I got into the university at the age of 16, I had just gotten out of an all girls secondary school and resumed for orientation at the University about 2 months after. I was unprepared for what was to come. I was shy and had little or no sense of direction. I remember always wondering when things would start to make sense cause…lets just say “I was just starting my journey of self discovery”. I really couldn’t wait to “figure it all out”.
I recently thought about how much I stressed over sooo many unnecessary things. When I look back, I just laugh (and feel silly too) If I could talk to the teenage version of myself, here’s what I’d tell her (and just about every other teenager out there):
1. People aren’t that scary, they just aren’t you: I always found it difficult understanding people…till this very moment, human beings are a mystery to me. How can something that makes one person laugh, provoke a negative emotion in another person?…why are we SO different? Why isn’t everyone nice??? Why are there bad people…mean people. These were some of the questions I used to ask myself, especially the last two. I just didn’t get it. But now I know Its our differences that make us who we are and it is indeed a blessing. People aren’t that scary, they just aren’t us and they need to be understood (we all do). For a long time I thought I was obligated to like everyone ( I would literally feel guilty if i didn’t) but then again I’ve gotten to realize that UNDERSTANDING IS KEY and with understanding comes a certain level of respect. You cant’t like everyone- even if you want to and you shouldn’t expect everyone to like you.
2. You will fail A LOT!: I used to beat myself up soo much when I failed at anything , (even the slightest thought of me not doing something right made me cringe) Now I just ask myself Why worry so much? I’m even eager to try the scariest things NOW because I know that the earlier I fail, The earlier I learn.
3. Your friends love you, but they can’t always help you: I remember clearly, a certain event occurred a while back . I was really upset and all I did was blame my friend. I just “expected” her to be there for me at that point. I guess that happens with a lot of us, because we have people we care about- and who care about us in turn- we just expect a lot from them because we believe we would do the same. But in reality there’s so much a friend can do…the rest, you have to handle yourself.
4. Working really hard in school will pay off, Formal education matters a lot!: I wonder who started the “Success without a degree” movement. but I still think it’s all bullshit. pardon my french but if you can afford to go to school, then by all means go and do it extremely well. Yes loads of people have made it in life without formal education and so what? It amazes me how a lot of young people go about thinking they don’t need to take school seriously because they have the option of succeeding without it. Different strokes for different folks, but you won’t know what works for you if you don’t try ( and by try, I mean put in all your best to make it work.)
I believe in anything strategic and intentional and that’s exactly what formal education strives to achieve. It’s just sad that in this country, majority of our schools use curriculum’s that are not revised to suit the basic needs of the students in this society (instead, foreign and outdated curriculum is used) However, if our education system is revised, updated and strategic, it would most definitely set the right foundation for success in ANY and every area of the students life. It’s still not enough reason to not appreciate school.
5. You have no idea what real love is: NOPE! Trust me, at sixteen you don’t.
6. No dream is unattainable;
“when you want something, the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it”:-Paulo Coelho.
This, for me, is a testimony (still in progress) Cause over time I’ve realized that the more I desire something (especially ambition- wise) everything aligns itself to make it work out for me. That is one quote that stuck, from The Alchemist, a book by Paulo Coelho. And to go with that is the 10,000 hour rule from Outliers, a book by Malcolm Gladwell. He says that 10,000 hours of “deliberate practice” is what is needed to become a Pro in any field. He says it’s simply a matter of practicing a specific task that can be accomplished with 20 hours of work, every week for 10 years.
I don’t need 10 years of practice to believe this rule actually works. I already know that practice makes perfect so I’m consciously making efforts to dedicate some time daily to achieve my dream. I just wish I knew this when I was wayy younger. Imagine 10,000 hours of deliberate practice + The universe conspiring to help me achieve my dreams! I would be a genius by now LMAO!
7. Go with your gut. It rarely fails: I believe everyone has in them, a compass and if you are bold enough to just believe and trust your gut you would most definitely be fine.
8. Dance! (Even if you think you can’t): I used to be too shy to dance, it was so bad I didn’t even know I could dance. I was convinced I couldn’t. I still don’t think I can, but I do it anyways just because It makes me happy. The little joys we miss simply because we think we can’t…sigh
9. You’ll never be younger than you are today, enjoy every moment: I still don’t know why I worried so much when I could have used all that time creating memories and just enjoy being young. But I’m glad I know all that I Know now…so dear 16 years old Dupe; Relax and enjoy every moment.
PS: Please pardon my featured image; I’m still terrible at picking em’