- You are not a boy racer Saskia, you don’t even have a boy-racer looking car, so why do you drive like one?
- Don’t spend all of high school looking forward to finishing, you will miss the easiness of secondary school one day.
- Don’t take for granted the fact that you get to see your friends everyday, after high school you will have to make a lot more time to keep in touch with friends.
- Spend as much time as you can enjoying quality time spent with your family as a whole, before you are spread all over the country.
- Don’t get too worried about schoolwork; it’s a whole lot easier than university!
- Make the most of every opportunity for leadership within school, it’ll prepare you for any future responsibilities and opportunities that may come your way.
- Continually learn new and different sports, it’s more difficult to start from scratch when you leave high school, and when you’re the one paying the fees.
- Who cares If you don’t know what you want to do with your life, enjoy your current journey, everything will fall into place.
- Relationships at 16 aren’t really worth the heartbreak.
- Don’t think every friendship you have with a guy has the potential to turn into a relationship. Enjoy the friendships you have, treat those guys like your brothers, and don’t get too serious about life.
- Don’t just listen to pop songs on the radio, expand your horizons and be open to new genres of music you never thought you would’ve enjoyed.
- LimeWire is BAD! It will screw up your laptop with random viruses and will accidentally delete ALL your photos. (That was a bad day, trust me).
- Don’t be afraid to spend a bit of your hard-earned money on things that you want and need. When you become a student at university you won’t have as many opportunities to buy yourself things that you like, and there will be many other expenses (such as rent, power etc.). So make the most of the freedom from expenses you have now.
- It’s okay to say no when you get offered hand-me-downs from other people. You don’t have to say yes to every item of clothing, they're just going to sit in your wardrobe and never be worn. Don’t be afraid to say how you really feel.
- Don’t underestimate the danger of ice when driving.
- Embrace your quirkiness, be true to yourself.
- Get braces when your at high school, it’s worth it.
- Tell your favourite teachers how much of an impact they have had on your life.
- Don’t be afraid to check out alternative options for high school in year 13, it is possible to achieve NCEA credits through other courses outside of school.
- Go to every possible Mumsdollar concert while they are in their prime, and that goes for other bands too. Bands break up; they go their separate ways, so make the most of seeing your most favourite bands live!
- Don’t take so long to buy your first pair of skinny jeans. Seriously, bootlegs were like so 2005!
- Don’t be a model for a hairdressing salon, even though you get a haircut for free. They will shave the back of your head and make you neck very cold during winter. Just stick to the more expensive, but more tame standard cuts.
The brilliant William Shakespeare once said “Better three hours too soon, than one minute too late,” and I fully agree with Ol’ Wil here! My family has a reputation for being late to events, but being late in general for life has its consequences. There are regrets, disappointments, and unfulfilled dreams. So if we started saying and doing things before it was too late, then maybe we would finish life satisfied at all that we had achieved.
1. Tell that person how much you love them
This is an obvious one, yet somehow we still haven’t quite figured it out. We don’t spend enough time saying how much people mean to us. Don’t be afraid to be an expresser of your emotions. For all you know, that person may feel the same, and was just waiting for you to say something first. Tell that person before they end up with someone else, before they move cities, or before they pass away.
2. Learn how to parallel park
Women have a reputation for being the worst parallel parkers, and to be completely honest with you, I probably would agree. I have seen some hideous parallel parks in my day, but I’m thankful for a father who taught me well. Ladies, learn how to parallel park! Think of all the parking opportunities you're going to be missing out on because you would rather park vertically!
3. Go on an extended overseas adventure!
Seriously, it’s not going to always be as easy to go travelling when you're older (and maybe have a family). While you’re young, go travelling! I know a handful of people who say that they are going to do their big OE when they get married, that’s cool, but what say you don’t get married till 30, or don’t get married at all (SHOCK HORROR!). Life is now, it doesn’t begin when you get married, and plus, who says you can’t have two OEs anyway!?
4. Start exercising
It’s actually a lot harder to motivate yourself and have enough energy to exercise if you are overweight. Just because you aren’t gaining weight now, doesn’t mean you won’t later! By getting into good exercising habits, you’re setting yourself up for a healthy lifestyle and decreasing the effects of natural weight gain with age. Don’t wait until you have increasing weight to begin exercising! Start now!
5. Go to your favourite artist’s concert or to that music festival you love!
Festivals and bands don’t last forever. Example: Parachute Music Festival. If you really love a particular band or artist, go to their concert! For all you know they might not return to your country, or they could split, retire or go on a hiatus, and you may never get to see them live in concert again! Don’t regret the opportunities that come your way, some of them really are once-in-a-lifetime.
6. Stop being angry
Sometimes we get angry over insignificant situations and people, but is there really any point? I mean sure there are situations where it makes sense to be angry. But holding onto that anger and refusing to forgive the ones that hurt you the most doesn’t achieve anything. Be slow to anger and quick to forgive
7. Stop crushing on the girl/guy that is never going to feel the same
Let’s be honest, if they’re never going to like you, then you are really just waiting your emotions on someone that will never return the feelings. What happens if a really great guy or girl came into your life but you never noticed them because you were too busy pining over someone else?
8. Go skinny-dipping
While you are young and carefree, go skinny-dipping in a public place with your friends! According to my research, (yes, it was funny), younger people seemed more willing to skinny-dip in public places with their friends than older people. But that’s a generalisation, I’m sure there are always going to be exceptions. I definitely know people that will most likely still be skinny-dipping in older age, as they do now- you know who you are ;)
I recently watched The Fault in Our Stars (yes I cried!), and I left the movie theatre with the realisation that we don’t spend enough time telling our friends and family just how much they mean to us while they’re alive. Without giving too much away, one of the characters is dying so they want their friend to write and say their eulogy to them while they’re alive. I really loved this idea because it meant that their friend could say how much that person meant to them and how much they loved them, and the dying person was able to hear it before they died.
Do you have a friend that is just a pleasure to love? Someone that totally receives your love then absorbs and reflects it right on back?
I have a friend like that. Every time I ‘ve talked on the phone with her there is just so much to say, so much to catch up on, and so little time. I hang up, and then all these things that I wanted to talk about, but never got the opportunity to say, come flooding back. The only reason we have to end our calls is because one of us has to go do something, or we are about to run out of minutes.
This is the type of friendship I just love to have in my life. The type that unconditionally loves; the type that listens; the type that brings clarity and joy. That is the truest of friends.
It’s the best when you can find a balance between the light and fluffy chats and the deep and meaningful ones too. Talking about the real stuff, the rough stuff, the rises and the falls. There's nothing I love more than a juicy D&M (deep and meaningful conversation).
But what about friends that are a struggle to love? The friendships where you put so much in, and all you get is a generic Facebook wall post saying “Happy Birthday, hope you have a great day!” Is that all I'm worth to you? Do I not deserve a personalised message, or even better a text or a visit? Or the friends that come to you only when they want something? Am I only valuable for one-off exchanges, where I give you something, and don’t get anything in return? And then you begin to wonder if you're being selfish for wanting some type of return for your love and friendship.
It’s easy to love the friends that make life so much brighter and happier, but the friends that bring true meaning to the concept unconditional love are the ones that maybe need our love the most.
Sometimes our friends actually need us to pull them up on their questionable practices and just say, “Hey, I know you’re better than what you are doing.” For me it’s difficult, because I don’t want to create conflict, Saskia and conflict don’t exactly walk hand-in-hand. But I also want to be fearless, I want to tackle issues head on, and to not be afraid of saying what’s on my mind. Realistically, it would be so much easier for me to pretend I don’t notice what's going on in my friends' lives and to shrink away from confrontation, but where’s the growth in that? How will I ever learn to be a better friend if I don’t start acting like one?
Yes, “love is a two way street” (thanks Kimbra), and yes, “me and you, it takes two” (thanks Mary-Kate and Ashley). But sometimes there are phases where you actually have to get over yourself and put in some one-sided effort, for the sake of your long-term friendship. I can honestly say in some of my friendships, that if I hadn’t pushed through phases where I was putting in all the effort, I wouldn’t still be friends with them today; our friendship could quite possibly have just faded away. Sometimes my friends may need me more than I need them, and that’s okay.
So being brave, confronting issues head on, and selflessly loving are all of benefit to me as a person, and as a friend. Maybe my friends might not appreciate it at the time if I’m encouraging them to confront issues they haven’t wanted to face? Maybe I’m opening my friends’ eyes to a wider and deeper perspective of themselves? Despite the initial hurt or confusion, surely it’s better for us to be challengers and catalysts of growth in our friends’ lives in the appropriate circumstances and situations?
Being friends is so much more than having someone to have coffee with; it’s about support and trust, love and encouragement, laughter and connection. When friends are in dark places, it’s our responsibility to support them through that time. Loving the one that is hard to love. Sometimes the risk of conflict is high, your friends might take offence, and they might walk away. But I ask you this, is it better to stand by and let your friends go down a drain, or is it better to be there in the drain with them, pulling them out to safety? What have I got to lose? A friendship? Well, yes. But is this person worth taking that risk for? Well, yes.
Be not afraid of conflict.
Take your torch.
Shine the light to safety.
Be the friend you would want to have.
I am a daughter of the King, a passionate expresser of positivity and a lover of lists, food and creative expression.