ifIknew is a health initiative for young adults that uses a multi media approach, including social media and in person programs, to address the contemporary issues that impact the well-being, self-image, careers, and relationships of people in their 20's and 30's.

If I Knew is a prevention education project that raises awareness about risky behaviors that can profoundly impact lives.

An open letter to my teenage self

Dear 17 year-old Annie,

I hate to ruin the ending for you, but everything works out fine. Seriously, every crisis or concern you are worried about now will be resolved. So much so that I cannot remember for the life of me what I used to worry about in high school.

The funny thing is that I still get myself worked up over situations that are probably going resolve themselves with a little time. I think this anxiety tags along with the fear of the unknown.

It’s tricky to plan things out when the world is founded on changes. Every day is saturated with breaking news and plot twists that remind us of how unpredictable life is.

Now, I’m not encouraging you to give up the plan, just don’t panic if it changes. The only thing you can do to ensure a happy ending is to live by your gut. Remember that time at the party when everyone piled in a car to go egging and you didn’t go because you had a bad feeling? Your gut knew that something was wrong because they ended up getting busted by the police that night. Your intuition is your strongest superpower and it only works if you listen to it.

Don’t freak out about the plan because the story is so much better than the plan. Your greatest moments happen when you say yes to the opportunities that feel right to you, not when you follow what others say is right.

Things get VERY cool because you made them this way. I’m eternally grateful for all of the good and bad choices you made that got you here. You’re a good person and you know what you want, now go get it without a single hesitation.

Also, always remember: it’s much better to have a few real friends who you can rely on and trust rather than to have a big group of friends whose friendships are only surface-deep.

Keep going, it’s just the beginning,

21 year-old Annie

Annie Stragner-Contributing writer for ifiknew