Hannah Salame

See below for a link to Hannah’s audio file.


Letter to My Younger Self

Throughout my life, I have made many decisions, and all have ultimately led me to the life I have now. I am incredibly grateful for every moment and decision in my life because without them, I would not be shaped into who I am now. However, like every human being, I have moments when I think back on things that I have done. Some horrify me. Some I am proud of. Here are just a few things that I would tell my younger self if I could go back in time. 

To my elementary school self:

  • All I can tell you is to practice your piano more often. Really. You’re not as good as you think you are. Practice more for your lessons, and once you stop lessons, try to revisit the piano every so often so your skills don’t waste. If you don’t, you’ll lose all your skills and reminisce about the days when you could play any song you wanted.

To my middle school self, I have a few words: 

  • Be more confident. No one cares how cute your outfit is in 7th grade. Everyone’s awkward anyway, and you won’t even remember what you wore or whether or not your hair was perfectly straightened in a week. I read a quote once that said, “Life is a marathon and not a sprint.” Stop trying to rush life. You have your whole life ahead of you. Take time to appreciate the moments happening all around you. They will soon be a memory. 
  • There is no point at all trying to please everyone. There will always be someone who won’t like you. Just accept it and move on because for every one person who doesn’t like you, there are a hundred people that do.
  • Spend more time thinking for yourself and less time trying to please others, doing what others want, and following someone else’s thoughts. You have spent way too long following the pack because you didn’t want to seem like the odd one out. Do what you want anyway.
  • Take more risks. It may be scary, but the benefits are so rewarding. At that age, you have no limits; you have nothing holding you back. There is nothing to lose, and everything to gain, by trying something new.

To my early high school self:

  • Don’t get your hair cut at the mall to save time – twice – because both times, they’ll cut your hair past your shoulders and make you look a little too similar to Dora the Explorer. Save yourself the embarrassment and get a good quality cut. 
  • Beware of the senior lounge. Be sure to stock up on Febreeze and Germ-X,  and some Blow-Pops wouldn’t hurt either. Future you will thank you. 
  • Spend more time with your siblings before they go to college (and before you do too.) Time is the one thing you can never get back, and you can never remake memories.
  • Your ability to forgive is not a weakness but a strength. That is your best trait. I hope you never lose it.
  • Take time to be kind to everyone. Kindness is never wasted, and it can go a long way.
  • Time spent serving others will never be time wasted. However, remember to spend time for yourself. Putting others before yourself is kind, but it’s equally important to be kind to yourself and to put yourself first sometimes. You deserve it.
  • It is a gift to get to know people. You are going to meet some people who will become so integral to your life; you are going to meet some that are going to try to knock you down. But, be grateful for everyone you meet. Every encounter you have will be a lesson, and you will grow so much more than you could ever imagine. I myself am still growing, and I still have so many lessons to learn. This leads me to my final point.
  • Never stop growing and learning. I hope you continually grow throughout your life and learn lessons along the way. I hope you become the woman you’ve always wanted to be, but know that won’t happen the way you want it to but how God has planned it to. See every bump in the road as a lesson and a stepping stone of growth. Don’t worry so much about whether or not everything is going exactly to your plan because life never will. You will, however, end up right where you need to be. 

Though these are the things I’d consider telling my younger self given the chance, I’m not sure I would. Everything that has happened up to now has led me to where I am, and every part of my life has taught me lessons that have shaped me into who I am. Everything happens for a reason.

Please click on the arrow below to hear Hannah’s Senior Reading.