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

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20 Important Reminders For All You Girls About To Turn 21

The early twenties can be an extremely stressful time for women.

I have come to find that the years of my early twenties have been among some of the best years of my life.

Moving away to college, going to concerts and bars with my friends, wild frat parties, beach days, becoming a college cheerleader, getting my first real job as a personal trainer (offering potential for a career).

While these have been some of the most fun and exciting years of my life they have also been some of the most stressful. Pulling multiple all nighters in a row, and still getting a D on an exam, constantly taking two steps forward and three steps back, feeling a want to be independent, and the struggle it takes to get there, quitting cheerleading, anxiety about my post college plans, and fading in and out of friendships and relationships.

The early twenties can be an extremely stressful time for women. Women are two times as likely to suffer from depression or an anxiety disorder than men. Additionally, research shows that depressive disorder may be appearing earlier in life in people born in recent decades compared to the past.

I've compiled a list of things for all girls in theirs twenties to remind themselves.

1. No one knows what they're doing and if they say they do, they're lying.

So many women compare themselves to others, when in reality, you can't actually know what anyone is thinking, or more so what actually goes on in their life. So stop worrying about feeling like a hot mess comparing yourself to the girl who seems to have it all together.

2. Every minute you spend thinking about someone else is a minute you lose to spend working on yourself.

Facebook and Instagram stalking your ex-boyfriend or ex-best friend is pointless, especially if they're no longer in your life. Focus on yourself and the people you currently have around you supporting you.

3. You don't need to find your "future husband" right now.

You have plenty of time to find someone to spend the rest of your life with, which is a long time. Your life timeline is longer than you think, and looking for someone rather than looking for the right someone can be the difference between a happy marriage or a divorce.

4. Don't think of relationships as, "if we're not getting married we're eventually gonna break up."

Be thankful for the time you spent with or have to spend with that person. Cherish those memories while they last even if they may eventually come to an end. Remember, "when one door closes another one opens."

5. Do the things you love, break the rules.

Don't settle for a job you hate just because it makes you a lot of money. At the very least, continue to do the things you love on the side; painting, singing, dancing, football, whatever it may be.

Keep doing the things you love. It will be your saving grace and will keep you sane.

Don't be afraid to be who you are and break free from societal roles, it's OK to be different, the most successful people don't care what other people think and aren't afraid to be themselves and stand out from the rest of the world.

6. You need and deserve a break.

Work hard but don't burn yourself out. It's easy to get caught up in your daily grind, but take the time to do things that relax you, or go out with your friend.

Remember, you're twenty-something, not forty-something.

You're not tied down. Now is the time to have fun, make mistakes, and be reckless once in a while.

7. Put the time in.

With whatever you wish to achieve, put the time in don't expect life to give you handouts. Don't quit when it gets tough or you think you won't make it. If you put the time in and get what you want to do done, you will be successful in life.

8. Relationships are the hardest part of life, don't dwell on them.

Relationships whether its family, friends or a romantic partner, relationships are the hardest part of life. Just be attentive, listen to other people and hear them out.

Use your intuition and leave behind the relationships that are negative. Being nostalgic never helps, if you don't let people go you'll never be happy with your current life.

9. The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result.

If the first two times you try something it doesn't work out, take a different approach. Trying to get something done the same way and failing each time means you're doing something wrong.

You'll ultimately just pick up learned helplessness. It's not that you're incompetent, you just need to take a different approach.

10. You most likely won't marry your first love.

This is generally the case, and it's OK. Sure, being "high school sweethearts" sounds all nice and mushy, like the perfect fairytale, and for some people, this is the case.

But it's good to experience different people. If I never had breakups I would have never found out what it felt like to be treated well.

11. You're not 16 anymore. Don't expect your body to look like you are.

You're no longer a teenager, your body is different, your hormone release is different, don't expect an effortlessly flat stomach, thigh gap, and size zero.

It's not gonna happen.

Your bones are bigger and your structure is wider and it gets more difficult to stay in shape as you get older. Focus on being healthy, not a size zero.

12. People who want you in their life will be in your life.

Don't waste your time on people who don't care, or constantly blow you off, put you down or hurt you. You don't deserve it, and neither does anyone else. If they don't make you a better person, if they don't make you happier, let them go.

13. If someone tells you "you can't" show them that "you did."

Don't let anyone interfere with your dreams, they're your dreams to achieve, and if you want something, and you put in the work it takes you will get it!

14. Someone will always have more.

There will always be a girl who's prettier, smarter, funnier, skinnier, richer, more athletic. Base your success off of how much progress you have made, not by comparing yourself to someone else.

15. Things are just things.

Things do not equal happiness. Experiences and successes do! Sure that new Triangl bikini is nice, and you deserve to treat yourself to tangible items, but at the end of the day, they are just things.

16. People change, and so will you.

Your life changes dramatically year to year, especially during your early twenties, a time of many new beginnings and opportunities. Things are inconsistent, and people change and move away. Don't let this upset you, and don't base your happiness on other people.

They're just people after all, and they make mistakes. People can't always be reliable.

17. Take it one step at a time.

I like to look at my life like driving at night. Your headlights can only light up a small portion of the road ahead of you. You can let what you can't see coming scare you, or you can follow the road as you see it and worry about the obstacles when they come into view.

This is something I try to focus on when I have anxiety.

18. It's OK to be selfish.

To an extent, yes. Sometimes I have a problem with putting others before myself, and yes this is a good thing in moderation. You need to be well for yourself in order to help others.

19. Follow your intuition.

Your gut feeling is more accurate than you think. If you have a good feeling about something, take a chance on it. Failure is better than wondering if you would have succeeded.

20. You will figure it out.

I know it's a time of so many uncertainties and financial instability, but just keep treading water and you'll eventually make it to shore.

Cover Image Credit: Tumblr.com

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Toughing It

A few words about overcoming a rough patch.


Nobody's perfect. Things can be going beautifully, and all of a sudden become very messy. Not everything is going to go over smoothly, but that's expected. People get stressed, and they overreact. How you handle these situations is what truly matters.

I've seen it all. I've seen people leave these occurrences behind them and move on with their lives as normal, picking up right where they'd left off. I've seen people bottle their emotions in, and not communicate their feelings. I've seen people communicate their feelings to others, but not reach out to the person they're actually upset with in order to resolve a problem. I've seen people be outright nasty for no reason. I've seen people act quite maturely, but I've also seen people act in ways I thought only occurred in middle school.

I'm the type of person who faces things head-on. If I'm upset about something involving someone, he/she will hear it directly from me. I don't like leaving issues to brew, so I tend to directly confront people. That's not exactly everyone's prerogative, but hey - they're not me. Everyone handles their situations differently... some haven't exactly made the choices I would make, but hey - I'm not them.

Some find success in being more passive. But this has two different outcomes - either it gets dropped completely, or it brews. The first is an easy way for everyone to move on. The latter is a disaster waiting to happen. If you feel like something is only gaining steam, then ignoring the issue may not be the best idea. That balloon will eventually burst, and the result will not be pretty. At all.

In resolving an issue, you may just have to take a second and think about whether or not it's actually worth drawing out. If the issue doesn't actually pertain to you, drop it. I cannot stress that enough. If you were not directly involved in something, you have absolutely no place to judge. The best idea, in this case, would be to just accept the fact that things don't always go the way you want them to.

They don't always go as planned, either. If this involves a friend, think about how important that friendship is to you, and whether or not drawing things out that don't involve you is worth risking that friendship. Honestly, actually drawing it out will not only make you look immature but may also come across as you questioning your friend's character... and believe me - that is not worth it. You choose who you surround yourself with, and you chose these people for a reason. Remember that.

These things are going to happen. There are going to be rough patches. There are going to be things that people do that you don't always like and/or agree with. There are going to be things that happen that you can't wrap your head around. But at the end of the day, it's the way you handle it that people will remember.

If you messed up, own up to it. I know - much easier said than done. But taking responsibility will maintain the respect others have for you and will keep your maturity and integrity intact. If someone takes responsibility, don't draw it out. Trust me - it's not worth it. That will only dig the hole deeper, and then you're in an even rougher patch that will be even more difficult to work through.

Not everyone operates the same way. This is to be taken into account for not only what you're handling, but also the way things are handled. People aren't always going to do things you would necessarily do, and they won't always handle it the way you might've chosen to. It takes a lot of acceptance, open-mindedness, forgiveness, and patience. Much easier said than done, but definitely more worthwhile in the end.

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