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."

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


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,


The only way to suppress the pain is to halt the




Otherwise, you forget all of your





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,


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,


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

Popular Right Now

50 Worst Things About Being A Bartender

Why Customers Suck

Bartending is an amazing job for a poor college student. It is quick, easy money that usually does not take all that much effort. But then there are nights that make you want to slap every customer and then go cry in the bathroom. Here are the top 50 worst things about being a bartender:

1. People waving money in your face/snapping at you/slapping the bar. Do not do any of these things or I will make it a personal mission to ignore you until you give up and leave, or apologize for your rudeness.

2. Dealing with stupidly incoherent people. Know your limits, folks! Chances are, if you can’t even say the name of your drink properly, it’s time to cut yourself off!

3. Tip stealers. Yes- I notice. It is especially irksome when you try to pay for your drink with MY STOLEN TIP MONEY.

4. Reaching over the bar at me. It’s a BAR. As in, you are BARRED from crossing it. Do not touch me, do not touch my stuff, just stay on your side and I’ll stay on mine. Everyone wins.

5. Taking 10 years to order. If it’s a busy night and you are standing there huffing and puffing waiting for a drink, have your order ready! It saves us both so much time.

6. Adding a bunch of things to your order after I start fetching the ingredients. If I walk back twice after your original order, I’ll tell you I’ll come back when you’ve got it all figured out.

7. People who don’t tip. I make $7.50 an hour. The whole point of getting less than minimum wage is because it is supposed to be made up with tips. I’ll give you three chances to literally give me $1 for serving you. If on the third time you don’t tip me, I am not serving you again.

8. Asking for “that one drink I had at this one bar one time” as if I am going to magically read your mind and figure out what the drink was and what was in it. Just get a vodka cran and be done with it

9. “Make it strong” he says as he gives me a little wink. No. I’m charging you double for a double. Don’t expect more alcohol for the same price as a single

10. Repeatedly asking for water when I am insanely busy. I have no issues giving people water, but if I don’t even have time to take a sip of my own water, do not bother asking.

11. Expecting free drinks if you are friends with me. This is my JOB. I do not own the bar, I do not supply the alcohol I serve, and I will get fired for giving away alcohol for free. You wouldn’t show up at TJMaxx and expect your cart load of shit to be free if your friend worked there. Don’t expect the same from your bartender.

12. People staying after the bar closes. The longer you stay, the longer I have to wait to go home and sleep. I just worked nonstop for 4+ hours. Get the hell out so I can close the bar.

13. Barbacks that don’t do their job. If I have to wash my own dishes, fetch my own alcohol if I run out, and take time from serving to clean up the bar, don’t expect me to tip you out. I just did your job for you while you stood around flirting with girls.

14. I’m not your damn therapist. Don’t sit there and gripe about the guy/girl that “totally fucked you over” I. Don’t. Give. A. Shit.

15. I might not remember your name, but I will always remember your tip. I remember the faces of people that tip well and chances of me prioritizing you when it gets really busy go up exponentially if you’re a generous tipper.

16. Standing in front of the nightly specials list and asking me what the specials are. I promise you I will not list them off to you. I will point to the sign, and move on to the next customer.

17. Asking me to hold your shit or to charge your phone. Since when do I look like your babysitter? I have enough things to keep track of without watching all of your belongings, too. Your phone is dead? That sucks. Walk to the convenience store and buy a charger.

18. Don’t try and haggle the prices. They are set the way they are because that is how the bar makes a profit. If I say $6, don’t try and give me $4. Or I will have you kicked out

19. Do not grab fruit out of the fruit tray and eat it. If you’re hungry, go to the 20 places that are open until 4 AM and get a pizza like everyone else.

20. Don’t try and teach me how to do my job. I have had three different bartending jobs for two years now. If you have a different request for your drink, then politely ask instead of bitching that I didn’t make it correctly.

21. If I cut you off, it is for a reason. Do not try and argue with me. You are either stupidly incoherent, being incredibly rude, or it is almost closing time and I’m trying to clean up the bar. If you argued with me, I will have you kicked out.

22. Have your money out and ready to pay by the time I get back with your drink. If I have to sit there and wait for you to fumble around with your wallet and count out money, I am going to be pissed because chances are there are 50 people behind you waiting to be served.

23. Being offended if I don’t remember your drink order. There are 300 people in the bar, and just about 300 different drinks. If you are pissy that I don’t remember you or your drink, go to a less crowded bar.

24. Getting angry for me asking for your ID. “But the bouncer checked it” I don’t care. Bouncers make mistakes and are more likely to make a mistake if you have boobs. You look like you are 15 years old. Give me your ID or get out.

25. Do not interrupt me if I am serving another customer. Just don’t do it. I will ignore you. And I will not serve you.

26. Don’t complain if you order a beer or liquor that we don’t serve, never have served, and never will serve. There are thousands of beers and liquors. Pick another one that we have.

27. Trying to order drinks when I am cleaning empty cups and spilled drinks off the bar. If you want to lean on the bar and be sticky for the rest of the night, be my guest. But if not, shut up and let me clean.

28. Don’t ask for a fruit wedge if you are just going to put it on the edge of your cup like a decoration and not use it. Squeeze the juice out into your drink or get the hell out of my face.

29. Asking for a “double Long Island iced tea”. Are you kidding? There is already a ridiculous amount of alcohol in that drink. Asking me for a double is a great way for me to make you the exact same thing as always and just charge you double for it.

30. Using an outdated name for a basic drink. Unless you’re 50+ years old, if you call a “vodka cran” a “cape cod” you just made yourself look like a pretentious asshole.

31. Ordering a drink without actually knowing what it is, and then complaining that you don’t like it. Here’s a tip- don’t order drinks you don’t know the ingredients to!

32. Sending your drink back. Unless you ordered a vodka cran and I gave you a vodka red bull, don’t send your drink back.

33. Drunkenly ask if we are hiring. I just watched you down 6 shots of tequila, make out with four different guys in a half an hour, and puke on the floor/in a garbage can. No. Even if we are hiring, we are definitely not hiring you.

34. Speaking of making out- GET A ROOM. If you are so desperate for intimate touching that you will do it in a full crowd of people, leave. No one wants to watch you suck face.

35. Call a damn cab. If you try to drive home after I watched you drink double vodka red bulls all night, I will not serve you the next time you come in. You are the worst kind of person.

36. Don’t walk away after you order your drink. If you’re not there to pay when I get back with your drinks, I’m tossing them and moving on to the next customer.

37. Forget about hitting on me to get more alcohol. This is just my situation specifically, but my boyfriend is the head bouncer and he will throw you out if I ask him to.

38. Don’t make me pick your drink for you if it’s busy. Know what you want and don’t waste my time.

39. If you leave a giant mess when you leave, I’ll remember you. And I’ll make you clean it up while I stand there and watch.

40. Don’t throw up on the bar. I don’t care how drunk you are, do it far away from the place I make everyone’s drinks. Not only is that absolutely disgusting, but now I have to smell it while I wait for a bouncer to come clean it up. Also, you’ll be kicked out.

41. If you “help yourself” and get your own refill from the drafts right on the bar, I’ll have you kicked out for stealing.

42. Pleading for drinks after we close is not cute. Not only is it illegal for me to serve after 2 AM, it’s annoying for you to even ask. I already put the toppers on every liquor bottle and took out the trash. I am not serving you.

43. Ordering “a beer” when we have more than 25 options. Tell me what beer or get out of the way.

44. Don’t sit there all night and stare at me like you are undressing me. You will be asked to leave for making my place of employment extremely uncomfortable for me.

45. Please. Please. Please. Don’t order 10+ mixed shots. Not only is it really time consuming, but I know for a fact you are only going to give me $1-$3 even though it just took me 10 minutes to do that and I could have made $15 on six other customers.

46. Leaving for a ton of smoke breaks and expecting me to watching your drink for you every time. Again, I’m not your babysitter.

47. Don’t ask me to take your picture. Do I look like a damn photographer?

48. Acting like my best friend when I just met you. Don’t touch me, and don’t expect special treatment.

49. Asking for the TV remote. HA. We’re not changing the channel.

50. Just don’t be a dick. The lesson you can take from all of these terrible customers is to be polite, and don’t make my job harder than it already is. You won’t get the best service, or the best drinks. Have some common courtesy and remember the manners you learned as a child.

Cover Image Credit: Courtesy of Tír na nÓg

Related Content

Connect with a generation
of new voices.

We are students, thinkers, influencers, and communities sharing our ideas with the world. Join our platform to create and discover content that actually matters to you.

Learn more Start Creating

Just 9 Good Reasons I Only Have Enough Time To Write A Listicle Right Now

I really gotta get out of here.

Ok, I've got things to do and people to see. Let's get this thing over with. Here are only nine good reasons I only have the time to write a listicle right now.

1. I've got class in thirty minutes so I really need to get out of here.

2. I was sick last week so I'm playing catch-up and I'm honestly swamped.

3. I forgot to write an article and my deadline is coming up.

4. My bike is in the shop so it takes me longer to get places so you get what I'm talking about...I gotta get out of here a little earlier than I would otherwise.

5. Seriously I've got to get to class.

6. Existence is a needless vacuum and it truly doesn't matter how I spend my time. Get off my back...mom.

7. I haven't eaten yet.

8. Did I say nine reasons?

9. My legs hurt. Ouch.

Cover Image Credit: Pixabay

Related Content

Facebook Comments