At 15 years old:
My Dearest Samantha Jadyn and Christina Abigail,
Don't listen to what your friends think. Think for yourself. Never be afraid to make your own mistakes, own them, and learn from them. Always be afraid to not try. Don't lie to me about where you have been, what you were doing, or who you were with because in doing so, you will break my trust which will be much harder for you to earn back.
Study hard and don't skip classes, unless it's to go on a great adventure with your friends once a year; those memories will mean more to you than the punishment you will serve for it. But believe me, you will serve a punishment. Know that there are always consequences for your actions. They can be good, and they can be bad. One day, you'll realize that your idea of the "bad" consequences in my house have actually served to make you good.
Don’t judge yourself on the grades you bring home… look at each subject you studied and be proud of each grade you earned for yourself. If a “C” is the best you can do in one subject, own that “C” and know that nobody can take that away from you. Go to college before you get married and have children.
If you're going to drink, don't drive. Call me anytime, anywhere and I'll be there without judgment. But be prepared to pay the consequences for your decisions. Before you down that first drink, ask yourself if the short term benefits of getting drunk outweigh the long term consequences of underage drinking. I trust you are wise enough to come to a sensible decision.
Be nice to your sister. She may be the most annoying creature on the planet, but there isn’t a friend in the world that will ever be able to replace her. She has been at your side, going through this life with you for as far back as you can remember. While your friend will tell you what you want to hear, your sister will tell you what you need to hear. Ignorant people will toss words around like "love", "friend", and "sister". Those are powerful words. Use them sparingly and appropriately.
Wear your seatbelt. Call me if you're going to be home late.
Put all of yourself into everything you do, even if you hate it. Apply to lots of colleges. Don't follow your friends or what is safe. Do what you want, even if it scares the hell out of you. Remember that nobody is courageous without first experiencing fear.
No one is better than you and you are better than no one else. If a boy breaks your heart, tell your sister. She’ll be there for you with raw cookie dough and a case of Jolt soda. Remember that you are God's creation. Everything He makes is perfect, and that means you are perfectly made. You are who you are because He made you. Your eyes could be a different color, your hair a different texture, your body with more or less curves, but then you wouldn't be perfectly made. Learn to appreciate the body God gave you. One day, your body will be nothing short of a distant memory.
Spend your money on stupid things, like a car or new clothes. One day, you'll have bills and wish you were more free with your money in your youth. On that token, remember that an ounce of responsibility mixes very well with a cup of splurging. Always toss something in your savings account… even if it is only $10 that month. And never forget that there are people in this world who will always have less than you do. Give. Attach no strings, and ask for nothing in return. Not even a thank you. Generosity will leave a mark on your soul that shines brightly when you need it most.
Don't worry about the popular crowd. They're usually insecure and will grow up being assholes. Be nice to everyone, even the "weird" kids. Often, they will end up being the most loyal friends and interesting people you will have known. Don’t allow yourself to be a victim of your circumstances. If you don't like something, change it.
Call your grandparents.