I’ve started mentoring a teen. She’s 10 years younger, and there is just so much of life yet to be known ahead of her. There is so much of me in her when I was 17, and our striking similarities are enough to give me goose bumps!
She goes to the same little private school I went to, and has had many of the same experiences and struggles in life (even at the young age of 17) that I did… it is just so insanely awesome that God has brought her into my life.
To look into someone’s eyes and see their realization of our similarities, and for them to know they’re going to be ok – based on you – is inspiring.
From 17 to 27, these are some lessons I would tell any teen or young adult, things we all need in life:
Never gossip… it isn’t good or beneficial to anyone to talk badly about other people. It not only hurts others, it hurts your own spirit.
Learn to really love yourself – be confident in who you are, and who you aren’t. Spend time alone, get to know your likes and dislikes, and for goodness sake don’t worry what other people think.
Be a forgiver – you change on the inside when you choose to forgive. It’s amazing how much peace you feel when you choose to release your anger or bitterness. Never ever ever let ANYONE turn you into someone who is bitter. Bitterness is never pretty on anyone.
Always be nice to people – you never quite know who you might be talking to or dealing with. Your kind words just might be encouraging someone who desperately needs it. You really just never know.
Never give up on goodness. There is so much evil in this world, and you can’t insulate yourself completely from it – but don’t think it’s the only force that is winning. Make your life a testament to goodness in your actions, and confront evil when you see it.
Courage. Have it. It is by far one of the ONLY things that no one can ever take away from you. People can say what they want, life can just do its own (often cruel) thing, but face it with courage. Don’t ever give up. Courage will keep you true to yourself, and your principles.
Dress nice – no really. It’s important to dress well at any age. Wear things that make you feel beautiful – and know that you ARE beautiful. Don’t stress about pimples and break-outs, braces, and feeling awkward. Your beauty on the inside will shine forth as you grow and mature – pimples go away, braces come off, and you accept yourself.
Be a person of good character – you will never regret growing older when you decide to make good choices.
Accept your own failures, you’re going to fail in life, and it will be ok. You will learn from them, our failures are our best teachers.
Always always always have fun… laugh… go out with friends and cut loose! You will never stop needing this – don’t ever let this go.
Never be afraid to ask for help, or admit you have a problem, there is ALWAYS someone who can help you. The only way to get out of a fox den, is to go back towards the light.