1- Some people will like you. Some people won’t. It’s painful when the people you want to like you–don’t. The key is to be yourself completely and authentically. Then the people you really want in your life will find you.
2- There are always going to be people better than you at certain things. Or more attractive than you. Or funnier. Or more successful. None of these are indicative of your worth and value as a person. Find the things that you love to do and do them passionately and relentlessly. Then you’ll always be happy.
3- Don’t assume that you know anybody’s story. Everyone is walking around and fighting their own battles that they never show. You will be valuable if you show compassion to everyone regardless of their religious beliefs, hobbies, sexuality, or smell.
4- When things don’t go your way, look for the surprise opportunity that may emerge. If you don’t get cast in the musical “Pippin” your senior year, don’t fret. Try community theater. You’ll be amazed at how the best experiences come in place of ones you wished you had.
5- God loves you. Really. Like, more than you know. I hope you spend the rest of your life trying to understand this more. God’s not wanting you to be perfect or have all the answers. The life of faith is marked by uncertainty and darkness. But God will provide a way through the darkness and you’ll be able to see better than you imagined. And as a bonus: learning how to see in the dark will help you see better in the light. No matter what, don’t give up.