Advice from a 22 year old because teenage years are hard and I’ve been there.
It is more than okay to go at your own pace. The decisions life tries to force you to make at the age of seventeen are not the decisions that will direct the course of your life forever. (That is a myth of unnecessary pressure.) So when you feel terrified and alone and pulled in a million different directions trying to make choices, trying to please people, or trying to keep up with everyone around you, step back. Step as far back as you need to in order to see yourself clearly, and make the choice that will be best for you. If that choice means still not knowing what the best decision is, then that is also okay because keeping in touch with your sense of self is the most important decision you’ll make. Don’t let anybody tell you otherwise.
That one god-awful person who makes you feel like your heart is broken and leaves you crying and questioning yourself is actually a god-awful person and you are not subjected to defining yourself according to the way they’ve treated you. It happens. If you are stuck contemplating how much you love yourself because someone makes you feel like shit, then trust your intuition and walk away. It is possible for people to be that mean, and being assertive and standing up for yourself does not mean you are wrong. You deserve to be loved, so take that leap and love yourself enough to be brave. Do NOT ever think that somebody can take that away from you. This will be important past the age of 17, so write it on a sticky-note and place it somewhere in your mind where you will be reminded daily.
- TAKE THE LEAP. TAKE THE LEAP, DAMNIT. Be adventurous, be brave, find your confidence. Step outside of your comfort zone. Do what fucking motivates you and makes you want to stay up all night working on, and wakes you up every morning invigorated. Do what makes you feel so fucking good about yourself that you could stand on top of the world. Do what you’re talented at, do what you love, and explore every facet of those things. Do what makes you really fucking nervous to be good at, because you will surprise yourself, and you will be tremendous at it. If you fail, find that lesson in there and see how you can benefit from it. Learning will be present in everything you do, and sometimes it is the best part of what you do. You will always become closer to your dreams with every leap. Don’t let anybody stop you from making them come true because they can and they will. (Anybody who says otherwise has not dreamed big enough.)