Sunday, October 27

10 Things I Would Tell My 16-Year Old Self

Watching lacrosse with my bff, Sarah (who is currently serving a mission in Ecuador)
My two best friends and myself at EFY
At the ocean with my bff, Megan (who is currently attending Gordon in Massachusetts) 
Girls' Camp YCLs (Sarah and I wanted to be the funnest ones ;)
I was a pretty average teenage girl. Minus the drama. I think I was surprisingly successful at avoiding drama. Mainly because I had very few close girl friends (there were only two I was really close to). I never had an exclusive boyfriend, but I had a lot of boy friends. They kept me out of the typical teenage girl drama. Still, if I could somehow go back and talk to my 16-year old self, there are definitely some things I would change.

First, I would tell myself: Don't be such a pushover. I still am in some ways, but since I've become a mom, standing up for myself hasn't really been an issue. When I was 16, I was even worse at saying no to people. Face to face, (key phrase here) I am very non-confrontational. I hate disappointing anyone. I like to be liked, and I don't like being the one to tell someone they're out of line. I wish I hadn't been such a coward though--I should have just told people straight up what I thought of them.

Second, I would tell myself to get better at taking criticism. I want to be a writer and an editor and criticism comes with the territory. Plus, being as outspoken as I am about my beliefs as a Latter-day Saint and as a conservative, it's just something I need to be good at. I would also tell myself that if I can't take criticism, not to write a blog because negative feedback and mean comments are a part of the domain. And really, who cares what other people think? (Even Jesus was criticized!)

Third, I would tell myself not to transfer from BYU-Idaho. I can't really say I regret the decision now because I did enjoy the classes I took through BYU (the ones I took on campus anyway), but I would be all done with my English major (plus I would have been able to do both a Professional Writing and a Spanish minor) if I had stayed with BYU-Idaho and just finished with online classes. But, I believe that everything happens for a reason and therefore know that everything will work out as it should. Even if things were a little harder for me than I think necessary.

Fourth, I would tell myself not have so many expectations for the "ideal" time to marry someone or have children. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion and there's a good chance their opinion will vary from your own, particularly on this matter. You can't please everyone, so as long as you're making a prayerfully made decision--don't worry.

Fifth: Read more. And I don't mean just Harry Potter.

Sixth: Memorize more scriptures. I was always good at scripture mastery, but there were only a half a dozen that I've committed to long-term memory. I wish I could remember more as it would come in handy when giving talks and teaching my children.

Seventh: STOP comparing yourself to others. It is pointless. You will never be them and they are not better than you just because you think so. Remember that everyone is a child of God, whether they know it or not. Treat everyone with a little more kindness than necessary--you don't know how much it might mean to them.

Eighth, I would remind myself to be nicer to my mom. Someday, I will better appreciate why she did the things that she did.

Ninth: Make more girl friends. Yes, you're really awkward at making new friends, but remember when you invest time in others, they often return the favor. Someday you'll be married and your two closest friends won't be around and you'll wish you had made more girl friends to talk to (and it will be weird to talk to your old guy friends even when they get married so don't waste so much of your time).

And tenth, I would tell my 16-year old self: Believe in yourself. You are never going to be perfect in this life, but you know you are trying your hardest and that is all you can do. Don't forget this quote by our childhood friend, Winnie the Pooh (better known as A. A. Milne):

What things would you tell your 16-year old self, huh? I really want to know!


  1. Olivia, you are an amazing young woman! Love, Sister Ayer

    1. Thank you, Sister Ayer! That means a lot to me coming from you! :)


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