Lessons learned as a teenager. What the older me would say now.

Young Darrion 2005, Washington, D.C.

As I became older, I started to discover new things. I entered a whole new world in 2004 when I started high school. Things were moving fast and I had to learn and adjust quickly.

I learned that in high school, image is everything and you have to make as many friends as you can. Today I am successful without even being popular and that popularity contest in high school is overrated. It doesn’t work in real life unless your running for office or trying to be the most liked user on Instagram.

I also learned that you can’t be seen as a wimp and always do what people tell you to do. When I was bullied in 2005, I was scared to make my own decisions in fear of being hurt, embarrassed and exiled form the popular circle. Today, I am an independent, outspoken and opinionated intellectual. I am twice the size I was in high school (more fit/ripped than ever) so I doubt that bullying will ever occur in my life again.

Love is something you have to find now. You don’t want to go to prom and not have a date. Well today, I would say to my younger self thank you. Thank you for waiting and not listening. Many of the people I knew growing up have a family and aren’t even 25 yet. I think it’s a blessing to have children but once after you lived out your dreams and found your purpose in life. I am happy with the current relationship I have now. And love will be there when it is time. So there is no need to rush.

Law firm tutoring, 2007

The younger me was hungry to learn from many successful individuals. I learned early on that networking is one of the most powerful tools one can possess. Today, my networking and communication skills has taken me around the world; meeting some of the world’s most inspiring and influential people.

I would tell the younger me that the hard work has paid off. However, you can not slow down for anyone. Keep pushing and continue to live out your dreams (as you are now).

The older me has a heart for children. Which is why I’m in the teaching profession. The younger me only saw dollar signs. The older me sees the hearts and minds of people in need; the humanitarian.

Teaching has brought me on a journey I couldn’t imagined back then and even now. The younger me was set on attending Harvard law but God had a bigger plan in store for me.

All is this to say, continue to grow and learn in life. It’s okay to change your mind. It’s okay to be your own self. Become the change you wish to see in the world and the world will be a better place.

P.S. The younger me also thought that he would be a big football star if things didn’t work out. Well I’m a star in my students’ eyes when I play with them after school.


Darrion 2016, Thanh Hoa, Vietnam