I am not quite sure how to start this but I suppose I will say that I know how lost you feel right now. I am you, after all. Entering the ninth standard is an overwhelming feeling. It is like jumping into the deep end of the pool without a float and no experience. I know you feel like you are drowning right now, in your studies, your parents expectations, what your teacher says and what others think about you. My advice is just to not think about it. It sounds ridiculous maybe, but you will never be happy if you try to please everyone. Letting go of the fear of what others think is a big part of why I am happy now.
The second piece of very important advice is, stop worrying about how you look. I have seen you trying to avoid looking in the mirror and wearing certain clothes because you think you look bad. I know you do not like wearing dresses because you’re afraid everyone is secretly laughing at you. It is your choice whether you want to wear a dress or not. The pressure to be thin is everywhere, I know. I still feel it sometimes, but I want you to start looking in the mirror and telling yourself that you look good. Do not listen to everyone else, they are no one to comment.
I know you are still trying to get over what happened last year. You feel like you will never trust anyone again or find a friend whom you can really trust with everything. Well, you will eventually, trust me on that. You sit in class feeling unwanted and like you are invisible and no one notices you are secretly unhappy, do not try to deny it. Go up to people and talk to them. You do not need to be told who you should and should not talk to, you can decide that just fine. If you do not feel like talking some days, that is perfectly fine too. It does not make you strange or antisocial. All you need is some time for yourself. It feels nice to be praised and complimented. When people give you either, believe it. Not all of them are faking it. You can use the memory of all the times you have been praised to cheer yourself up and feel motivated when you are having a bad day. At the same time though, do not go out of your way for validation. Do not become too competitive or try to do what everyone else is doing even if you do not like it, especially then. Learn how to say no. Remember that sometimes, the only person who can make you happy is you. You have many strengths and qualities that other people do not. So make the best of them! People will talk, but then they always do. You were not born to please them, so, they do not matter.
Do not be afraid to speak the truth, and this applies to even the smallest of things, You cannot run away forever, and you will have to accept somethings eventually. Try and enjoy all the little things life has to offer, whether it is listening to your favourite song or the nice feeling you get when you help someone. It can be anything, really. There is almost always a good thing in grey days, if you remember to look. So, remember to work hard, but also to make some time for yourself to enjoy. You will never get these years back so, you might as well enjoy it. Wake up wondering whether you will learn something new and do the best you can. It will remove the mental block that studies are invincible. Stand up not just for yourself, but for others too. Live life to the fullest and do not have any regrets, I really do love you and I am sorry for all the pain I cost you. I hope this advice helps you make it through the rest of the year.
-Niyati Savur 12A