Ninth Grade Wisdom


While home for Christmas break, I cleaned out my closet. For anyone who knows my personality, it isn’t out of the ordinary for me to clean something.

But this time wasn’t just for organizing my blouses by color and using my new t-shirt folder; this time, I picked things out that I no longer wanted, piled them up, and gave them away. This scavenger hunt for unwanted clothes, shoes, and other “unfashionable” items from my past led me to find all sorts of knick-knacks from high school.

I found everything from birthday cards to sheet music to ugly collages of celebrities I’d found attractive. Out of every embarrassing thing I found, the most captivating had to be my ninth grade diary.

“Katie kept a diary?,” you ask yourself. Oh yes, I did. And it was angst-ridden, sappy, and full of doodles.

But, reading back through it as a senior in college mere months from graduating and entering the big, bad world, 15-year-old me was a lot wiser than I thought. Here are just a few of the wise excerpts from seven years ago:


1.  “I just want to take a break from this not knowing everything.”

2.  “I have so much hair that I broke my straightener. This is the worst day.”


3. “I’m really angry with Joey but I also want to make out with him. Is that bad?”


4. “Today, I wore a Queen t-shirt and at least six people asked me who Queen was.”


5.  “There will always be people who don’t like you. If everyone liked you, you’d never have time to breathe.”


6. “I hope that my friends right now stay my friends forever. I really think they will.”


7. “I think I’ve learned it’s easier to not talk to the cool kids than to lie to them about how I don’t want to audition for the play, because I really do. Even if they don’t think it’s cool.”


8. “Today, I heard a rumor in first period that Kira told a girl off in the bathroom, and by lunch it had morphed into Kira being a lesbian. Gossip makes no sense sometimes.”


9. “I can’t wait to be in college. Everything will be way easier and way more fun.”


10. “You don’t have to like people all the time, so long as you love them.”


Ninth grade Katie taught me that I’m not much cooler or much more put together than I was at fifteen, but that I’ve definitely grown up since then. Now, whenever you feel stuck and need some advice, imagine your 15-year-old self, glasses and braces and bad style and all, reminding you just how much you’ve grown.