Dear Younger Self: A Sappy Post Veiled with Embarrassing Pics

13-year-old Desiree, waiting in the rain for a concert, potentially a demonic presence.

I would like to start off this post by saying RTA902 was not at all the course I expected it to be. I walked in on our very first day thinking it would be a bird course I could skip (which I would do often… 4pm on a Friday is not my jam). I thought I would learn stupid shit about social media that, as a young woke af millennial, I already knew.

I was wrong.

And that was unnecessarily dramatic.

For real, the critical thoughts and discussions that were a result of this course were unparalleled. In my three years at university, I never expected this type of fulfilling experience to come from a course about something I seemingly knew so well and experienced first-hand, 24/7.

From the bottom of my heart, thank you Hamza for delivering such an amazing course. For coming (almost) every week, prepared with relevant and fruitful topics of discussion. For never half-assing anything and bringing your A game. For being so consistent, regardless of whether or not you were being evaluated.

For genuinely caring, thank you.

That being said, my letter to myself now, as a result of these experiences, is far different from what it would have been in January.

Here it goes:

Dear Desiree,

So, you just signed up for Facebook. I think you’re in grade 7 and doing it behind your parents’ backs. You’ll soon do the same with Twitter, and it still won’t make you cool the second time around.

I’m here to impart some wisdom on you… so get ready to get learned and stuff.

To start, in the words of Kevin Gnapoor,

People are assholes and they’ll be mean for the sake of being mean. Don’t get me wrong, you are fucking annoying and kinda gross looking now, but so is everyone else! The glow up will come.

Yeah, you’re pretty ugly right now, but don’t delete the evidence (especially the rough selfies). 20-year-old you wishes she could see more of them.

Let them bully you for liking Justin Bieber… soon enough, you won’t be the only one. Really, don’t let anyone bash you for anything you love that isn’t hurting anyone. Stick to your guns kiddo.

Stay woke. Watch what you say, especially the un-woke stuff. You WILL regret it later because you want a decent-paying job one day. A little professionalism will go a long way.

Don’t overshare. Social media is great for staying in the loop with your pals, but most people you have on social media aren’t your closest friends… and they don’t care. Some things are better off private.

Finally, the most important thing I have to say to you is love yourself unapologetically. Both online and otherwise. You (probably) don’t look ugly or fat in that picture. Even if you do… who fucking cares dude? These are your memories that you’re going to want to cherish forever, no matter how awkward or embarrassing. Love all of it. You know who you are and one rough picture or post will never change that, I promise.

You have a lot to learn. You’re going to grow so much. People will come and go, and it’s usually for the best. Not all of your pictures will get a lot of likes. Don’t be so hard on yourself for any of it.

I’m not going to tell you it’s all going to work out, because that’s something I still have to see for myself. Just fake it til you make it, lil homie.

Love always,

Des

P.S. Facebook isn’t even gonna be cool in five years… don’t sweat it.