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Hey 19. by G. Pensiero
 

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  • Hey 19,

    First summer back from college. Your priorities are all screwed up. When the summer ends, you'll refer to this as your Heterosexual Summer, but it would be more apt to call it The One Summer You Managed to Really Have an Eating Disorder. Next year, people will ask you, "how was your summer?" and you'll say, "oh? My Heterosexual Summer? Fascinating, but I never need to do THAT again." It will be with an air of fondness, a wistfulness, a light humor, but we both know that's at least kind of bullshit. You'll starve yourself all summer just so you can feel what it feels like to reject a line of hapless male suitors. Just so you can know for sure that you'd rather be with girls. And so, if anything positive is going to come of this, I guess it's that. That's me looking on the bright side, as I know, deep down, you always will.

    But right about now, you're probably waking up early to go mountain biking in Mills or do a dizzying routine of ellipticals, weights and machines at the gym a few blocks from your house. You're probably also consuming about 800 calories too few a day. You're going to make this weird decision to subside on fruit all summer long, except for the late night jaunts to the diner, where you'll get milkshakes and disco fries. It's all or nothing this summer. The hard stop of kiddom, the looming tower of adult repercussions.

    Let me let you in on something; you've got it half right. The exercise is good, but the eating is bad. And all these weird choices you're making now are going to fuck you up for years to come. Not just the eating, but also the slacking off at work, all the boys, the rule breaking, the drinking Mike's Hard Lemonade in the backroom with some Jersey burnout instead of just getting your shit done. I shit you not, you're still going to be dealing with breaking some of these habits into your early 30s.

    Can you believe it? It all seems so carefree now. And some of it actually is. You won't be free for much longer, so enjoy it. Be irresponsible with your friends. Kiss them. Listen to music. Make music. Read. Keep doing all these things you love. But also, for chrissakes, respect yourself. Respect your body. Respect your mind. Respect your loved ones. Respect your upbringing. Respect your compass. This is all you really have. Don't forget.

    Love you,
    Older You


    PS. Don't worry so much. All the things you're so worried about are going to be fine. This goes for you too, present self.

    PPS. You're going to have this moment when you realize it's a good time to buy Apple stock and dad is going to try to talk you out of it. Don't let him. He doesn't know everything.
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