3 Pieces of Advice from the Big Sister You Never Had

Growing up, I believed life would be a lot easier if I had an older sibling. Someone who faced all of the challenges first. Someone who could kick a boys ass if he hurt my feelings or could tell me what everything was so I didn’t have to resort to my older friends or urban dictionary in awkward moments. Looking back, I am definitely a stronger person because of it, and if you are the oldest sibling you know that even if your younger siblings get on your last nerve-you would do absolutely anything for them. For those of you who are concerned about the future, whether you’re my age or much younger, I would like to offer some advice.
1. Do not let anyone steal your smile. There will always be “haters.” You could be the most gorgeous, perfect human being and guess what? There will still be people who do not like you. Girls and boys can be mean and jealous and my dad put it best. “What do girls want, Becks? What other girls have” Thats the brutal truth. If you are confident in what you do and it makes you happy, do not let anyone take that away from you. Those who want to steal your smile are insecure themselves. It used to hurt my feelings and trust me, I am well aware of how words stay with you- I can still tell you who called me “fat” in first grade. Looking back, success has been my best revenge. Being happy with who you are is a huge accomplishment that not many obtain. I wrote my college application essay on the book, Stargirl, by Jerry Spinelli. If there is one thing I learned from that book, its that being different is one of the best things you can be. “Let your smile change the world; don’t let the world change your smile.”
2. Do not get wrapped up in social media. ​Do not compare your life to someone else’s. I see social media as a fun creative outlet, but it is so easy to become obsessed with it. You’re at home alone in your room on a Saturday night so you scroll through Facebook and Instagram and what do you see? Your peers having a blast, getting drunk, or hanging out with your friends. If they really were having that stellar of a time, they would not be posting pictures of fake laughter. “Likes” and “followers” do not determine your value in the world. Rather than sitting online, do something that makes you happy. For me, it was photography and working out. I developed a love for running in college, I went on adventures, I explored the areas around me. The world is a beautiful place with lots of opportunities, do not let the stereotypical college experience shape your view on how life should be.
3. ​You are “good enough.” ​Growing up never seems to be as smooth of a ride as anticipated. When I graduated from high school, I had a group of best friends, a busy schedule, and a healthy view of myself. The reality of college was not easy for me. My life changed from running 100mph everyday to a few classes a day and then… what? I did all my homework, maintained a great GPA but dude I was bored. There’s no other way to put it. I stopped cheerleading, I thought making friends would be easy, but at a suitcase school it was not. I resorted to the worst; I fixated on something I could control and change about the situation-my appearance. Let me lose some weight, dye my hair, and maybe, yeah maybe, that will give me something to do with my time, and I will feel better afterwards. Well let me tell you, I didn’t. Changing how I looked did not help me fit in better at a place that just was not for me​. I still felt the same way every weekend-bored. There is a huge difference in being bored at home and being bored in a dorm. ​ The scary thing about this whole situation was that there was no end point. I would ask myself that question- When will I be happy enough with how skinny I am? The answer took me two years to figure out. You have to realize, for yourself, that you are perfect the way you are. Life is too short to fixate on your appearance. “If the whole world was blind, how many people would you impress?”

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