I recently completed my freshman year of college at East Tennessee State University. A week before I moved out of my shoebox size dorm, I rediscovered my admiration of Taylor Swift music and here remarkable songwriting ability.

My freshman english teacher projected Taylor Swift’s music video “Fifteen” on the board one day during class.

That was the last time I can remember listening to the song.

Flash forward to four years.

As I listen to the words that Taylor prophesies over her target audience I am astonished by the truth.

For me, I enjoy hearing from ladies that have more life experience than I do but can also sympathize with my youth, I may not learn from their mistakes but I can’t say I didn’t know. As that stands, middle/high school girl, let me tell you what I’ve found to be true:

You take a deep breath and you walk through the doors
It’s the morning of your very first day
You say “Hi” to your friends you ain’t seen in a while
Try and stay out of everybody’s way
It’s your freshman year and you’re gonna be here
For the next four years in this town
Hoping one of those senior boys will wink at you and say,
“You know I haven’t seen you around before.”

No need for subjective commentary, the aforementioned lyrics are just correct.

‘Cause when you’re fifteen and somebody tells you they love you
You’re gonna believe them
And when you’re fifteen
Feeling like there’s nothing to figure out
Well, count to ten, take it in
This is life before you know who you’re gonna be

Just the other day, my roommate Ashton and I took a moment to laugh at the fact that when we were fifteen it really felt like we understood everything. Okay we still are not even close. With that in mind, enjoy the moment of being fifteen but also know that there is so much more to life.

As much as you think you know who you are at fifteen, know that there is always more. More beauty, intelligence, wisdom, talent, and purpose to have in your life.

I do feel like I knew who I was during my later high school years. As much as I could. But I didn’t know who I was going to be. There is a difference. Young girl, know who you are now but know there is always more ahead.

You sit in class next to a redheaded Abigail
And soon enough you’re best friends
Laughing at the other girls who think they’re so cool
We’ll be out of here as soon as we can

Cherish your “friend-time”. Once you graduate life has a way of spreading people out. Desires change, personalities mature, and locations widen. This does not mean that they weren’t truly your friends, but know that it won’t ever be the same again. Don’t blink, it will go by so fast.

And then you’re on your very first date and he’s got a car
And you’re feeling like flying
And your momma’s waiting up and you’re thinking he’s the one
And you’re dancing ’round your room when the night ends
When the night ends

College comes with unprecedented freedom, but there are some special situations that only present themselves in the context of high-school. Make wise decisions, but don’t you dare wish those first dates and times living at home away! They are precious and do not last forever.

And your first kiss makes your head spin round
But in your life you’ll do things greater than dating the boy on the football team
But I didn’t know it at fifteen

When all you wanted was to be wanted
Wish you could go back and tell yourself what you know now

I am only recently realizing that there are better things than the equivalent to dating the boy on the football team. But there is. Don’t get me wrong, it is a great feeling and a sweet part of high school. How many songs have you heard that laden with nostalgia about Friday night lights? There is a reason for that. 

It has been a delight to discover that the Advertising and Public relations department is exactly where I want to be and fits my desires and skills. At this point in life, the possibilities seem endless, if I am willing to put in the work. I did not know that my life could be like this, at fifteen. 

Without the life experience you can’t know that there is more to life for you specifically, but trust me there is. You have so much to learn about yourself. 

Back then I swore I was gonna marry him someday
But I realized some bigger dreams of mine
And Abigail gave everything she had to a boy who changed his mind
And we both cried

I 100% believed during my senior year of high school that I would marry the boy I was dating at the time. It’s all I could see. It was the frame in which I dreamed about my life to come. That all changed when the relationship ended and I was shattered into pieces for nearly a year after.

Now I can dream without that frame of a relationship surrounding it. Finding where I fit, individually, post-high school has changed my mind about so many things. So high-school girl, there is more.

Thankfully, the latter lyrics of the verse do not describe my life story. But for so many girls I know, it does. Being out of high school allows me to see things objectively although I have the personal experience as well. No boy deserves everything you have to offer outside of marriage, the truth is: they can change their mind and typically do. There is so much more and so many more people to know. Do yourself the favor and wait- you are worth so much. One day you will be so thankful that you valued yourself enough to wait. 

Don’t forget to look before you fall
I’ve found time can heal most anything
And you just might find who you’re supposed to be
I didn’t know who I was supposed to be at fifteen

You are more than valuable and special than you realize. Take these things to heart. Guard your heart. If it gets broken, know that time does heal that hurt. I’ve survived two rough breakups. You’ll feel like you will never be okay again. Thankfully Taylor Swift wrote another song to tell us about how it feels to “Begin Again” after your heartbreak heals.

Hang in there, because you might just find out who you’re supposed to be. 

Your very first day
Take a deep breath, girl
Take a deep breath as you walk through the doors.