Dear 16-year-old self,

Please recognize this phase is only temporary.

The pimple you have on your nose that you think every kid at your high school sees from across the room will soon be gone. The friend who snubbed you in the hallway between fourth and fifth periods will come around later this afternoon or tomorrowin her world, she is dealing with the chemistry test she just got back and anticipating her parent’s reaction to another grade less than par.

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The teacher who seems to not explain the project very clearly just left his toddler at home an hour away with a fever and another child working remotely while mom is also working from home.

So, give yourself a break and don’t stress.

Dear 16-year-old self,

Please believe me when I say it will all work out.

This year is filled with an enormous amount of chaos, some may say too much in one year, but you will get through it. It will have its ups and downs, its joys and sorrows, and it will ebb and flow, but always stay positive. Stay grounded in your footings, knowing this is one small piece intricately woven into the puzzle of your life’s journey and what a beautiful road you have ahead of you.

Don’t get me wrong, it’s beyond hard some days and feels like there are not enough hours in a day for school, homework, activities, driver’s ed, volunteer work, meeting with college counselors, more AP homework, and did I mention finding time with friends to unwind and just be your silly self, time with family to reconnect over breaded chicken cutlets and laughter at the dinner table, and at some point squeeze in some much-needed sleep?

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But this too will come to an end and maybe, just maybe, you will realize you are much stronger and have more than the necessary amount of adrenaline to push you toward the end of this moment in time.

Dear 16-year-old self,

Please understand that you are not perfect, and no one expects you to be.

You are, simply put, exactly how you need to be, flawless at times while often mixed with some inner turmoil that is tugging at your core. Don’t put so much pressure on yourself. It’s more than OK to get a mediocre grade, not be the stellar athlete, dancer, or get the lead role in the school play. It’s OK to sometimes have a sassy attitude, to cry from teenage heartbreak, to not know the answer to a question when you are called on in class, to fail a driver’s testit’s all OK . . . you will be just fine down the road of adulthood, trust me.

Dear 16-year-old self,

Please continue to find laughter in the simple things.

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Peace within the hurt.

Love within the pain.

Joy within the tears.

And always believe you are unique, and the world is waiting for you and all you have to offer. Your journey is going to be magnificent, and I can’t wait to be a part of it and watch you grow and unfold.

But most importantly, believe that it will all work out.

Your biggest fan . . . your adult self 

Ali Flynn

Hang in there mama by Ali Flynn Ali Flynn lives in New York with her four teenage daughters and husband. She is excited to share with you the joys and hardships of motherhood with an open heart, laughter and some tears. Ali is a monthly guest contributor for Westchester County Moms and has been seen on Filter Free Parents, Grown and Flown, Today Parents and Her View From Home. You can also find her at where she keeps motherhood real.