Mother Knows Best
When I was struggling through high school my mom told me these five things repeatedly, and now in college I finally get them.
By Sophie Hurlock, Xavier University
Growing up and being a teenager is one of the most magical times in life right? Just kidding, of course it’s not!
Whoever said that high school was going to be the best four years of your life was a big fat liar, because everyone knows that college is where it’s at. If your teen years were anything like mine, they were filled with angst, mood swings, fighting with your parents and counting the years until you were officially an adult and could move out of your parents’ place. If that sounds anything like your teen years, and I’m guessing for a lot of you it does, then hopefully you had a mother, or some sort of maternal figure, who was helping you through this overly dramatic time.
I can remember many times when I came to my mother pissed off or in tears, and she would give me the best advice that she knew how to give. Although I appreciated having someone to talk to during my time of distress, I would often think to myself that my mother didn’t really know what she was talking about, that she could never really understand what I was going through. Boy was I wrong.
Looking back as an adult on some of the advice my mother gave me, I realize just how right she was. Here are a few of the pieces of the wisdom that she gave me in my most angsty years that still apply today.
Tip #1: In a few years, you won’t even be able to remember their names.
In high school, I was the kid who claimed that I didn’t care what people thought about me, when in reality, I totally did. I think a lot of high school graduates would agree with this sentiment, as during this time in your life, fitting in seems to be the most important thing in the world unfortunately.
During high school, my family moved a lot due to my dad’s job, and I found fitting in to be difficult, as I was forced to change schools every year or two and find friends after everybody had settled into their own groups. I can remember my mom giving me this advice many times throughout high school, and me thinking that she was wrong, that I would never forget the people I went to high school with.
Much to my surprise, I can tell you that although I’ve only been out of high school for a little over three years, I can already barely remember anyone outside of my high school friend group. When you go to college and start meeting new people and having new experiences, the only memories you’ll really look back on from your high school years are the good ones spent with the people you were close with. Everything else just fades to the back of your memory.
Tip #2: Your education is the most valuable thing you have in the world.
My mom told me this while I was cursing high school and the American education system, while looking up ways to get rich without a college degree. To me, during that point in my life, school and getting an education seemed like a waste of time, and something that I wasn’t really going to need in the real world—I mean honestly, who uses calculus in their day-to-day life? I’m not saying that advanced mathematics is useless, I’m just saying it’s not super practical for the average person, and my high school self saw this and resented school because of it.
Once I got to college however, I saw just how many doors having an education could open for me. Not only was getting an education going to help me in getting a career in the field of my choosing, but it was also helping to open me up to people, cultures and experiences that I could have never imagined without getting a college education.
Tip #3: Everybody is awkward or has body issues at this age.
This one is less about high school and more about those awkward middle school days when you thought you’d never stop breaking out or would never fully grow into your body. During this time in my life, I can remember being overly critical of myself and thinking that I was the only one who was awkwardly going through puberty.
My mom would constantly give me advice on being self-confident, telling me that no one really likes how they look at my age. Looking back on my old yearbooks, I can tell you that all those people who I thought were winning at puberty were just as awkward-looking as me. And, when you think about it, whoever tells you that they don’t look back on their middle school years and cringe just a little bit is a liar.
Tip #4: That boy’s not worth it.
Throughout my younger years and even now, I can’t count the times that my mother has given me boy advice. Whether she was comforting me for not having a boyfriend when it seemed like everyone had one, consoling me after a breakup or telling me to break up with a guy altogether, my mom always knew what to say.
Ironically enough, even now when she gives me advice on boys, I tend to think that she doesn’t know what she’s talking about, though most of the time she’s still right. Even though my mom hasn’t been on the dating scene for quite sometime, boy drama doesn’t change that much from generation to generation.
Tip #5: You never know what direction life is going to take you in.
This may sound cliché I know, but it’s absolutely true. When I was in high school, my plan was to go to Florida for college; I was sick of Cincinnati and wanted to go back to the state where I had spent most of my childhood. I thought I was going to go to college with my childhood best friend and major in Business.
That plan seemed set in stone until I ended up staying in Cincinnati and going to Xavier to major in Film and Television. If you would have told my high school self that I’d be here at the age of twenty-one I would have laughed, but I’m actually happy with the way things turned out. If there’s one thing my mother has instilled in me over the years, it’s that you have to make the best out of any situation life throws at you. Life is constantly moving forward and changing, and it will never pause for you, so the only thing you can do is move with it.