ten by seventeen

10 things I learned by the age of 17.

from me to you

  1. Be mindful of what you say

I once read an Arab proverb that says “open your mouth only if what you are going to say is more beautiful than silence.” No matter who you are, how educated, rich, talented, or popular you deem yourself to be, the way you talk about someone good or bad ultimately says a lot about you. There’s a certain power in what you say and how you say it. Remember that the people around you have different ways of perceiving things.

2. No moment ever happens the same

“A thousand moments we take for granted only because we assume there will be a thousand more” Your life is constantly changing and nothing will ever be the same, every moment you spend is another minute of your youth gone. Enjoy your teenage years, you can never experience the same moment twice. Participate in all the schools activities from spirit days to school events like battle or Garba. Take the time and enjoy what you have. Time is of the essence, tick tock.

3. Love yourself first

Don’t let someone define you, only you have the power to decide that. Love who you are, be proud of what you do, where you come from. I cannot stress how important self love is. Remember that there will always be someone who is more prettier. smarter, or popular than you and that’s okay because it’s not a competition. How can you possibly love someone else if you cannot even love yourself? You cannot give what you do not have. It will take time, and it’s something you will struggle with but learn to love who you are.

4. Say it

Stop and think for a minute, if you were to die right at this moment would you be happy with the way things are right now? Would you be content with the words left unsaid? Let me tell you something, rejection is terrifying but nothing can compare to the feelings of “what if” and “could’ve been”. Say it before it’s too late, you’ll never know if you never try. “In order to achieve something you’ve never had you must be willing to do something you’ve never done.” Do not fear failure, it’s a part of growing up.

5. It’s going to be okay

It’s inevitable that we will face challenges in our lives, but these will help you grow as a person. The struggles you face now are not indications of weakness don’t give up, great things take time. Despite the hardships in the end things get better, you’ll be okay.

6. Be kind to everyone you meet

Do all things with great kindness, it could be as simple as a smile. You don’t have to wait 20 minutes just to text someone back, keep in mind that you never know when you’ll be seeing someone for the very last time. Just like you everyone is fighting their own battles, so be kind. Think of it this way, “be the person you needed when you were younger”

7. Know your real friends

Remember to appreciate those who saw you at your worst and stayed. Those people are who you need to immerse yourself in. All because it’s easy to love someone when they’re happy, but it’s hard to love them when they’re crying because everything came down all at once. The way someone reacts to your anger/sadness tells a lot about how long they will be in your life. Know who your real friends are.

8. School is important

Education will take you far in life, it’s the foundation for success. In other countries many do not have the opportunity to learn like we do. Study hard, every point counts, you don’t have to get a 2400 on the SAT but try your utmost best. If you don’t understand something ask for help, there is nothing wrong with asking for help. When college time comes around, you’ll be glad that you did your best. Remember that education is a gift that many do not have.

9. People will leave

Feelings, friends, nothing is permanent, everything is temporary. People will promise they won’t leave you, but they do and it’s okay to feel sad. They have their reasons and you’ll learn that life goes on and things do get better. They won’t be the only people to come and go, so enjoy the times you spend together.

10. Be yourself

It sounds cliche I know, but if you don’t like sipping tea or dancing in the rain then don’t waste your time pretending that you do. Wear sweats to school, wear a dress, wear what makes YOU comfortable. Because at the end of the day you are not someone else, so why pretend to be? Why pretend to be someone you are not, we are born in this world to find ourselves. So don’t sweat it, drink your cup of coffee and be proud of who you are.