my advice to single high schoolers

Friday, February 8, 2013

I just got an email from a dope chick that I love who reads this blog. She wrote me a really nice email after I had a mini-breakdown on the Internet a couple months back and today she wrote me again, except this time she wanted advice. She’s 17, super cool and single and it was the same deal with her BFF until recently she started hanging out with an older dude. Naturally, she feels left out, a little jealous and freaked out because people are already starting to talk about prom and all of her other friends are dating dudes.

Since a lot of people have been talking to me about being single lately, I asked her permission to repost the email I sent her and she said yes. So, if you’re single and you feel like shit about it, this is what I had to say:

OK, first of all, nothing you wrote implies to me that you’re a bad friend. Jealousy is a really basic emotion and something easily clung to in weak moments. I had a nasty jealous streak in high school, so I empathize with that feeling and the gross aftertaste of it. It doesn’t feel good to be jealous, and you'll probably grow out of it, but you’re not a bad friend for being human. It’s as easy to be jealous as it is to be sad or happy or angry, and I hope you wouldn’t deny yourself of any of those feelings in regard to someone you call your BFF. You can feel whatever you want to feel, whenever you wanna feel it when you’re with your BFF. That’s a law. 

I also get the “I’m the only single one!” feeling, too. Very very normal. I’ve dealt with that on and off (ESPECIALLY in high school) and so have a ton of my friends. That can be tough and I’m not even gonna deny it. I don’t have a definite “you should do _____ and then everything will be fine” kind of answer. I do have three things that will cheer you up:

1) Your friend is probably going to get dropped in a hot minute. That sounds harsh, but it’s true. She’s in high school and she’s “talking” to a dude who lives in a big city and goes to college. Do you know what happens in college? Tons of drunk making out and reading. I have a feeling that most “normal” college freshman aren’t interested in settling down with a barely-legal high school girl who is likely going to want him to go to prom with her. And he works with her dad. That SCREAMS uncomfortable work environment. She could even dump him because it’s hard to trust a dude who’s out of sight most of the time. 

2) You’ll look back and be really really happy you were single in high school. I look back and I’m pissed that I blew so much time on the dudes I dated / crushed on. I dumped my boyfriend the morning of junior prom, and we still went together. Awkward. Your friends will go to college, break up with their boyfriends within the first semester (because that’s what happens, without fail) and wish that they had spent more time being carefree and single with you. Not having anyone to answer to but yourself and your parents is a really good feeling when you're 17. Also, prom sucks. Spend as little money as possible and as little time worrying about it as you can. The junior prom was awkward. Senior prom was OK once we got to after parties, but the night felt totally over-hyped, too expensive and kind of manufactured for memories that I couldn’t really create. Just limit your expectations and make sure you have a safe ride. 

3) You might not have a boyfriend because you’re too special. That’s very possible. A lot of dudes hate being challenged, hate having to work for things, and don’t understand unconventional beauty or when someone’s personality is even more powerful than their looks. A lot of guys are freaked the hell out by that, but then as they get older, scramble to try and tie you down because they would rather have to look at your face and talk over dinner with you because you’re cool and interesting and funny than some superficial trophy that will drain them emotionally and financially. It’s weird how that works out. I’ve seen some of the coolest, nicest people I know stay single for years because people were more or less too afraid to scoop them up. But those people are the winners of the universe. They are so awesome that people fear them and know they don’t deserve them. I would find comfort in being that radical. 

Soooo, I hope that helps. I really do feel for ya and I hope that you get in touch with me and let me know what’s up around prom time or even before then. You should make your dress out of cereal boxes with a crazy trash bag skirt. That would be really cool. I would respect that a lot. 

- Karin

So that’s it, I guess. I think besides telling her that college is about reading and drunk making out, that’s pretty good advice. And the making out and reading thing is really just honest. She can handle it.

Oh, and don’t worry about being single, you guys. Just get over it.