Nikki Pierce responds:
Thank you for reading my story—I’m so honored you’re asking for advice.
First off, you’re not a loser! No way! Many people hold off on trying any/all of the things you mentioned for several years (I still have friends who have never smoked or had sex, and we’re in our 30s!). A lot of people go through high school without a boy/girlfriend, and some even meet their special someone after college—there’s no shame in that at all.
When it comes to your “guts,” I’d advise you to trust your instincts. In my experience, the times I’ve gone against my gut were usually the times I had the most regrets. Also, if you feel ready, and choose to try anything and then decide it’s not for you, know it’s okay to say “no” from there on out. You’re never alone in any mode of thinking. Unless you’re a 32-year-old woman who still loves Hanson—apparently I’m alone in that. I DON’T CARE THOUGH; “MMMBop” IS AN AWESOME SONG. [Ed.: This is factual. “MMMBop” is really really good.]
As far as “best years” go, I think everyone’s come at different times. I’m sure my high school years could have benefitted from me sticking with my instincts, but I made the decisions I did, and thought they were the best at the time. I’ve found the times I’m the happiest, however, are when I’m putting things in my life that I’m passionate about! Now, if I’m feeling hesitant to do something, I ask myself why, and really try to trust that, and respect my own feelings. I’m going to make “mistakes”—everyone does—but I operate under the thought that “They’re only mistakes if you don’t learn something from them.”
I hope I’ve helped at least a little! If you have any more questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out.
Trust yourself, respect yourself, and remember to have so much fun these next two years. “In an MMMBop, they’re gone!” - Hanson