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Ellen Meyers Headshot

Letter to Me in Eighth Grade

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Dear eighth grade me,

Thank you for your lovely letter. By fate, it arrived at my house on the day of my last final. I'll be graduating next week, so your letter really brought back memories.

You and I aren't the same. After middle school, I didn't need special education services anymore. During high school, I became more responsible for your grades and started taking AP and honors classes after sophomore year. You would not believe all the things I did: become co-editor-in-chief of the student newspaper, transition the fashion magazine to an online one, organize a drive to donate birthday gifts and party supplies to a local charity, and more. Did you think I would end up doing all that?

Your letter made me laugh and cringe. It also brought up a few important points. Some made me realize how naïve you were, and some made me realize how right you are now.

It is possible to still be friendly with an ex-friend.

You said I would never be friends with her after our fight in seventh grade, or even nice to her. Wrong. While we aren't as close as we were before, we still frequently talk to each other. I know middle school makes girl politics black and white, but to be honest, high school had five times less drama. I don't know why, but most people learned to chill out. The Mean Girls effect was such a middle school thing.

Fashion doesn't matter that much.

Hey, in seventh grade, you finally wore jeans. I don't know why you never wanted to, but reading your letter made me remember how big of deal that was. You even underlined that part! You were actually quite a fashionista. You made effort to look nice. Now, I guess high school has made me so burnt out that I stopped caring as much. Who has time to put a ton of effort into their appearance after staying up until the wee hours of the morning doing homework?

You did have a crush on that guy.

I know you didn't want to, because everyone else did. No, really -- I bet almost every girl either had a crush on him or thought he was cute. And you were one of them. To be honest, I laughed when I got to that part of the letter. You actually said to me, "you didn't have a crush on him. You even underlined the word 'didn't.' Stop denying it, because that's not going to anyone any favors. What's funny about this is that there is a tiny amount of me that thinks he might have, too. Remember when we switched seats in math in sixth grade? And he would ask to borrow a red pen to do homework corrections? And how he would ask that question every single day for, what, a month? You even could time exactly when he was about to ask. Or maybe that is the middle school girl within me that's over-analyzing that. Or would it be both of us? Probably.

"The best moments are the stupid moments."

Yes mini me, what you wrote at the very end of the letter is correct. All of the silly things I did with my friends made high school fun. While it was important to take school seriously, it was also necessary to goof off. Those are the inside jokes I put down in my friends' yearbooks. Those are the stories I will pass on. Those are the memories I shall cherish forever.

I hope you enjoyed my letter to you. I know the past cannot be changed, so my letter is too late to do anything. But know that you did alright, and thank you for reminding me how far I've come since those days.

Love,
Ellen, the almost high school graduate