High school sucks and will suck to the very end. But keep your chin up because college will be better. The ugly boy who’s amazing in Algebra that you’ve been crushing on? Quit wasting your time thinking about him. He won’t give you the time of day. Instead, focus on your lessons — especially your French classes. I know Monsieur Ribery can be quite a snore and that the only thing that wakes you up during his class is whenever he brings a stinky can of cheese, but learn French. Knowing another language will do you good. You will get your shot at dating one day and you will be with someone amazing. It’s difficult to believe this now but I promise. Pinky promise.
Read. Read a lot. Reading expands not just your vocabulary but your understanding of the world around you. Read about science, pop culture, politics, religion, fiction, health, the environment, business, and every topic possible. Get your hands on books, newspapers, magazines, and every medium available. Make reading a habit.
Do not cry or panic when you get shouted at. People shout because they think you can’t hear them or you are too stupid to understand what they’re trying to say. There’s nothing wrong about your hearing or comprehension. Be kind. Even if people are not kind to you and during the times it is difficult to be kind. People remember kindness. Never speak out of spite or say things you don’t mean. Undoing pain is far more difficult than taking words back.
Your father is right. You must learn how to cook but not because you are female (as your culture and society dictates) but because knowing how to cook is an advantage when you start living independently. Yes, you will live on your own in some far away place where there’ll be no mom or friends to help you cook. Your thighs will thank you for not having pasta or Subway everyday.
Laugh as loud and as often as you like. Never let anyone tell you otherwise (or that it’s unladylike). Laughter is good for the heart. One day, someone will love your every kind of laughter — from the girly giggle, to the mean, sinister one, and even your piggy oink oink snort-laugh-snort.
Listen to your friends. Yes, the ones who bother to ride or walk with you home whenever you’re sad (even if they live in a completely different city far away from yours). Listen to the ones who endure and patiently sit with you through the post-mortem analysis of your failed relationships. They are the ones who truly give a damn. These friends are for keeps.
And lastly, try not to cry too much. I told you, things will get better. Pray. Be strong. And, buy Google shares in five years.
Your Almost Thirty Self
P.S. Victoria is a good name. Don’t let some boy change it just because to him it’s a mouthful.