I remember being 16 like it was yesterday, but it’s been an entire seven years that has passed since then…
Wow, I’m old.
I’ve learned a lot in these past seven years. A lot about myself, a lot about life, a lot about what I want out of life. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve still got a lot left to figure out, but here are a few things that I’ve learned so far that I would tell my 16 year old self if I had the chance:
Learn to say no.
- Don’t agree to something you don’t want to do just to please someone else.
- Believe me, there are so many other boys in this world for you to meet who will respect you & your wishes.
- Along the same lines, say no to those friends who pressure you to do things you’re not ready to do. There are better friends out there who actually want the best for you.
- If they don’t respect your wishes, they’re not people you want to surround yourself with anyway.
Don’t be afraid to follow a path that others may not consider ‘normal’.
- Every single person is on their own journey so what even is normal anyway?
- Please pursue whatever it is that makes you happy.
- You’ve got one life & you’ve got to live it for you. (Cheeessyyyy but true).
- Take that gap year(s) to travel, have fun, try new things, meet people!! How else are you supposed to figure out what you want out of this one life you get?
Ask for what you want.
- People can’t read your mind. They don’t know what you want unless you tell them.
- Don’t waste time beating around the bush because it will end up bothering you if you don’t speak your mind.
- The worst thing that could happen is them saying no.
- Most of the time, it works in your favor. All you have to do is ask.
As I was writing this list about my worries as a 16 year old, I realized what it all boiled down to. I was worried about what others thought of me.
I couldn’t muster up the courage to say no to others because I wanted to be accepted by boys, my peers, and my friends. I was scared to pursue my own journey in life because I didn’t want others to perceive me as a failure. I wouldn’t ask for what I wanted because I was afraid that I would offend someone.
Life’s way too short to be wasting time with people who don’t support you, to be living someone else’s dream, or to be afraid of what others would think about you.
You’ve only got this one lifetime to experience, so why not pursue the things you want out of life?
But also, remember not to take life too seriously.
Smile at strangers. Learn to laugh at yourself. Stop worrying about not knowing how to dance, just do it. I promise you, it’s so much fun.