Can we all just take a moment?
Times are different. One of the most prominent differences is that I grew up about when technology such as phones and computers made their rare appearances in some people’s homes, my siblings on the other hand, are growing up where these things can be argued almost as an essential in the home. Times are different, and I am not here to tell you that it is wrong, or that times were better before we had techology and social media. I am here to shed light on something that becomes more and more important as times change. Kids are not kids the same way anymore, and it is because of all the early access they have to information. This, like anything else, comes with both good and bad. Sure they don’t seem to ask their parents as much about puberty because they are only a forum away from their answers, and they don't go through an ’awkward phase’ because of the access to countless fashion bloggers, but so what? Times are changing, and that is kind of cool. But what isn’t so cool is that we seem to forget that despite all the information that is accessible, there are some things you just cannot google.
Life experience, cultural awareness, respect, kindness, and confidence: a lot of the pieces and traits that make you a wholesome and independent individual. No matter how many tutorials you watch on Youtube you simply cannot and will not learn some things until you grow.
To demonstrate what I am trying to say, I asked people last year one question
“If you could go back in time, and tell your teenage-self only one thing, what would it be?”
I was amazed and utterly grateful at how honest people dared to be. I think it is important that we all take a moment to realise that we are not alone in some of the things that goes on in our minds as we grow:
”First, relax because most things actually don’t matter as much as you think they do and second, work now pays off later”
“Believe in yourself”
“Stand for what you believe in, and don’t give up”
“No one actually cares if you’re a virgin, think with your heart not your dick!”
“Don’t be shy, and you shouldn’t care so much what everyone else thinks”
“Never take anything for granted!”
“Do not care what others think, be yourself and you’ll end up happy!”
“Stop taking yourself so seriously. If you live for yourself rather than worrying how it will look to everyone else, you will get the life you want”
“Stand up to your mother’s crazy ideas more. You don’t like your hair that short!”
“The cool kids won’t actually be so cool when you’re all done here”
“Do what YOU want, no matter what others say”
“Stop letting others thoughts influence and stop you. At the end of the day no one actually cares about the stupid things you said or did. The ones who does care are not worth your time, so stop worrying about it”
“It’s not all about being the most popular or getting the hottest guy in school, it’s really about finding who you are”
“It is wrong that you have to sleep with him to keep him around. Believe me, you’ll feel much better off without him”
“One thing is to tell my teenage self this, but would I actually understand it as a teenager? –Believe in yourself, you can do whatever you set your mind to”
“Be yourself, don’t worry what people think, because you don’t need people who won’t appreciate you. Don’t change for anyone, your real friends will love you anyways”
“It’s going to be okay, slow down and enjoy what you have”
“Don’t let other people’s opinions affect what you do with your life”
“Stay weird, you might get strange looks coming your way now, but people in the future will love it, it is just who you are”
“Focus and put more work into school, the problem is I don’t think I’d change if I went back and told myself, I was too laid back at the time to understand how important it is”
I asked people in a large age range, and the most eye-opening of all was that no matter what time they grew up in, the things they would tell themselves did not change. I can not highlight enough how important it is that we realise that no matter how much times change, or how much or little access someone has to information we are still humans. We worry about the same things growing up, we think everyone around us have their lives together except ourselves, and we all get confused. And that does not stop as we get old. We are still humans. What changes is our understanding and outlook on life. I know that if I had known some of these things as a teenager, I might not have worried as much, or rushed to grow up. If we start talking about the things that goes on in our minds more, we will all start to realise that we are not alone in worrying about things. I understand it is not an easy conversation to start, but we can only strive to be the one we needed growing up for our siblings and younger ones. It’s time to realise we are a lot more similar than we think, so thank you to everyone that opened up to me.