Hope Wissel, Personal Causes

Dear Teenage Self Part 2

Traci Bild‘s list had some more great ideas so I wanted to share my take on her ideas….

1. Write College Essays – I know, this one sounds weird, right?  But despite how much I loved writing, especially poetry, when I was younger; I avoided some college applications because I didn’t want to write essays.  I didn’t think I was very good at it.  My SAT scores and grades were average.  I just had not confidence in myself or what many thought was a strength.

2. Rooming with a Friend – I didn’t know anyone when I went to college which I am guessing was a good thing.  I hoped to start fresh and hopefully find ME!  So, when Belinda looked at colleges,  when she thought for a minute that she would stay home and go locally; living at home.  I said NO!  You need to go to college and stay there.  Make new friends, expand your circles.  Okay, so 12 hours away was a little bit further than I would like but despite some stormy weeks in the beginning…. where does she still live?  Yup, North Carolina.

3. Join a Sorority – When I went to Roger Williams College, there were no sororities or fraternities on campus.  I know, it must have been the dark ages RIGHT?  When Belinda had the chance to pledge with AXO, I encouraged her.  This move helped her in so many ways to become the AMAZING woman that she is today.

4. Date Different People – I dated in high school and a little bit in college.  I think the lack of confidence really caught up with me in this area.  Belinda didn’t date a lot either but she always was with a group of friends (primarily guys).  I am blessed that hubby and I reconnected after 30 years because I owe ALOT of my AHA and growing the last few years to him.

5. Find Related Job/Internship – I probably drilled this into Belinda forever.  I encouraged her with every job she had to find a way to relate it to her field of study.  Little did I know that she would end up being a social worker.  The push to find related jobs and internships in college has helped Belinda to grow in her field even though it means she is still in North Carolina.  As for me, I was a Pre-law major with a goal of helping people who couldn’t afford an attorney.  Guess the switch to social work wasn’t such a stretch after all.

 6. Let Life Lead You – The life you imagine for yourself may not materialize how you think it will, so be prepared and open for both the magical and difficult aspects of adulthood. As kids, we fantasize about how wonderful adulthood will be. Of course it’s exciting but also challenging.

The plans you made as a child as to when you would marry, have kids, and what career you would have may not have worked out as you thought or predicted.  You may feel like you didn’t choose your own adventure because you are now in a place as a result of “circumstances”.  The truth is, despite our best efforts to make our own plan, God has a plan for each of us.

It doesn’t matter what direction life leads –  you may be shocked and it may delight you OR you may feel like you are on a train wreck but that’s okay!  Learn the life lesson and move on.  Don’t get stuck in the past or in the moment for you may miss that window (or door) that is open for new possibilities.

Have you shared the advice you would have given your teenage self with your kids?  If not, why not?

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!