Dear 12-Year Old Ted,

Some ten years (and so-so months) ago, I used to be a bratty yet boyish, sheltered and secretive girl. It’s a pretty weird thing how I came up to be this big me. And since I am this big girl writing, maybe I could give the young pre-teen me a mean set of pointers.

  • Do not be pressured of getting into a Science high school or an Art school. Enrolling will neither make you an astronaut nor a National Artist. You’ll learn the basics of Science in a normal high school anyway, and art? You’d better go for that in college.
  • Do not let go of writing. Your grade school folio is only an annual publication. Do not rest your pen after the deadlines. Write at the margins of your notebook and at the clean sheet of Math scratch paper. Ask your aunties for journals as presents.
  • Appreciate your baon. Your mother will rarely do that for you in college and you’ll surely miss that.
  • Remember boys from the Honor Section. Two from which will sweep you off your feet. Thus, start drafting their records.
  • Hoard more books from the library. Read more classics so that they won’t have to interfere with your studies in the future. Don’t mind the extra charge of a new Borrower’s card, it’s just worth two days’ snack.
  • Do not be afraid of dogs. They’re one of the cutest and most adorable creatures on earth.
  • Do not fear your teachers, even the “terror” ones. They’re supposed to teach, not to traumatize. You can always tell your father about them, and he’ll show them who’s more of an RSA.
  • Take real good care of your hair. It will be the hardest to maintain when you get older.
  • Cherish every moment you spend with your father. One day, his presence will be rare. Or maybe, his voice will be just as good as his presence.
  • Earn patience now. You’ll have to use tons of it later in life.
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