An Open Letter to Any Student Going Back to School and at Risk of Behaving Like a Complete Ass and Screwing Up Royally

Dear Student,

If you are my youngest daughter getting ready to go back to finish up your final year of college, this letter is not for you. Not because you aren’t at risk of screwing up, but because you already have an understanding of how that happens to people and more important, we exchange this sort of inspirational messaging in person. We’re blessed.

If you are any other student going back to school–high school or college most likely–and aren’t sure if you are at risk for behaving like a complete ass and screwing up royally or not, you might as well read on. I mean, what if there’s a good idea in here?

Wait, don’t start skimming. Let’s not reinforce the attention-span stereotypes of your generation. Besides, this is a nice letter. It will make you feel good.

It’s not a rant. Sorry, I know you enjoy those. I’m even leaving out all swears, except for ass which I know you can say on TV. Though I like peppery language and know it could make this post more appealing to you. I’m doing it to demonstrate how we can elevate ourselves, and still get attention, make an impact–for example, now this can be retweeted by Ellen or liked by Bill Cosby or quoted by the FLOTUS.

Do you know what FLOTUS stands for? If not, more reason for you to read on.

If you do know that FLOTUS refers to the First Lady of the United States, then you might not feel you are at risk like other students, because you’re a good student, an aware individual, and therefore you will not be screwing up royally.

That’s probably true. You probably follow @flotus. But, could you read on anyway, just in case you meet someone who could use some helpful advice?

Helpful Advice

If you have at least one supportive, loving person in your life, let them be very supportive and loving. If you don’t want them to be very supportive and loving because you don’t want them to see or know what you’re doing, then I advise you to take a closer look at what you’re doing yourself.

That’s all. Just look at what you’re doing through the very supportive eyes of the most loving person you know. Whatever you’re doing and keeping private, what would it look like in the eyes of those who want only good things for you? Someone who will help you in any way they can?

Because if you can still move forward with doing what you do, feeling the way you feel, knowing what you know, being who you are, making the choices you make, in the eyes of those who would not let anyone hurt your best chances for health, happiness, joy, success, and reaching your full potential in this lifetime. . . well, then, you’re fine.

Sometimes it’s them, not you. They love you but they don’t understand. I get it.

But if you start to have a lot of secrets, or one big secret, that causes you the kind of concern you feel you need to protect from the sights of whomever supports and loves you most, this means you are about to be in big trouble, if you aren’t already. Because you’re not supporting or loving yourself enough to keep an eye on such things. And you’re hiding such things away from those who are willing to do the unpleasant job of keeping an eye on you.

Come On Now

Don’t forge ahead to behave like a complete ass and screw up royally on your own when you have at least one person who will support you with care. It’s okay if you mess up a little here and there, and of course you don’t always do the right thing, or know all the answers, and naturally you aren’t watching over your own self in quite the way your biggest fans will.

But come on now, with the big stuff. Let’s be looking out for that. What’s wrong with an extra set of eyes?

Having people, just one real person, in your world who will help you make good decisions, who will help you think again before running yourself into a wall or running your chances at something great off the rails–do you know what a gift that is?

Someone who will show you how valuable you are to them by refusing to accept a cheap imitation, who will hand you a mirror, or lend you a hand, or teach you patience so you won’t walk out on your destiny.

(Please understand, if you are going back to school, it is because someone has cared for you, somehow. They might not even know you yet. Or you might not even like being around them. But someone has made it possible for you, personally, to be going to school, a symbol of hope and freedom for the future of this planet like no other.)

Now if you don’t like it where you’re at, school-wise or life-wise, then figure out how to be an excellent caregiver or fixer of things or develop some other special skill you can be of service with, and then show your support system the love and care you have for yourself and go from there. But do it in plain sight, and together.

If you don’t have at least one supportive, loving person in your life, who will keep an eye on you, you need to find someone. Big hearts are everywhere, I promise. They’re at your school. Start with teachers and counselors, the type who show they care.

I seriously advise you to get that extra set of eyes.

Eyes that see the infinite possibilities in you, so much so, they are willing to tolerate the risk of you behaving like a complete ass and screwing up royally, and will support you even when you sometimes make it difficult.

Eyes like mine. I mean it. You can write to me: or Tweet me @pentozen. I’m no FLOTUS but I can help you get inspired. Bring your journal. Learn to take copious notes.

Copious notes: you know, that’s how I got so wise and all. In spite of behaving like a complete ass and screwing up royally and making my life a hundred times harder than it needed to be, because I hid too much stuff away and didn’t let anyone who would have been more than happy to stop me, stop me. . . from the big stuff.

See, I never ask anyone to do anything I’m not willing to do myself! I have lived to tell the stories, and so I shall, so I shall. Please pass it on.

Everything Gets Better,

“I have not failed. I have just learned 10,00 ways that won’t work.”
–Thomas Edison

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2 Responses to An Open Letter to Any Student Going Back to School and at Risk of Behaving Like a Complete Ass and Screwing Up Royally

  1. Davina February 23, 2014 at 9:22 am #

    Hey Faith! We “met” on Fizzle and I stalked you to your blog here! Your posts are wonderful, and so heartfelt! I’m not a student, but i resonate with what you’re saying. I’m blessed in that I have a few big-hearted people in my life who really look out for me. We don’t always see eye to eye (especially about my budding entrepreneurism!), but I know I can count on them for things that really matter.

    • Faith Watson February 23, 2014 at 4:01 pm #

      Hi Davina! I’m so glad you found me and are awesome enough to comment. This post was made in the first incarnation of my site, when I truly was journaling my way through my new business here on the interwebs. I’m happy to know the sense of how I feel we are all connected comes through in my writing. I’ve been through a lot lately, and I realize that no matter how “professional” I want my site to be, I never want to lose my human voice in it. Thanks for reminding me. You too–remember your people will always be where your heart is. xoxo

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