I’ve been reminiscing about my past as I watched old high school videos of being inducted into the National Honors Society. I watched the videos of the graduation ceremony, speaking as the Salutatorian of Westhill Institute. Going back and watching these videos makes me smile and also cringe because I can remember those days. I was really looking forward to my future. I can remember wanting so badly to be done with high school and the teenage stage. I was thinking about life in either the U.S. or U.K. I was craving independence and freedom. Now, I think back and see things so much more differently than I used to.
To the teenagers out there…
Don’t Get Stuck Inside Your Head
Don’t keep dwelling on all you hope and wish for your future that you forget to be and live in your present moment. Take a better look at where you are. Appreciate it and enjoy it because you can’t get the moment back.
You have to Validate Yourself
You have to compliment yourself a lot more because if you don’t, you’ll allow yourself to be put in a box. You have to be your cheerleader and not let yourself be put on some label that others or yourself have placed on you. For me, it was that of the “nerd.” I didn’t realize how much I held on to that label until I started to validate myself.
Believe that You’re Beautiful
If you don’t already know, believe me when I tell you that you’re Beautiful. I used to think that I wasn’t beautiful because I didn’t have a boyfriend or a lot of friends. I used to think I wasn’t beautiful because I wore glasses and had short hair. But my beauty is not defined by any of that. Your beauty is defined by you simply looking at yourself with love. Your beauty is defined by you seeing the value and uniqueness that exists in you. You don’t need to depend on someone else to tell you that. You have to tell yourself that over and over again. You are beautiful.
Understand that No stage of Life is Perfect
I couldn’t wait to finish high school because I believed that college/university would be so much more and better. I got to university and I realized that there were also challenges too. It was not perfect. Don’t tell yourself that you can’t wait to get there because “there” will bring along its own set of hurdles. Darling, just focus on where you are and please relish the moments because your happiness is honestly what matters the most.
Listen even if You Don’t Care
You have to listen whether or not you agree. I used to think there was so much I know. I used to think that no one else understood me but I wasn’t listening to what my life was showing me. I wasn’t listening to what others had to say because I was so stuck in the chatter of my fiction.
It’s easy to want to be closed off due to fear. I wasn’t always willing to be open to others because I thought I wasn’t enough. When I learned to be open, I realize how we all aren’t different from one another. We are all just learning and trying to get by in this life. We are all always trying to figure it out. When you open yourself up to other people and experiences, something amazing happens. You realize that you really are not alone.
Nothing Lasts Forever
The truth is that high school can make you feel like you’re amazing or not worth it. A lot of us suffer in that stage. Outwardly, I was the good, smart and confident girl. Inwardly, I was hating my life as I struggled with my self-worth and feeling alone. It was from high school I, unfortunately, picked up some limiting beliefs that I learn to let go of every day.
I just want you to know that high school doesn’t last forever. If it isn’t great, try to find some good to hold on to while time moves because time will move. You can get through it. You will find yourself in a different environment. You will eventually find passions you didn’t know you had. You will find your circle, your niche. As long as you are willing to actively participate in your own life, you will become more of yourself.
That is my message to the teenager. What does that teenage stage mean to you?