08/13/2012 09:42 am ET Updated Oct 13, 2012

To My 15-Year-Old Self...

Dear 15-year-old Me,

Back then I thought I had everything figured out, but now that I am older I wish I could go back in time and speak to my 15-year-old self. For the most part, I live a life without any regrets. Yet if I could re-live a day as a 15-year-old, I would make a few minor changes.

Wait! This is my chance. Through the power of the written word, I can travel back in time to warn that girl just getting up at noon on a summer day about the perils of high school and beyond...

Wake up! Half of the day has been wasted, and you will start a horrible routine of never eating breakfast. It is the most important meal of the day for a reason, and later you will discover the joys of a cup of coffee with a muffin (I need an even older version of myself to warn me about the perils of coffee, but that's beside the point). The world is waiting, and your internal clock is going to be all messed up when school starts again.

Getting on your bathing suit to go to the beach with some friends? Great. Later you will learn that you are somewhat deficient in Vitamin D, so soak up some sun -- but not without sunblock! That tanning lotion will only leave you with new moles. Only a slight, splotchy tan will be the end result, which will fade quickly, leaving ugly freckles. If only you could see your future mole-ridden self, you would be slathering on a generous amount of SPF 70.

Come on now, don't roll your eyes at your mother when she tells you that suit is too revealing. Truth is, she is right. Only later will you realize that your surfer guy friends are not inviting you because of your great conversational skills. You are not that charming, or smart. Also, please ignore those long-haired surfer boys, shirtless, chest-hairless, with their trucker hats and board shorts. Although you think it's gross when your mom says "They only want one thing," it turns out she was right about that as well. Plus, that surfer look goes out of style in about a year and the ability to grow a beard becomes cool. Just a little ways down the road you will fall in love with a guy who is timeless.

Tonight, go home and do your math homework. Yes, it turns out that most of it you will never use again since you will become a writer. However, it is a skill that you always wish you could use. Again and again you will need to pull out your "tip calculator" like a loser just to avoid under-cutting the waiter. Force yourself to do the math so nobody ever has to do it for you. Only then will you be truly independent.

Oh, and speaking of independence, no, you are not an adult. Mentally, you won't be an adult when you turn 18 either. Instead of pretending that you are an adult, take advantage of the fact that you are still a child. Take chances. Make mistakes. Soon you will not be able to blame these mistakes on "childhood curiosity." You are 15. Stop wishing you were older. Stop trying to talk, walk and mimic the lame adults. They have nothing on you. Time moves fast. In a heartbeat, you will be writing an article about your 15-year-old self, realizing that freshmen year was not that bad after all.