Advice To My Teenage Self

Thursday, June 2, 2016

If only they made a travel machine already! I have some advice for a version of myself that wore glasses and had a bunch of spots on the forehead. Since I did it all wrong, I can only try my best and swim in this muddy puddle they call life. If she had only done things differently... well, here it is, just in case they do invent a time machine and we find a way to access a blog in 2006. that doesn't yet exist.

Listen to your parents
Listen to them when they have no idea what they’re talking about because actually, they do. You’re the one without any idea about life and future. They might not know best, but they know better than you do.

Think about where you want to be in 10, 15 and 20 years
It’s easy to get all comfortable in the present and only focus on your next big goal (finishing high school, getting a degree) without thinking what happens once you’re out in the real world. Spoiler alert: IT’S SUPER SCARY if you just let the current carry you.

You don’t have to be a straight-A student
Focus on understanding the basics. You really don’t need to remember the difference between different algae, but it would be nice to know the functions of a human body. Focus on recognizing the style of a painter. Focus on recognizing the composer of a piece you hear randomly. Read a lot. Think about how events in the history of Western Europe are connected to the events in the history of Serbia, because no one will ever teach you that. Because the educational system of your country sucks, but you can still learn a lot if you’re curious enough. Be curious. I know you are. Fuck grades. Non scholae, sed vitae discimus is not just a saying.

Learn French
Just because the teacher couldn’t care less about the lessons doesn’t mean you should succumb to the general atmosphere in class. Remember how delighted she was by your pronunciation? Remember your dream of going to France after high school to improve the language? Spoiler alert: if you stop learning French, in couple of years you’ll go to Brussels and Paris and you’ll pretty much be able to say bonjour and merci. Even though you had an A.

Write a lot
Write because you love it and because you need to write like other people need to breathe. Write because there’s no other way to become good at writing besides writing.

Start a blog as soon as possible
Don’t let yourself think no one cares what you have to say. Most people don’t, but then again, a lot of other people will have opened a blog before you and have their crappy blogs recognized just because they dared.

On the same page: don’t be shy
You might be shocked now, but yes, for unknown reason you will be a lot shier one day. I cannot tell you why it happened, but it did. Don’t let it. You are a talkative, friendly and extroverted persona and stay that way.

Don’t study linguistics
Just don’t. Yes, I know you love it now, but once you might stop loving it and want to go back to journalism at age 27 and face editors that are younger than yourself. So stick to your wish from fifth grade. Or listen to your dad (see #1) and study medicine. Or do something completely crazy and study programming. Haha, yes, I know you’re laughing now. But in a couple of years you’ll see why.

Make sure you travel to the States at least once in the summer
It doesn’t matter if you’ll be selling donuts or souvenirs or washing dishes in a restaurant, just go. You’ll regret it if you don’t.

Go to a gym
You won’t believe me, but hanging around in a gym will one day be the only sport you will have ever liked. So why not start at 17 instead of 27?

Say hello to that girl Tamara from the archaeology department
She is an amazing, amazing friend and it’s a pity if you meet her at 22 like I did.

Is there something you wish you'd done differently? I'd love to hear!

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