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Toronto, Canada

312 Adelaide Street West, Suite 301
Toronto, Ontario - M5V 1R2
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Dear Little Me: Advice I Wish I Had When I Was Younger

Written by Lindsay Botterill

We’ve all had our fair share of regrettable moments in life.

Like that time you stressed out for a major test and found it was only a quiz. Or that time you fell for someone even though your gut was screaming not to. In retrospect, we realize what we could have done to improve the situation. Do you ever just think, “Oh my god, I totally would have done this instead”? Or, “What was I thinking?” Well, I do. So, I asked some of my friends, family and the occasional acquaintance, to find out what they would tell their past selves if they had the chance. Here’s what they said:

“Eat that slice of cake.”

Although cake was specifically mentioned (because CAKE!), it stands to reason that this applies to any and all calorie-stuffed items. Nowadays, everyone is trying so hard to lose weight and stay slim. When in reality, all you need is a healthy diet and exercise. Personally, when I look at my fellow peers, I notice how obsessed they have become with being fit. They won’t even allow themselves to enjoy cake, for example, at a birthday party simply because it isn’t healthy! So, what I am really trying to say is, don’t skip out on a little extra simply because you think it will triple your calorie intake for the day. By eating that cake or brownie, you’ll be enjoying yourself, and that’s all that matters. Now, like anything, this is only good in moderation. No cake for every meal.

“Realize that the stress you are feeling right now will not matter in a few years time.”

We’ve all had a bad day, week, month or sometimes even a bad year. As young adolescents, the pressure to succeed is so immense that our heads tend to explode on occasion. But, looking back on my years in high school, I have come to realize that much of my stress was unnecessary. Although a certain amount of stress can be helpful to motivate us, too much stress can cause problems. For example, when you reach grades 11 and 12, people start asking what you want to do with your life. What career do you want? Where will you go to school? Place to live? It comes really fast.

These questions in quick succession can be unnerving. But, if you take your time and plan things out at your own pace, you’ll see that there was no need to stress in the first place (like I did).

My point is, don’t stress over every detail in your life. If you’re having a bad day, so what! Make the next day better. If you’re stressing over tests, friends, or your future, take a step back. Think it through. Put it into context and realize that you got this. You don’t want to look back on your teenage years and regret how much time you spent stressing over everything.

“Go with the flow.”

We all know that planning and being organized can be quite helpful, but being able to roll with the punches can be too! Being able to think on your feet and be spontaneous can make your life, and everyone else’s life, a whole lot easier. So, next time you find yourself completely off-guard, take a deep breath and just go with the flow.

“If there’s an opportunity to do something new… take it. You don’t always get second chances in life.”

If I had an infinite supply of paper and ink, I would print this out hundreds of thousands of times to emphasize this point.

Sometimes we hold ourselves back. Perhaps we are scared of what others will think, or maybe we’re afraid of change. Either way, some opportunities only come along once in a lifetime. Never pass up on an opportunity, because if you do, someone else will probably be right behind you begging to get the same chance that you just turned down.

What would you tell your little self if you had the chance? Let me know in the comments! 

Image courtesy by Nicole Hanusek

*Opinions expressed are those of the author, and not necessarily those of Student Life Network or their partners.