5 Things My 5th Grade Self Should Have Heard

5 Things My 5th Grade Self Should Have Heard

Stay a kid a little longer, it'll be worth it.

Have you ever looked at the innocence of a child and seen yourself in them? Maybe it’s the way you see the little girl next door skips everywhere she goes, or you when you look into the beaming eyes of the 8-year old girl you babysit when her face light up whenever she talks about the best new book she finished reading.

Recently, I have caught myself wondering what I would tell my 11-year-old self before I reached an era of my life full of the childlike innocence fading — learning people can’t always be trusted and mistakes are a part of life, but things will get better. Reflecting on growth past my childhood nostalgia, there are a few pieces of wisdom I would endow my 11-year-old self:

1. Not everyone is meant to be in your life forever

I remember thinking in 5th grade best friends and I (or the "Fab 5") as we called ourselves, would be my soul-mates, my bridesmaids and forever friends. Fast forward to middle school, when suddenly finding boyfriends to go to the movies with became more important than planning the next sleepover on the weekend, friendships started to turn into dust. Soon I learned girls can be mean and it's sometimes not worth it to hold onto a friendship. People come and go, but what you learned from them never changes.

2. Don't judge based on people's decisions

If there is one thing I discovered as I grew up it's that people's poor decisions don't always reflect their hearts. When I was younger (and probably way too deep into my teenage years) I had the mindset that people that did bad things, weren't good people. I have learned that some of the best people haven't made the best decisions. Just because people don't have the same choices in life as you don't make them any worse.

3. Don't be so hard on yourself

You will make mistakes. This is a part of life. This may be messing up on your math test in 7th grade, it could be saying something unkind to a friend at 16, or truly being sorry for how you acted during because you were hurt at 22. Despite your mistakes, know you are human and they are inevitable. Learn from them, accept growth and forgive yourself.

4. Not everyone can be trusted

Children tend to see the best in everyone. This trait can be carried into your 20s, to believe it or not. My best friend once said, "you biggest downfall is giving everyone the benefit of the doubt." It is good to see the best in people, but remember not to expect too much from everyone and don't take it to heart when they reflect less than what you thought.

5. It's not bad to not be in a hurry to grow up

Sometimes you're going to feel pressured to grow up. Maybe in 6th grade, your friends started talking more about boys and makeup. Perhaps in high school, everyone only cared about drinking and parties. If you're not interested in growing up fast — don't pretend to be. Staying a kid a little longer was one of the best things I could do. Growing up will happen eventually, but don't rush it. Stay a kid a little longer, it'll be worth it.

One reminder that I give myself when I decide whether or not to trust my judgment is to be some that would make my 11-year old self-proud. Children see the best in people, dream big and are hopeful for the future. No matter what grow up stuff gets in my way, I try to bring out my 11-year-old soul from time to time to remember to not take life too seriously.

Cover Image Credit: Olivia DeLucia

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To The Girl Who Had A Plan

A letter to the girl whose life is not going according to her plan.
“I am the master of my fate: I am the captain of my soul.” - William Ernest Henley

Since we were little girls we have been asked, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” We responded with astronauts, teachers, presidents, nurses, etc. Then we start growing up, and our plans change.

In middle school, our plans were molded based on our friends and whatever was cool at the time. Eventually, we went to high school and this question became serious, along with some others: “What are your plans for college?” “What are you going to major in?” “When do you think you’ll get married?” “Are you going to stay friends with your friends?” We are bombarded with these questions we are supposed to have answers to, so we start making plans.

Plans, like going to college with our best friends and getting a degree we’ve been dreaming about. Plans, to get married as soon as we can. We make plans for how to lose weight and get healthy. We make plans for our weddings and children.

SEE ALSO: 19 Pieces Of Advice From A Soon-To-Be 20-Year-Old

We fill our Pinterest boards with these dreams and hopes that we have, which are really great things to do, but what happens when you don’t get into that college? What happens when your best friend chooses to go somewhere else? Or, what if you don’t get the scholarship you need or the awards you thought you deserved. Maybe, the guy you thought you would marry breaks your heart. You might gain a few pounds instead of losing them. Your parents get divorced. Someone you love gets cancer. You don’t get the grades you need. You don’t make that collegiate sports team. The sorority you’re a legacy to, drops you. You didn’t get the job or internship you applied for. What happens to you when this plan doesn’t go your way?

I’ve been there.

The answer for that is “I have this hope that is an anchor for my soul.” Soon we all realize we are not the captain of our fate. We don’t have everything under control nor will we ever have control of every situation in our lives. But, there is someone who is working all things together for the good of those who love him, who has a plan and a purpose for the lives of his children. His name is Jesus. When life takes a turn you aren’t expecting, those are the times you have to cling to Him the tightest, trusting that His plan is what is best. That is easier said than done, but keep pursuing Him. I have found in my life that His plans were always better than mine, and slowly He’s revealing that to me.

The end of your plan isn’t the end of your life. There is more out there. You may not be the captain of your fate, but you can be the master of your soul. You can choose to be happy despite your circumstances. You can change directions at any point and go a different way. You can take the bad and make something beautiful out of it, if you allow God to work in your heart.

SEE ALSO: To The Girl Patiently Waiting With An Impatient Heart

So, make the best of that school you did get in to. Own it. Make new friends- you may find they are better than the old ones. Apply for more scholarships, or get a job. Move on from the guy that broke your heart; he does not deserve you. God has a guy lined up for you who will love you completely. Spend all the time you can with the loved one with cancer. Pray, pray hard for healing. Study more. Apply for more jobs, or try to spend your summer serving others instead. Join a different club or get involved in other organizations on campus. Find your delight first in God and then pursue other activities that make you happy; He will give you the desires of your heart.

My friend, it is going to be OK.

Cover Image Credit: Megan Beavers Photography

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