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Miranda Tamayo, Staff Guest Contributor

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If I knew then what I know now: 3 pieces of wisdom from a twenty-something to a teen

1. Be present. In a world that moves a million miles a minute, it is easy to get caught up in everything that is going on around you. You might often get caught in the spiral of, “How many likes did I get? Omg, I have so much homework. If I fail my test on Tuesday, my life is over. Why am I so confused? I hate my body. What if I don’t get into my dream school? What do I even want to be when I grow up? Why does everyone know what they’re doing except for me?” And on and on and on. Slow down. A big part of anxiety is getting caught in the spiral. Let your mind breathe. Think about one thing at a time and focus on the task at hand. When you worry things into existence, nothing positive will come of that. Some things in life are out of your control, so put your energy into things you can control. This mindset is something that takes work. You must train your brain to get there, but it’s worth it when you do.

2. Be weird. Nobody looks at you more than you look at you. When I was in high school I was extremely self-conscious. Something that took me years to realize is that people aren’t judging you as much as you think…and even if they are, who cares? The sooner you can shed the fear of people’s opinions, the better. If you want to try something new, but your friends don’t get why, do it anyway– you might find a new passion for something. If you want to go far away for college but you’re scared of being away from home, do it anyway– if you end up hating it, just move back. If you want to ask that
person out, but you’re scared they will say no, do it anyway– if they say no, it’ll only sting for a bit. Too many of us wait around for something to happen to us when we should be the ones making it happen for ourselves. Do more of what makes YOU happy.

3. Trust the process. High school can be a very overwhelming time. You are figuring out that school isn’t as easy as it was in middle school, and each year is more difficult. You are finding out that the people you used to hang out with might not be the people you want to hang out with anymore. You are learning about yourself, your insecurities, your values, and your goals. Trust me when I say that you will figure it out. It might not be today, and it might not even be during your four years of high school, but you will. You don’t have to know everything right now. Don’t sweat the small stuff and keep the bigger picture in mind. You don’t have to have the answers. You aren’t supposed to. Remember that you are a kid. Do not be in a hurry to grow up. You have time to experience everything you are meant to. You will figure it out.

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