Being a girl is a tricky spot to be in. Regardless of your background, your choice of style, what you look like, where you live, all girls suffer the same injustices of being female and reap the benefits of the same. Thus without further ado I present to you a list of 12 Do’s and Dont’s of being a girl:

1. Do: be kind to everyone

It’s so simple, yet so many fail to do so. Kindness goes a long way. There is never any true, valid reason to treat someone without kindness. I don’t care what someone said to you or did to your friend, there is no point in stooping to another’s level. Rise above.

2. Don’t: let people to call you names or put you down when you stand up and voice your opinion as the strong woman you are

If I had a nickel for everytime I was called a bitch, or aggressive, or bossy, for telling people to treat me with respect, I’d be rich. The rap women get for sticking up for themselves is a negative one, and for men it’s a virtue. Such a double standard will only continue if us girls don’t demand the respect we deserve for the opinions we are entitled to. Don’t let anyone, peer or authority, male or female, put you down for calling them on their bullshit.

3. Do: work hard toward your goals

We all have goals, I don’t care if you want to be the CEO of a Fortune 500 company or you want to finish reading the Fifty Shades of Gray trilogy—they’re all goals. Work for them. If you want something, it’s not going to fall into your lap, you have to put in the time and effort to achieve what you want.

4. Don’t: let the fear of disapproval or rejection keep you from what you want

This ties into #3–desires (especially in the form of goals) are scary, ominous beings in the distance that you often have no idea how to reach. Even in the 21st century, there are countless barriers in place for women, making the fear of disapproval or rejection even more relevant. But, you’ll never know unless you try.

5. Do: love your body and soul as they are

This is a big one, and my number one “Do.” Everyone, especially us girls, is so hard on themselves. We’ve all heard it so many times, and I’ll say it again: self-criticism is the harshest form of criticism and by far the most toxic. Your body is your body, treat it with respect, love it for how it is, and take care of it. You are your soul; what is there not to love? The only person you have to deal with your whole life through is yourself, so you better learn how to get along.

6. Don’t: deny your body and mind what it requires for nourishment

This one goes with #5. Why would you deny your body the food and nourishment it needs to stay healthy? Why would you prohibit your mind the love it needs to flourish? I know it’s easier said than done— I’ve been there, a story for another time. Just remember when you decide to cut those 500 calories, that you’re harming yourself in so many more ways than one. There is nothing more beautiful than someone with a healthy mind and body.

7. Do: take time for yourself

We all get so caught up in our everyday doings, it’s hard to take time for oneself. Between school or a career, hobbies, friends, family, all that there is to do in a day, remembering you need time devoted to no one other than yourself is key. Set aside a good chunk of time to do whatever it is that makes you you, whatever makes you happy. You’ll thank yourself later.

8. Don’t: be found guilty of girl on girl hate

It breaks my heart to see a huge portion of hate coming from one girl to another. We are all part of the bond that is being a woman. Treat your fellow ladies with respect: don’t slut shame each other, talk shit, be a bitch, steal someone’s man, be rude, etc. Like in #1 there is never any point to be unkind, I don’t care what your reason is, just don’t do it.

9. Do: be proactive

Similar to #3, work hard, but more importantly, don’t cause yourself more pain by being lazy and waiting around. Get it girl! As they say: “Get up. Dress up. Show up. And never give up."

10. Don’t: base your self worth on comparisons to others

You are you. You are not her. You aren’t the same as any other being on the planet so how can you compare yourself to what you are not? Compare yourself to where you want to see your abilities in the future. Be the best version of yourself.

11. Do: educate yourself

I don’t mean you have to go to a top 50 university. Hell, you don’t have to go to university for all I care. The definition of educate is: “give intellectual, moral, and social instruction to (someone).” Everyone has the ability to be intellectual, and you can be intellectual in whatever you so choose.

12. Don’t: worry yourself sick about the future

There is no point in worrying yourself over something you cannot foresee. Live in the moment, and do what you can now to help shape the future you want.

Most, if not all, of these Do’s and Dont’s should be upheld by every person as a human being. Regardless, every woman is entitled to her own life. There is no guidebook on “Being Female,” although sometimes I wish there were. The fact of the matter is, you being you is the best and only version of a girl there is. Be yourself; strive to be better. Don’t fret over “she does this” and “they wear that.” Your self-worth should be based on your self-love, which should be 100%.