– Able Delalie writes a letter to her 14-year-old self
In a few days, old students of St. Rose’s Senior High School would converge in the school that groomed them to be what they are today. A homecoming that will successfully bring people who were segregated by class and pride; where there’ll be no senior or junior among them. This would be a weekend of nostalgia and reminiscing.
Though I successfully completed that phase of my life, there are some things I wish my 14-year-old self had known before entering the school. Things I wish I had done differently, events I wish I had avoided and periods I’ll like to live over and over.
Below is a letter to 14-year-old Delalie.
I need not ask how you’re doing. It’s obvious you have been beside yourself with joy since you found out you’ll be attending your dream school. I know you worked hard for this so I would like to congratulate you on your admission. You deserve it.
However, there are some things you need to note as you take this life changing step.
Don’t forget God
The Alpha and Omega, the I am that I am, is the only one who can ensure your three-year stay ends without a glitch. Sweetheart, your strength and energy would be needed, God’s presence makes them profit you. Always keep Him closer than any friend or foe.
Be Circumspect in your Choice of Friends
My dear, your friends can make or unmake you. As human as they are, they can make your life worth living or make you regret ever being born. Your friends’ presence should be substantive, if not, cut them off. Choose friends who believe in your dreams and would help you in achieving them, not those who have discouragement etched in their DNA. Choose friends who have vision and drive, not aimless and purposeless people. Remember to do unto others what you want others to do unto you, be a good friend. When you do this, half of your problems would be solved.
I didn’t say be rude, so I’ll reiterate it, ‘Be Assertive’. I know you’re a shy girl. You’ll rather accept things as they are than confront the problem. Whatever problem you face would have to be tackled whether you like it or not. So you had better put that shyness aside and strive to be better. Be bold and confident, without being aggressive or rude. Know what is due you and fight to get it, stand your ground when you’re right. Don’t allow sisters (seniors), classmates, dorm mates and clubs and society members to cheat you of what is rightfully yours. Stand for what you believe in. They’ll feed on your shyness if you allow it to rule your life. It’s time to let that cover go. Come out of your shell and you’ll do wonders.
Learn. Learn. Learn.
That’s what you’re there for. Nothing more; nothing less. So make that a priority. Take notes, and they must be up to date every time. Assignments must be done and done well. Pay attention in class so you can grasp every part of what is being taught. Do not be shy or proud to ask a classmate for help in subjects you find difficult. You’re there to learn, pride has no place in learning. So put aside the ego and make good use of the intelligent people around you.
Extracurricular Activities Should Not Be Overlooked
Though you’re there to learn, the little things outside the classroom would help groom you to become a better person. Join the Writers’ Code and Debaters’ Society, Lay Readers, Science Club, Child’s Right and other clubs and societies. Be an active member and involve yourself in activities. You don’t only occupy your free time but build yourself up, make friends and build connections that would help you in the near future. Just don’t allow it to eat into your academic time.
Stay Out Of Trouble
You do yourself a disservice when you are always in trouble with the law. The school has stated rules and regulations to shape you for the future. It may not seem right sometimes, but, trust me; it’s for your good. The Disciplinary Committee is not your friend, stay as far away from them as you can.
A Small Man Is Not A Half Man
It’s not your fault you’re small. You didn’t choose to be small and almost invisible in your uniforms. Oh yes, that’s how bad it’ll be. But it’ll be your fault when you don’t make it out of there a success. It will be your fault when you leave the place with nothing to boast of. It will be your fault when you pass through Rose’s without allowing the school to pass through you. The school must prune off all the unnecessary baggage so you can grow better and beneficial traits. You owe yourself that. Forget about the taunts and jeers, you’ll be stronger when you survive them. Your stature and size have no relation to your success.
I know you’re shocked I am giving you this advice. But girlfriend, how do you expect to have all-round experience when you don’t allow yourself. It’s an adventure you must experience for yourself. Don’t be the hearer only but also the ‘doer’. Three years being a law-abiding citizen of the school is too boring, spice up your life, but don’t overdo it.
Be Ready To Learn
The best way to learn is when you’re in the midst of people with different thoughts and ideologies. The Senior High School helps you to meet people from different backgrounds. If you’re smart, you’ll learn a lot from them. You’re not and can never be all-knowing, don’t close yourself to opportunities to learn new things and different, sometimes easier, ways of doing the same thing. Put the law of sowing and reaping into action. The more you share ideas, the more you learn more. You may commit some blunders, accept your mistakes, learn from them and be a better version of yourself.
Before I sign off on this letter, I’d like you to remember you’re strong, you’re able. No matter what anyone does, you can overcome it all. Don’t be discouraged when things don’t go as expected, revise your notes and keep going. You’re a winner; no one should make you believe otherwise. I am doing all I can to make you proud someday. You do same, yeah? Keep the fire burning till I write you again. You’ll do great.
Your Future self,