What I wish somebody would have told me as a teenager.

In Uncategorized on February 10, 2011 at 1:59 pm





My teenage years we’re rough, to say the least. I was so fixated on becoming perfect that I thought of little else. Now in college, I am working on mending my damaged self-esteem and body image. I am only sorry that I wasted all those teenage years trying to be somebody else, when I could have been focusing on enjoying myself just as I was. These are a few of the things I wish I could have known during those dark days.


1. Surround yourself with people who love you.

I had a toxic group of girlfriends growing up who would trash talk each other when one of the members of the group wasn’t around. At the time, I took the mean things that they said as factual and I internalized these things, torturing myself by repeating the things they had said over and over again in my head. What I didn’t realize at the time was that these girls we’re just projecting their own insecurities on me. Had I surrounded myself with people who accepted me just as I was, I would have saved myself a lot of pain.


2. You’re body is perfect just the way it is.

I went to sleep on an empty stomach more nights than I can count. I exercised for hours at a time. I was constantly hungry and couldn’t focus in class. I only allowed myself one piece of fruit for breakfast and a granola bar for lunch and I would still go into the bathroom between every class to look at how “fat” I was. I would become so frustrated with myself for “slipping up” and actually eating something that I would cry hysterically and vow to skip my next meal. I was in complete denial that I had a problem because, “I just wanted to be skinny.” What’s funny is, that I was considered underweight at this time according to my BMI. If I had only believed that my body was good enough, even perfect just the way it was! I didn’t need to be constantly chasing after some ideal body image.


3. You don’t have to be perfect at everything in order to be successful.

In high school I thought I had to practice my instrument (I started college as a music major) for at least four hours everyday, get straight A’s in my IB classes (kind of like AP or honors classes, be in as many clubs as possible, and have the perfect body in order to make it in to college and have a “successful” life. I was afraid of the future and because of it, I made little time for friends and leisure. In college I have been learning how to cut loose and I have come to realize that being successful doesn’t mean doing everything perfectly but having a great attitude and being your authentic self.


4. Your parents are human.

Growing up my mother was wonderful but also very opinionated. I thought, as my mom, she must know best and so when she disagreed with me, it hurt me deeply. Once I finally grew up and realized that my mother had her flaws just like everybody else, I was able to have a much healthier relationship with her. I also realized that some of the things my mother disagreed with me about were the things that I liked the most about myself (my interest in music and jazz in particular, my high school boyfriend, who still remain my close friend, my love of vegetarian food, and my interest in psychology). Your life is your own, nobody else’s, even if they are your parents.


5. And most importantly, be yourself!

To quote the fabulous Lauryn Hill, “The real you is more interesting than the fake somebody else.”












What do you wish somebody had told you as a teenager?


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