A Letter To My 18-Year-Old Self

Dear Luke,

You’re probably in a game of Halo 3, but put the controller down for a second. This is you 5 years in the future. I just wanted to let you know some things that I wish I knew at your age. Getting real world advice is probably the last thing on your mind, but if you’re going to accept it from anyone what better person could there be than yourself?

This next year is going to be insane. First off, when you start to feel pain in your chest DON’T WAIT TO GET IT CHECKED OUT. You aren’t weak for going to the doctor’s office. You aren’t superman. I promise that you’ll end up saving yourself a hospital trip and a lot of pain. A collapsed lung isn’t very fun. Also when you get 20 missed calls from your neighbor, don’t ignore them. They might be trying to tell you your house is on fire.

Second, c’mon dude. Are you really not going to ask Lauren to prom? You’ve had a crush on this girl for like 6 months! Do something! You’ll see her once after high school, and it’ll be in a yogurt shop with her new boyfriend. Do you really want that to happen? Your dating life is going to continue to suck until you start taking chances. Grow some balls.

Third, don’t stop playing music. You’ll want to stop at 20 because you realize you suck at guitar and can’t sing worth shit but DON’T. Keep practicing. Keep singing in the shower even if your sister tells you to shut up. Keep playing shitty originals and shows for crowds less than 10 people. Keep writing what you feel. You may not realize it now, but music is your passion.

Fourth, once you enter college your entire worldview is going to change dramatically. Everything from politics, religion and morality. You’ll be introduced to new ideas that have never occurred to you before. Embrace them, question them, and always keep an open mind to even the most dangerous and eccentric.  It’s the most liberating thing in the world to understand life from multiple perspectives. Stay curious.

Finally, don’t let school get to you. You’ll take a year off from college trying to figure out what to do, but don’t sweat it. Life isn’t that simple and to be honest, no one truly knows what the hell they’re doing most of the time. It’s ok to live in the moment.

Well you can get back to your game of Halo 3. Don’t get too cocky though, you’re going to need a bit more practice if you’re going to win that $25,000 prize.

2nd place isn’t good enough.

Best of luck,

From a slightly wiser you.