Like many young adults around the world, high school wasn’t really the most amazing experience for me. This was due in large part because I was internally battling with a lot of anxiety. The cafeteria was a daily struggle feeling the pressure of hundreds of students surrounding me, afraid of siting alone; being an outcast. Also, there was the struggle of not being confident enough to express myself through my clothing or certain interests. Today, although I have made peace with my past, if I had the opportunity to give my 14-year-old self some advice before entering high school I would. So here’s a list of things I would say to freshman Mara:
1. They’re not as scary as they look. Talk to people, crack a joke, make friends. They’re more often than not just as terrified as you. You may make them comfortable enough to open up and maybe even start a friendship.
2. Those people who look down on you. The ones who think they’re the coolest thing to walk the earth. Their coolness won’t matter once they exit this school. Everyone goes back to 0 once this is over and none of this will matter anymore. It’ll all be but a distant memory of when you were young.
3. Wear whatever you want and act the way you are. It doesn’t matter if they don’t like you or what you’re wearing so long as you do.
4. Join clubs. Even if you don’t think you’re good at something, just go for it. Who knows you might actually find you really like it or good at it.
5. Spirit Week is fun. Go show some school pride, make some cool memories.
6. You are beautiful. All of you is beautiful, your face, your hands, your hips, your legs. All of it. A guy that doesn’t appreciate all of you, does not deserve you.
7. As a matter of fact, don’t even bother dating. You are so young and have a whole life ahead of you to date. Focus on getting to know who you are; your likes, your dislikes, everything. Let love come when it comes.
8. Fangirl as much as your little heart desires. Although it doesn’t matter if you do it when you’re older, this is the only time when you will really have time. So beg your parents to go to concerts, make friends that are into the music you like and simply enjoy it. You might not know this now but music is what you love.
9. Speak up, even if you think you might sound “stupid”, which you won’t. Say what’s on your mind. Not only might you benefit others but you can benefit yourself.
10. Give your all in everything. Honestly, it’s one of the most rewarding feelings you can experience. Not only will you get good grades but you will unleash your potential and might even find passion for something you didn’t know you had.
There it is. This is the advice I would give my 14-year-old self. Is there anything you would add? Let me know in the comment section. Love you always.