I am legally an adult, which is so strange to me. 19 years old and I am still so confused on how to do this 'life' thing. As of right now I am enrolled in university, live at home, have a job, a boyfriend (I know, it surprises me too), and a big ol' family that loves me. It sounds like I have my stuff in order, but right now I am extremely lost. I am meeting new people, experiencing new things, and discovering what I truly enjoy. With every new discovery I have, I start to wonder why I hadn't thought that way before. These are 5 things no one told me as a kid, and wish they had.
1. To know more about my body and how to feel towards it.
It's surprising how little I was taught about my body throughout my 12 years at school. Sure, in high school they put a bit more effort into it, but in elementary and middle school my body was a dark and mysterious thing. As a girl going through puberty, being left out of this loop wasn't helpful, it resulted more negatively if anything. Growing up without this necessary information made me uncomfortable with my body. I didn't want to talk to anyone about it because I was embarrassed with the subject, and with myself. I don't want any young girl to feel the same way I did. Our bodies are not something to be embarrassed about, but to be embraced! My advice to every girl is to learn as much as you can about the way your body works. It will lead to a much healthier and positive life.
2. It's okay to stand your ground.
I believe we all have faced peer pressure in our lives. It's important how we handle it. I remember as a kid feeling uncomfortable in certain situations, and instead of thinking it through and doing what my heart told me to, I would follow something or someone else blindly just to be 'cool' or 'popular'. Guys, this isn't cool. Doing something that makes you uncomfortable to be 'cool' is the uncoolest thing that ever did uncool. If you're ever in a situation that makes you feel uneasy and don't want to be a part of it, you turn around and you book it. It doesn't matter what other people will think of you, because at the end of the day you will be happy with your choices and what you stood by. It may be easy to follow the crowd, but it shows a lot of courage to stick by what your heart tells you.
3. You need to appreciate other females and encourage them.
I feel that at a young age, girls are pitted against each other. You need to be the prettiest, the funniest, the kindest. If another girl was better at something than you, the immediate reaction would be to scoff and drag her down. I have no clue why this happens. Honestly, it makes no sense to me. We are all people trying to live our lives to the fullest, and I think it's our jobs to try and influence ourselves and people around us to do the best they can, and if you don't believe that, we can still all agree its not our jobs to bring others down. Us females are pretty freaking strong, and to have a support system of females is pretty incredible. So be there for others, and they will no doubt be there for you.
4. You don't have to have everything sorted out.
I need to be reminded this every year, because there is always a time I will be overwhelmed to the point where I just turn off the lights, crank Adele and cry until my head hurts and I fall asleep. In high school, it seemed so important that I knew what my future would look like. You need to go to university, you need to have great paying job, you need to be married and have kids before you wither away into a shriveled up grape. This isn't stuff your 16 year old self should have plaguing your mind. Of course it's great to think for the future, but the future is never set in stone. If you decide you want to go to university, that's great. If you go for a year and realize you completely despise what you're learning, that's okay too. Don't be nervous if not everything is going accordingly to your life schedule. Things will change, like your mind and your interests. Just stay healthy, stay happy, and follow what interests you or brings you joy. Looking back, it will never be a disappointment to think of the past, because why would being happy ever be disappointing?
5. Stop comparing yourself to others, and start appreciating you.
Living a life where you compare yourself to everyone is exhausting. Growing up this way can give you a great sense of inadequacy, and that's not the best feeling for a kid trying to figure out how to do life. Everybody is extremely unique. Instead of looking at one someone else has that you don't, think about what you have that makes you, well, YOU. Once you start appreciating yourself and what you have to offer, every day becomes a lot more fun.
I think knowing these things would've made for a much smoother ride, but in the end I'm glad to know it now. The new year is coming up, with a bunch of new things to discover.
Even though my life schedule seems to be going crazy, I'm still pretty pumped.
Happy Holidays Whyville,