Words From My 15-Year Old Sister

Words From My 15-Year Old Sister

"You Will No Longer Be A Prisoner To The Cycle Of Self-Hatred And Comparison."
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What if you could go back in time? Would you? What would you do? Would you try to find where things went wrong or relive your favorite memory over and over again? Childhood, adolescence, becoming a teenager... you thought you had all the answers then, right?

If you could go back in time, what would you tell yourself? Let's go back to high school. What would you say to fifteen year old you?

Awkward you. Naive you. Impatient, rebellious, lost... you. The you that felt like a prisoner. Insecure and impulsive.

Now, we know that time travel is not a logical approach. We cannot go back in time. We can't play in those beloved memories and we definitely can't undo what has been done or change the way we thought and felt at that time. But somehow, my younger sister knew. She knew what she would have said to fifteen year old her, at age fifteen. Somehow, she managed to speak to me through her sophomore year English Creative Writing piece, and she reminded me that no matter your age, those insecurities can still linger. The "am I enough" feeling we all know from our teenage years... it doesn't disappear when you hit 20, or any year after that.

The world is full of unrealistic expectations. Simply impractical standards... and yet, we give in. We feed into them. We accept them and torture ourselves to fit in. Social media doesn't help. We live off of "likes" and "retweets". It's not just us "millennials" anymore either, all generations are sucked into the black hole that is social media. I get it. I am guilty of checking Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook numerous times a day. You can tell someone's success or happiness by what they post, right? Did you really drink if you didn't Snapchat it? Filters, effects, body editing apps... they all help to morph you into the you the world around us forces you to be. But why isn't just you enough?

My sister, like every high schooler, is at war with herself constantly. But she realized, and reminded me, that comparing yourself to everyone around you is a dead end; it gets you absolutely nowhere.


Me, Myself, and the Person I Wish I Was

By: Nicolette Perera

You look in the mirror and you are not happy.

You twist and contort your body, stretch your skin, fix your hair,

Attempting to mold into how you wish you looked.

You suck in your stomach, flex your muscles,

Yet still don’t feel good enough.

You still feel either scrawny or stout, too tall or too short.

You still feel

Awkward.

You try on seven different outfits, but find that

None of them satisfy your harsh standards.

The jeans fit weird,

The shirt’s sleeves are too short,

The shoes don’t match.

Your room becomes a war zone,

With clothing strewn across the floor and on your bed.

You dare to look closer into your own eyes to

Criticize all the things you hate about yourself.

You think your nose is shaped strange,

Your eye color is boring,

Your pores are too big,

Your makeup is melted off.

The mirror laughs and squeals that you’ll never look like her,

The you that is content with themself,

And rolls its eyes while laughing at the idea of you being good enough.

You feel sick to your stomach.

You stare into the eyes of the reflection that you see,

Questioning why it is yours.

Twitter demonstrates that you’re simply not funny enough,

Snapchat shows you that your life is too uneventful,

Instagram tells you that you’re ugly.

These posts are brainwashing you,

And you begin to think you are utterly insignificant.

These illusions of perfection are just that,

Illusions.

The only way to suppress the pain is to halt the

Watching,

Clicking,

Sharing.

Otherwise, you forget all of your

Blessings,

Beauty,

Experiences,

Qualities.

All you can see are

The things you don’t have,

The flaws that devour you constantly,

The adventures you haven’t taken yet, and

The qualities you seem to lack.

Everyone posts the edited versions of themselves.

The versions that have skinny bodies,

Filters slapped on,

And

Completely clear, airbrushed skin.

The things you see online are not real,

They are simply hallucinogens,

Each scroll is a drug, making your eyes trick you,

Making you see this perfect persona,

Perfect life,

Perfect EVERYTHING,

When, in all actuality,

No one is perfect and,

We are all wearing masks.

These masks represent who we ache to resemble,

But, why doesn’t anyone desire and squirm to simply resemble themself?

The masquerade is over, it is time to strip ourselves of this burden,

And face reality head on, with your own bare flesh.

Look in the mirror and grin.

Exclaim “I am beautiful”.

Persistently tell yourself

“I don’t have to change myself, not one bit”,

Because why would you speak of anything but the cold hard facts?

You are

Good enough,

Not too tall or too short,

Not too thin or too thick.

The moment you wake up from this daze,

The moment you realize your own true worth,

Is the moment you can finally become released of your chains and shackles.

You will no longer be a prisoner to the cycle of self hatred and comparison.


You may not need time travel. It is never too late to remind yourself who you are. You don't compare to anyone else. You're you, and you is more than enough. Your health is important; mental and physical! Do not let the "shackles" force you to be a prisoner- you can break them. It is hard to remember all the time, that I know. Sometimes, you just need to take a step back from being an adult and listen to someone who is surviving the brunt of it now.

Thanks for the reminder, Chick. I am so proud to be your big sister. XX

Cover Image Credit: Gianna Perera

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34 Things I Should Have Brought To College At The Start Of Freshman Year, But Didn't

To the incoming freshman from the rising senior.
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Coming from a rising senior at the University of Dayton who has lived in an over-sized double dorm room, to a suite-style quad dorm room, to a house with virtually no storage space sharing an octagon-shaped single room (and single closet)... These are the random little things no one thinks to bring to college or put on these lists, but they will make your life on campus a million times better. I ended up buying these items long after I started college, and they were a big help. Don't make the same mistakes I did.

1. Shoe organizer

These are great for various items such as toiletries, snacks, and, of course, shoes.

2. Under-the-bed storage bins

During college, most of my storage has been under my bed, so this is a must.

3. Photos

To remember the happy times with your friends and family. Add to your collection over your college years.

4. String lights

Just to add a little something extra to your space. The dim light is totally relaxing.

5. Makeup wipes

For when you're too tired after going out to actually wash your face.

6. Extra sheets and towels

Trust me, you're not going to want to wash your sheets and towels right away so you can use them immediately. Bring back-ups.

7. Tide pods

These are awesome. Plus they smell heavenly.

8. Drunk dorm/microwaveable snacks

For when you come back after going out and the dining hall has already closed. Ordering Domino's or Jimmy John's night after night is NOT a cost-effective option.

9. Gatorade

For when you're too dead in the morning to walk down and get one from the dining hall.

10. Keurig and coffee

Just in case the dining hall runs out of coffee during finals week. Believe me, it can happen.

11. Chip clips

You will accumulate many of these from free vendors and events on campus, but somehow, they are no where to be found when you need one.

12. Paper towels / Clorox wipes

You can never have enough.

13. Rain boots

So you'll be able to make it to class on those rainy days without having to sit in soaking wet socks and shoes for 50 minutes (yikes). And you can jump in all the puddles you wish.

14. Alarm clock

If you're like me and could sleep the whole day if you didn't have an alarm, your phone alarm just doesn't cut it sometimes.

15. Back study pillow

Even if you don't think you will use it, you will end up wanting it.

16. Command strips

These are the only things that will stick to most dorm room walls.

17. Rug

Especially if your room has a cold tile floor instead of carpet.

18. Air mattress or sleeping bag

For your friends visiting you on campus, or if you ever go on a trip.

19. Disposable dishes

At least while you live in a dorm with a community sink.

20. Red solo cups

Because you don't want your morning-after milk or apple juice to taste like last night's $8 vodka.

21. Costumes/holiday wear

This is something I totally didn't even think about when I first came to school. Now I have an entire bin JUST for costumes and holiday decor.

22. Crazy daydrink clothes

If you have a few jerseys, you're set. If not, take a trip to the local goodwill with your squad and pick up a few things. The crazier, the better.

23. Towel wrap

If you're like me and just like to chill in your towel after you shower ( and a robe is too hot for you), these are a must. And they're super cute.

24. Wristlet/clutch/small purse

You won't want to lug around a large tote while you're out with friends or doing daily activities.

25. Comfortable heels

Don't let this be you!!!! I've been there, and nothing will ruin your night of dancing at the club like shoes that give you blisters and disable your walking by the end of the night.

26. Business casual and business professional clothes

And make sure you know the difference and when each is appropriate.

27. Water bottle

In college, your water bottle is your best friend. You never go anywhere without it, and it actually helps you to drink the amount of water you're supposed to drink each day (maybe).

28. Blender

If you're a fan of smoothies (or frozen margaritas) and want to make them at home for less.

29. Flashcards

Flashcards are a great way to study. If they're not for you, buy them anyway just in case you want to try them out. Or if anyone on your floor is desperate for them, they will be eternally grateful.

30. Mini fridge

When you're sharing a fridge with 3+ other people, things can get pretty tight. I recommend buying this with your roommates so you can share the extra space.

31. Calculator

Just in case you change your major and have to take math again (like me).

32. Thermometer

So you can know for sure whether or not you have a fever.

33. Drying rack

Because you're actually not supposed to put everything in the dryer, who knew?

34. Rubbing alcohol

Works wonders for getting those impossible Thursday night Xs off before your Friday 9 a.m.

These things have helped me make it through three years of college, especially freshman year. Hopefully, I have helped you prepare for your college years somehow. Good luck and have fun!!!

As an Amazon Associate, Odyssey may earn a portion of qualifying sales.

Cover Image Credit: oregonstateuniversity / Flickr

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Remember To Live In The Present, There's No Reason To Be Concerned About The Past

Constantly thinking about the future will cause you to neglect the present.

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Everyone pretty much does this. During a moment when you're bored and you suddenly start daydreaming about the glamorous life you'll have in maybe five to ten years is not a problem in my eyes. It's normal to think about the type of life you want in the future. However, if thinking about the future causes you to ignore and miss out on what is happening at the moment then that kind of is a problem. Even though I know that constantly thinking about or worrying about the future is not good, I still seem to do it. It's a habit that is hard for me to break.

I have read many blog posts and watched many videos about how living in the present will make you happier. I've always been the type of person to constantly think about the future; whether it's about something as important as my career or something not as important like which set of pajamas I'm going to wear to bed. I've caught myself multiple times missing out on something due to zoning out and most of the time thinking about something that doesn't matter until later to come. I'll never forget the time I went to see pop and r&b; singer, Yuna, perform during my sophomore year of college. I remember I couldn't wait for her to perform my favorite song of hers. When she finally did I unintentionally started thinking about which classes I was going to take in the spring semester! As if that even mattered at the moment! I realized that I was missing the song and brought myself back to earth before it was over.

There have also been many times where I would lose some sleep because I would think about the future, and at times the past as well.

It has never been to the point of me not being able to sleep for so many nights in a row, but I know constantly thinking about the future or past, especially if there is stress added to it, could cause sleepless nights to occur. To me living in the moment is the way to live. Thinking about the future and preparing for it is not at all a bad thing. Even bringing up the past, as long as it is positive or it will be used for teaching is okay too! I believe that it's bad when thinking about the future and past stops you from enjoying what is happening at the moment. I am definitely going to try harder to be more in the present and to enjoy the moment myself.

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