Girl Talk: What I Wish I Could Tell My 16 Year Old Self

  • High School is not the end-all-be-all. When you're in high school we tend to put so much pressure on what our "status" is, what "group" we are in, and how our peers view us. Newsflash: it does't matter. If you are considered "popular" in high school that does not mean that you are going to be successful in life, marry a great man, and have a beautiful family. And if you're not "popular" it most certainly does not mean that you don't have a chance after high school. Looking back, I wish I would've realized that there is so much more to life after high school. Those four years are actually very small and insignificant in terms of what you are going to do with your life. I wish I would've enjoyed my high school years and let them be what they were instead of putting so much pressure on myself to "fit in." Enjoy it. Have fun. Relax,  
  • Live your life for YOU. Well, I have learned this one the hard way to say the least. Don't get me wrong, the right guy can add immense value to your life but what I have learned is that you should live your life for YOU and not a guy. Put makeup on for yourself, put on an outfit you feel confident in to make yourself feel good. Create things, try new things, take risks all for you. Being successful, feeling good about yourself, and inspiring others is what brings me happiness. It took me a long time to get comfortable enough with myself, but now that I am I wouldn't trade this happiness for the world, Always remember, you are the prize and any guy would be lucky to have you. 
  • Take care of your skin. If you knew me in high school, you would know I had very bad skin. It was so overly dry, irritated, and broken out. I had the cystic acne that is so painful... it hurts just thinking about it. Also, during that time of my life, I hated washing my face. I would rather sleep in my makeup than take the 5 extra minutes before bed to wash it off. NO NO NO!!!! Ugh, I can't believe I did that... my mom was always telling me to wash my face and I never listened. In turn, it took me about 4 years through college to get my skin healthy and glowing. Now I prioritize taking care of my skin and giving it the ingredients it needs to stay nourished. I simply do not skip one night of washing my face (I don't think I have slept in my makeup in about 5 years.) Trust me when I say starting from a young age (aka before college) will greatly benefit you in the long run. Your skin will thank you and you will be saving a lot more time and money in the future. 
  • Go away for college. One of the best decisions I ever made was to move away for college. Looking back, I lived in such a bubble during my high school years and never saw a bigger picture and I was comfortable with that. It wasn't until my best friend, Riley, pushed me to get out of my  comfort zone and move away that I started to experience life. (Thank god for her!) During my four years at ASU I experienced more in life that ever before, met tons of new people, and worked my ass off to land my dream job as a teacher. I strongly believe that moving away and being forced to be independent taught me to grow up and learn what is really important in life. Now, I couldn't be more proud to go visit my hometown and be able to return to my own life I have created in Arizona. 
  • Be YOU. There is only one you in this world and that is your power. Take that and run with it. You alone can make a difference in this world. I used to try so hard to "fit in" with the crowd, that by the time I got to my 20's I didn't even know who I was. I was completely lost. It took a whole year of putting myself first and making my mental health a priority to finally discover who I was, what I wanted, and what made me happy. Society puts so much pressure on women these days to be a certain way, act a certain way and look a certain way. Remember that that is totally unrealistic. Something that I tell my students is that they are all beautiful and unique in their own way. I try to remind them every day because I never want them to lose that. Be confident in yourself and what you bring to the table and don't let anyone tell you otherwise.