Thursday, January 9, 2014

A Piece of Advice to Teenage Girls Everywhere

Although you may view me as old, it wasn't that long ago that I was a high school student. I remember the everyday struggle to fit in. To be part of THE group of the moment. I remember the insecurity in not knowing who was really my friend and who was talking behind my back. I remember the hurt when I found out what my "best" friend had said about me, or done. Or, when one of my closest friends failed to support me within said group.

I remember the struggle to figure out my own identity (a struggle I still find myself in at my "old" age). I remember how important the boyfriend was. Almost like the pass to stay in the group. A way to ensure that I would be invited to the right parties, hang out with the "right" friends, and keep my position in the group. The gossip, the drama, the emotional roller coaster of never feeling confidence in yourself or your relationships. I remember it all.

A month or so ago I ran into a girl who was a freshman, when I was a senior. I felt guilty that I didn't remember her., then she hit me with, "I remember you, you dated (fill in the blank)." I was immediately taken aback by this comment. The realization that I was THAT girl. The one who was remembered only as the girlfriend of a distant ex. Was dating some boy the only thing that I had done that was memorable in my four years of high school? How sad.

Please, don't let this happen to you. High school is a time to try out things, figure out who you are. Yes, the boys and being part of a group can be important too. (Although for most of you, those same boys and "friends" will not even be a blip on your radar in ten matter how convinced you are right now that they are the most important thing.) But don't let them be the only thing.

Be friends with the people who support you, and will support you no matter what. Whose loyalty doesn't waiver depending on the whims of the group, or who you are dating at the time. Make sure you find at least one good friend. A life-long friend who will be there for you. . Don't be afraid to be who YOU are.

Imagine how much nicer it will be for you to be remembered as a nice person, a good friend, a great athlete or actor or leader in your school. Anything, really. Or, even better, all of these things. Try it all! Find what you love. But, please, don't let yourself be remembered solely as the girlfriend of that boy. You are more than the boy. If you are not careful, it will hurt when you are faced by this truth ten years later. Trust me.

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