Magazine, website & books written by teens since 1989

Words Of Advice

Sometimes, people tend to forget just how valuable a few simple words can be. I always strive to listen, and listen well to what I am told, because I never know what advice might be useful to me in the future. Anyone can say phrases such as, “don’t do drugs,” or “stay in school.” But what really matters is where the advice is coming from, or, the source. One can never truly know everything that others have experienced, but the most experienced people generally give the best advice.

Although she is only 28, experience is something that my cousin Erin has a lot more of than many other people her age. Erin has served two tours in Iraq as an officer in the U.S. army, commanding a platoon of about 30 people. After talking to me about the importance of being yourself, she added, “If everyone was the same, life would be so boring.” This statement is very true to me because I sometimes try to go with the flow a little too much. Being my own person is often tough today because people are constantly trying to tell me that I should do this or try that. For instance, when we went on a field trip to the coast, I brought along my guitar, thinking that I could play for everyone in the talent show. I was ready physically, but mentally I was having my doubts. I was asked a few times if I was going to do the show, and when I said that I was still deciding, some people told me to definitely do it, but others told me that if they were me, they wouldn’t do it because of going up on stage in front of all of those people. Unfortunately, I listened to the latter and did not show my peers my hidden talents on the guitar. I did not sign up, and as soon as the show began, I regretted my decision. Everyone was having such a great time up there! I still regret my decision and wish that I had just been myself and gone up on that stage. I now realize that I can make a difference in everything that I do, by reminding myself of how I missed my opportunity at that trip. But it’s not too late to share my abilities with my peers. Taking Erin’s advice and being myself will allow me to not sit in the shadows as a member of the audience, but to express my true colors to everyone around.

One way that I’ve shown my true colors is through my success with the science fair. “Take ownership of your education, it’s the only thing that can’t be taken from you besides your faith.” That quote came from my older sister who is currently a middle school music teacher in Tennessee. I have already started to use this piece of advice in my life with my experiences in the science fair. Last year, I had the wonderful opportunity to participate in the school, county and state science fairs. Since I enjoyed the experience so much, I was determined to go back again this year. I got my idea approved at the end of last year so that I could begin my experiment during the summer. After four months of hard work, I completed my project. In November, I was on the morning announcements at school, hearing my name announced as the grand champion of the school, from over 525 projects in our fair! Science has opened my mind to a new perspective on my career and college choices. I am working on mapping out the foundation for my future; so that I know what track to set myself on to achieve my goals for my specific prospective college major. I believe that taking hold of my education when I am younger will give me the skills to pursue any career that I choose in the future.

Just as taking ownership of your education is important, so is making good personal decisions. One of the most important pieces of advice that I have heard so far is from my grandmother, who said, “Remember that what you do in a few minutes you will have to answer to, for the rest of your life.” I once heard a story about two boys who were exactly the same age, and how their lives changed during high school. Both of them did everything right in elementary and middle school; they had great grades, and great friends, too. But, once they reached high school, one of them became the captain of the football team, and later, the valedictorian of his class. The other boy got caught up with the wrong crowd of people and started doing drugs. While one boy went on to have a well-paying job and wonderful family, the other boy threw away his future like it was a piece of trash. I want to apply my grandmother’s advice in my life by making decisions that I feel good about, and never losing sight of my goals, because just one bad decision can sometimes flip a person’s world upside down. Life can be anything that we want it to be, but doing something that seems cool now may leave a horrible aftershock later.

Throughout life, I know that I will have to make many difficult decisions. The advice that I gather from others along that journey will most likely help me with the more difficult decisions in life. Sometimes advice can be interpreted in different ways, depending upon who is receiving it or what they are experiencing at the time. Sometimes great advice can be given when it is needed the most, and other times when we don’t expect it to receive it. The key is to always be listening and ready and open to receive what comes my way.





Post a Comment

Be the first to comment on this article!

bRealTime banner ad on the left side
Site Feedback