(This is something I posted on a "If you could write a letter to your younger self, what would it say?" thread on a message board I go to.
Dear Younger Me,
Have some fun. Do something crazy. Go ahead and take a dip in the town pool in the middle of the night with your best friend. This is the only time in your life that you are going to be able to get away with it. Soon you'll be "old enough to know better," and will have to act like a mature adult. You'll look back later and wish you had done it.
Don't worry about what other people think of you. It really doesn't matter. Confidence is one of the most attractive traits a person can have. Don't be afraid to be yourself. When you look back, you'll be proud that you dared to do your own thing. You know that you think a little differently than most people. That's okay. It's a strength in fact, not a weakness. There is a place where you fit in, where people will understand you. It's just not this little town, and that's okay too.
Be kinder to yourself. You are such a compassionate person, so accepting of other people. Save a little bit of that acceptance for yourself. It's okay to fall sometimes. The important thing is that you get back up again. It's okay to need others, and to ask for help. It's okay to not always have control over every aspect of yourself. It's okay to cry, and to get angry. You don't have to be nice and quiet and good all the time. In fact, it's not good for you to keep it all in.
Pay attention when you make mistakes. Examine them thoroughly. Figure out where and why you fell short in the first place. There is a lesson you need to learn in there somewhere. If you don't get it the first time, it's just going to repeat itself until you do get it. Usually with more severity, trouble and misery. You don't want that, trust me.
Don't ever settle for 'Good enough, I guess'. If it (or he) isn't what you want, or need than there is something better for you out there. Maybe it's just not time for it yet.
Stop worrying so much about finding love. Enjoy being single for a few years. Relationships complicate your life in ways you don't think of beforehand. That backpacking trip through Europe? All of the sudden making the decision to go takes a lot more consideration. Even just picking up and moving to a new city is a lot more difficult to do. Enjoy just dating for a while. Then once you do meet some one, you'll be ready to a little more tied down, and a lot wiser about relationships, and what you want from them.
Go outside more. Spend more time in the woods, in the mountains. Appreciate the nature around you more. Someday you'll move away from them. You'll long to be back with them every day. You will miss them more than you ever thought it was possible to miss anything. VT will always be your first, truest, and fiercest love.
Stop waiting for that 'something' that is always around the corner. Your life is speeding by while you're waiting for it to start!
With much love,
Older (and a little wiser) Me
P.S. - Don't start smoking. It will take you many tries & a lot of frustration at yourself later on to quit. Even then the temptation to start again will still be there. You'll be happier and healthier if you just don't do it in the first place!