I was listening to Alessia Cara’s “seventeen” the other day and it absolutely took me back to a time when I was seventeen years old, with so many opportunities to make different choices in life.
In some ways, I wish I had thought more about the choices I made. Sometimes I forgot to take charge and seize the day, and other times I became mildly complacent.
I started to look back on my youth, especially during my teenage years at what I may or may not have done that lead me to the person I am now. Not just mentally, but physically.
Hopefully with this post, I can influence someone in their teens or young age, that might just need a touch of advice.
- I wish I’d LEARNT ANOTHER LANGUAGE
French was the other language I studied in high school. But as soon as I had the chance to drop the subject, I did so without looking back. And now, I wish I could go back to those years and perfect my French. Guaranteed, I maybe didn’t have the best teacher, but I could have at least tried to graduate high school bilingual. Now, I really want to learn a new language and while Hungarian is the other language I fairly know, it would be awesome to be able to listen in on a French or Spanish or German conversation and piece up a sentence for my reply.
- I wish I’d EXPLORED MY TALENTS
Ever since I was a young girl, I always wanted to be a doctor. But I knew I had other talents. I was great at writing, art and even music. I was artsy if I may say. But I was led to believe that being a doctor required dropping every other form of art/talent you had because it would make you look unserious. I pursued a medical career for so long, I became drained and almost didn’t love it anymore. I just wish I had branched out and explored my talents when I was younger. Maybe I could have been a better piano player, a better craft doer or even a far more better writer than I am now.
- I wish I’d BEEN MORE OPEN
I really don’t know what it was, but as a kid I believed in not letting anyone know you, no matter what. I spent my high school years letting people only know the superficial part of me. I just believed that no one had my back and people were always out to get me- aka no one had my best interest at heart. While this kept me away from A LOT of scandal and issues, I just wish I’d opened up more to some of my friends. Maybe I could have gotten a better insight to life and learnt to love differently, or something.
- I wish I’d CONTINUED PLAYING SPORTS
Thanks to my high school diary, which I never thought I would ever find in this life, again, I realized I was quite the sporty one. I played football, I ran track (100m) and also did a little shot put & high jump.
But as with dancing, I gradually stopped playing a lot of sports when I got to my final years of high school. This was mostly because I thought playing sports made me boyish (seriously, what the heck?) , and I was trying to be a girl so I could attract more boys. Now, I look back and just laugh, because that wasn’t the best move.
- I wish I’d KEPT ON READING
I used to be an avid reader. Right from childhood I was trained to read a lot and even began to build my own library. I read a whole lot of books, from fictional to romance to thriller, documentaries and even the English dictionary! But as I grew older, and especially when I started medical school, I just couldn’t get through a book. I would often put it down after a few lines and proceed to read something online or in a magazine. And now my knowledge of literature and writing is all down the drain.
- I wish I’d DATED THAT GUY!
Well, well, well. My fellow Nigerian girls can understand the next sentence I’m about to write.
“If a boy touches you, or hugs you, you’ll become pregnant”.
This was the lovely advice I was given, on the way to my first year of high school ( which was a boarding school) and it stuck with me for a long while.
While obviously I couldn’t get pregnant from literally touching boys, I was so aftaid of even talking to guys in that sense. So of course, when that guy asked me out -even though it was all teenage love and all that- I said ‘no’. But sometimes, I wish I’d said yes, just so I could experience what that would have felt like. It’s not a big regret anyway, it’s just something I think I would have had a story to write about. Haha
- I wish I’d NOT PUT SO MUCH PRESSURE ON MYSELF
Ah, the perks of being a first born child. All the worlds’ most beautiful pressures rested ever so comfortably on my shoulders. I don’t know why, but everything I did as a teenager was so calculated and well thought through. I made sure not to make mistakes, always striving for perfection and this in my opinion didn’t let me enjoy my teenage years as much as I would have liked to. I wish I’d just embraced every moment of life, and had as much fun as I could have. I mean, don’t get me wrong, I did have a little bit of fun, -and those are memories I will never ever forget- I just wish I didn’t stay home so often, not traveling, not doing anything.
I don’t really regret a thing, because I could not be happier with the life I currently live. But, I can’t help but imagine the things I wish I had done more of, or less, in my teenage years. If you are in your teens, here’s some little advice : Look after your teeth, your skin, your body. Don’t be timid, speak up for yourself at all times and spend times with the people that matter.
If you are older, What do you wish you did as a teenager?
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