sister, and I’ll always be overly protective (I think that’s natural). There’s a lot of terrible things I wish I could shield you from; bad group projects, having 5 exams in a week and letting go of the friendships that you didn’t think would fade. All of these things hurt in their own ways, but there’s value in them all the same. They’ll test your limits and make you want to run behind the walls you’ve learned to build up.
Some unsolicited advice; take all of these bad things as learning opportunities. Don’t ever beat yourself up over the things that hurt you, but don’t shut them out either. Never feel like you have to hide your emotions, but at the same time, don’t let them drag you down. People smarter than me have said it a million different ways.
It’s the tough times that spur the most personal growth.
I also want to make something incredibly clear. You are not defined by your grades. I couldn’t tell you what I got in 12th grade Physics, and there’s a damn good reason for that; it simply doesn’t matter. As far as I’m concerned, grading schemes are devised as part of a system that is incredibly out of touch with what the world actually needs from its youth. When was the last time you heard an “adult” brag about their high school average or university GPA. Never.
The value of your education is not going to be the receipt you frame and hang on the wall at the finish line. The real value of your education will be in the people you meet. So relish the hangouts you’re going to have with your friends and the professor that actually knows you by name. Soak everything in, get in the habit of learning something new from everyone you meet.
This world has a ton to offer creative people, and you’re one of the most creative people I know. Run with it and face the challenges to come with your unrelenting passion. Don’t ever let troubles keep you from holding your head high.
You’ll always be my little brother, but that doesn’t mean we’re not on even ground. Frankly we’re both heading into uncharted territory, so let’s face this together.