Trigger warning: Deals with beauty standards and eating habits.
Happy International Youth day! This is your day to kick back your feet and relax, if even just to make some space for ‘me-time’ this evening and reflect on everything that’s been going on in your life. As teenagers it often feels like the weight of the world is resting on our shoulders, like we need to move mountains to prove ourselves and amplify our existence, which tends to get quite tiring and outdated after a while. You are more than what you do, it’s crazy how society has ingrained into our brains that we’re only as good as our productivity, which couldn’t be further from the truth. The truth is you’ve 6 years to stay a teenager, and then you move onto being an adult, in which a whole other list of societal requirements are imposed upon you. So relish in your presence as a teenager. Romanticize your life. Take the time to understand who you’re becoming and who you want to become and what mark you’ll leave in this world. Take the time to differentiate between the rights and the wrongs and dare to stand out. Understand that you needn’t fit in or change yourself to be accepted, come as you are, be as you are and the rest will work itself out. Comprehend that you’re so much more than social standards, so wear that dress, be a tomboy, be the guy who cries, eat without thinking of diets, love like there’s no tomorrow. Take the time, to love yourself fully, every inch of your soul. Don’t take it for granted and certainly don’t let others do so either. Know your worth, and demand nothing less than what you deserve. Never let your age become a defining factor as to what you can do, as to what you can be, because the possibilities of you becoming something spectacular, something you’ve always dreamed of, are absolutely endless. So study for that test, but also make the time to hang out with your friends. Pick up a book, experience newer things, let your face create newer wrinkles from how much you smile and laugh. Be kind and caring, because we overflow with the amount of affection that’s within us as humans, but often tend to overlook it, because it’s somehow deemed as a sign of weakness. Weep and cry your heart out when you feel like it, it doesn’t make you any less of a human being when you do so. Embrace your emotions. Leave the TV off when you’re eating, and sit in the sun. Let the wind caress your face and play with your hair. Let the emotion of peace overtake you like a wave crashing against a shore. Make it a must. Put yourself first. Make mistakes and learn from them, always seek growth, seek discomfort and notice how much you change. Embrace change, fear change love change. Allow yourself to be in the whimsical of being a teen. You can hate school, but acknowledge how lucky you’re to be getting an education. Donate to the needy. Make a difference. Make a commitment rock your own world, sweep yourself off of your feet. Prove them wrong. You owe it to yourself to become everything you’ve ever dreamed of. But take it one step at a time.
Written by: Mia Malak