The idea is to write a letter to your 16 year old self. What would you want her to know? In my case, a heckuvalot.
Lose the boyfriend. Seriously, you will save yourself so much heartache and future relationship neurosis if you break it off now. High school is for fun and friends, and if you're lucky, learning. Take this time to learn about yourself, to experience things, to enjoy your life. You're going to get tired of the emotional abuse and dump him after your first year of college anyway. Why wait?
Respect yourself. Sex doesn't get really good until you're in a solid relationship with a man you trust completely. It might be fun, but it won't be meaningful. You need both. These boys aren't worth it. Your future husband will be.
Spend more time with your brother. He needs you. He admires you, even though you're a punk teenager. He's only going to be around for 3 more years. He won't make it to the age you are now. He will take his own life during your first year of college. Maybe if you get your head out of your butt and connect with him, he will reach out to you instead of feeling that his only option is suicide.
Respect your grandparents. You owe them. And you're going to realize how much you love and need them when you leave for college. They will get to meet and know your future child, and they will be blessed by him. Don't worry so much about losing them. They'll both live a long time.
Stop fighting with your mom. You're going to start getting along during your college years anyway. She will be a great help to you when you have a child. You'll laugh together. Your similarities are why you clash, stupid.
When your mom mentions an arts magnet school, seriously consider it. You could get a scholarship to college and avoid all the loans. Do musical theater in college. It will be fun. Your future kid will love musical theater too, so it's great preparation. You'll eventually teach a drama class for kids, and be asked to head up a drama program for a private school. Even if you decide not to do it, you'll have the skills. (It's okay to ignore her science and math school suggestion though. I know, free college credits, but math. Ugh. )
Don't smoke or tan. It's stupid. Smoking has been linked to the development of Crohn's Disease. Maybe if you don't smoke, you can avoid Crohn's. In your 30s you'll start developing sun spots and you will hate them. Especially the big one in the middle of your schnoz. Start the habit now of wearing sunscreen everyday. You'll be ahead of the trend.
Don't let yourself gain weight in college. It's much easier to avoid gaining than it is to lose it afterwards. Adopt the attitude that eating well and being active are ways to take care of yourself. Get rid of the weight shame. P.S. You are HOT right now. Enjoy it.
College is going to be awesome. When the chair of the English department recommends you switch your major to English, listen to him. He recognizes your skill even though you don't. There's a reason girls in your dorm will ask you to edit their papers. There's a reason a college senior will offer you money to write his papers so he can finally pass British Lit. and graduate. You're not going to work in the gerontology field for long anyway. It's a nice tribute to your grandparents, but not your calling.
Accept that you don't know everything and you aren't always right. Learning is one of life's greatest joys. If you think you know everything, you shut yourself off from that joy. Plus, you just get on people's nerves.
36 year old Danielle