9 Pieces of Advice I’d Give My Younger Self

9 Pieces of Advice I'd Give My Younger SelfRecently my aunt asked me to write some words of advice for her daughter who was turning 13.

I loved the idea. But where do I start? The first thing that came to mind (after simmering on it for a couple of weeks, that is) was to wear sunscreen, like the old song suggests.

The video below is a song by Baz Luhrmann and was popular the year I graduated high school. I enjoyed it for its poignancy as well as common sense advice to always wear sunscreen. It’s always the little things in life that we remember, right?

According to this song, advice is a form of nostalgia that allows you to fish the past from the disposal, wipe it off, paint over the ugly parts, and recycle it for more than its worth.

Here’s what I know and what I would tell my 13 year old self, given the opportunity:

  1. First and foremost, pursue and foster a strong relationship with God. Friends, boyfriends and other people in your life pull away over time, though a few very special people will stay. Choose those people wisely and be kind to them.
  2. Your parents love you with all their hearts. There will be times when you think they’re ruining your life out of spite or they don’t understand what you’re going through. Help them understand and know that even if they come to conclusions and rules you dislike or don’t understand, it is always for your own good. And be kind.
  3. Boyfriends should always be husband material: make sure he loves God as much as you do and he will respect you the way you deserve to be respected.
  4. Strive for extraordinary, but don’t be discontented. Be grateful for everything and everyone you have. Go to sleep every night thanking God for these blessings.
  5. Be able to take care of yourself. Making your own money buys freedom and a few thousand in the bank gives you the option to walk away from a situation (job, husband, etc.) that is eating at your soul. (I say “husband” in only the most extreme of circumstances, such as abuse).
  6. Protect your circle of influence. This is the group of people around you that impact choices you make and beliefs that you have, which can include friends, family, teachers, youth groups and leaders, etc. The litmus test of good advice could be: Would my parents approve of this idea? Is this choice helping or hindering my long-term goals?
  7. Think about and write down your long-term goals. Then make them happen. Review after Christmas every year. Goals will change, but they likely won’t come to fruition if they’re not fostered.
  8. Love God, your family and the friends that lift you up. Don’t waste time on people that push you down. They’re not worth the negativity and, in my experience, tend to either later regret it or turn out to be terrible adults that no one wants to be around.
  9. And always be kind.
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  1. Alesa Meschberger says:

    Love it sweet Shanna! Makenzie was blessed with lots of wisdom from the important women in her life. I put all the letters together in a scrapbook. I pray as she matures she chooses to follow that advice. 🙂 Thank you for sharing your insight with her!!

  2. These are great! Number 2 really hit home with me because at age 13 I really did think my parents were the meanest ever!

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