01 September 2015

An Open Letter to My Younger Sister on Her First Day of High School

Dear AJV,

Today is your first day of high school, and other than making a number of us feel old, I'm excited for what you're about to go through. High school is this weird place, but I guarantee you that you won't peak there and you'll make it out alive. I thought I would write down some advice for you. While you generally ignore my advice (as I normally ignore yours), I hope you realize this comes from a place of love and experience, please don't roll your eyes too much.

Grades Matter: High school grades matter so much, and while you are not your grade, do figure out a system that allows you to get things done well. Your teachers care, make sure to give them a little grace. Don't be afraid to ask for help, no one is too smart for help.

Give it your best, then let it rest: Give what you commit your time to your best. That means grades, sports and volunteering. But after you given it your best, let it rest and walk away. If you couldn't quite get that A, or didn't make varsity at least you can say you did your best. That's all that really matters down the line.

Trust Few, Be Kind to Many: High school is rough as it is, try to think the best of everybody. Find a couple people you can trust and be there for them when times get tough. Keep their secrets and trust they will keep yours.

You're going to change: If you don't, you're not doing it right. You might grow out or away from certain friendships, but that's okay. People change and while it's sad, try to make your distance amicable. Don't burn too many bridges. But burn them if that person just isn't good for you. Accept that you've changed, and I know that it will be for the better.

You do You: If you want to date, then date. (text me first though). If you want to be single and fabulous then do that. But if you date, be your own person. Do your own thing, no guy (or girl, all God's children) is ever going to complete you. One day you'll find someone who complements you really well, but until then be your own person.

Try new things: It may not be cool, or what all of your friends are doing. But try news things. You may find new best friends, a new passion or get a better idea of what you don't like! Don't be afraid of going on a trip without your friends, or taking a class that you don't know anybody in. You can make friends, but you can't make up for lost experiences.

You don't have to figure it all out: You don't have to know what you want to do, or which college you want to go to. You don't have to know which person you like or what dress you'll wear for homecoming. Time will bring the answers, just keep doing you.

You are enough: You yourself are enough for anybody. You don't need to be more of anything than yourself. You don't need to be more like me, or our brother. You don't need to be more like Mom or Dad. You definitely don't need to be more like anyone your own age. You are enough just the way you are, and I don't think you can hear that enough.

You have at least 4 people who will always be there: Maybe I'm a little biased, but you have this wonderful family who just wants to see you succeed. Whether I'm 2 hours by plane or car away, whether our parents are doing taxes or fighting crime, whether our brother is watching football or studying we are all just a call away. If we're not there for whatever reason, we have grandparents, second parents, aunts, uncles, cousins and friends who will be there for you. Don't take them for granted.

Have fun: Go to bonfires, coffee houses and parks with your friends. Try out that new festival, but take advantage of just hanging out at home  Make a couple bad decisions (sorry Mom & Dad, but seriously don't break any real laws). Don't total a car though (seriously, 2 in this family is enough).

Don't do something because everyone else is: I get that high school is hard, and fitting in is great. You already are so great at just doing you, but if the time ever comes that you don't know if you should do something, don't. Or call me, and we'll talk it out.

Mom & Dad are right, but call me too: You may not know it yet, but you're pretty lucky to have two older siblings who have pretty much been through it all. Butting heads with parents is something all teenagers must do, but try and pick your battles. Mom and dad don't do things the way every parent does, but they've churned out two pretty good kids so far, just trust them. They did it all too, so they are wiser than you think. Remember that their advice comes from a place of love and experience. I really hate to tell you this, but at 14, you have so much to learn. At 21, I still have a ton to learn too. You don't need to reinvent the wheel, so take our advice as it comes.  (Don't let this go to your heads parents)

Above all, I love you. You're going to be so much better at high school than I was, and I'm excited to see what the next four years holds for you. Because you're going to do amazing things A, and no, this does not mean you can borrow my shirt.



  1. This is such a cute post! Good luck to your sister as she enters high school!

  2. Such a great letter to your sister. She's lucky to have you. Wish my older sister would have told me all of this when I was entering high school.

  3. This is such a sweet letter to your sister. High school can be a scary (and exciting) time. I love all of your advice about being true to yourself and not doing anything just because everyone else is doing it. This makes me wish I had a baby sister <3

  4. Awe I love this so much! I am the younger sister with two older siblings so this really resonated with me. Both of siblings gave me so much advice before I started both high school and college and I definitely would not have felt as confident as I had without them :) She is lucky to have you!

    Annie // Annie N Belle

  5. This is such a sweet letter! It makes me wish I had a little sister or sibling in general to guide through life. High school can definitely be a little rough, but with your advice she's bound to rock it.

    xoxo, Jenny || Breakfast at Lillys

  6. What a sweet letter for your little sister!

  7. All such good advice. Good luck to your little sister as she goes through the next four years!

  8. I LOVE this post, really I love it! I am actually working on a post that is an open letter to my little sister!

    xoxo Lex // LexMeetsWorld

  9. I love each and every point in this post -- they're equally important! My favorite is "you do you" -- it's a simple phrase that's easily one of the most important ones to keep with you throughout your whole life. High School is such a pivotal moment of discovering yourself and who you are, so it's perfect!


  10. Love this! So much love!

  11. This was so amazing, all great tips, I really loved this, I wish her luck!

  12. Such a sweet letter to your sister!! Good luck to your little sister!!

  13. How sweet! You are a fabulous big sister and full of great advice!

    How 2 Wear It [] http://how2wearit.com

  14. This is such a sweet letter and such a beautiful idea! You seem like the best big sister!

    The Fashionista's Diary

  15. What a sweet and thoughtful post! I hope your sister has a great high school experience :)

    XX, SS || A Little Seersucker Sass

  16. I don't have a little sister but this is the cutest post ever! Good Luck to your sister as she starts high school!

  17. This is so beautiful and it's great advice for any age!

  18. I completely agree with the "grades matter" thing. I lost interest in school my senior year and bombed, and my choice of colleges was incredibly limited after that! I wish I had an older sister like you to look up to!

    xo, Alicia | Alicia Tenise

  19. so true! You do you, really says it all with all the happens in high school

    Nicole // Chronicling Home

  20. So fabulous and true. Also so sweet of you to look out for her like this! Did she read it?

    Coming Up Roses

    1. She did! I got a sweet response, which is quite the 180 from our normal conversation! Thank you :)