19 June 2009

word to the wise

there is an amazing amount of people watching to do in california - almost too much, that sometimes i have trouble getting things done. as i was sitting outside a cafe in huntington beach yesterday, studying up on my yoga before class began (summer of fitness lives on...i'll explain later), i couldn't help but overhear (ok, eavesdrop) on a conversation between three scantily-clad teenage girls (i'm assuming 15-16 yrs. old, but who can really tell these days? they could have been 12). they were going back and forth with each other, giving details of the boys they were dating, or trying to date, ways to impress them, what other girls they could sabotage to get to them, and even (gasp) ways to hide it from their parents. the mother-side in me (which to be honest, is coming out more and more these days) wanted to tuck these kids under my arms and explain to them a few things i remember about being that age.

my mind wandered back to a story my dad would tell me when i was in high school - which, i'm now 99.9% sure he made up to "scare me straight," but it's true, nonetheless. he would tell me of three girls he knew in high school, all really popular and mostly concerned about appearance, boys, social events and friends. but mostly boys. he then told me that he ran into these same girls a few years after high school, and was shocked to see that their once good looks were beginning to fade, and they had none done anything with their life. they had ignored their education in high school, done poorly in college (or didn't go at all), were left working mediocre jobs, depressed, broke, unmarried and were a sad sight to see. 

for dramatic emphasis, i probably rolled my eyes at this story as a 16 year-old girl, but i wish i would have realized what a miniscule part of my life high school would be, and focused on more important things. luckily, my younger sisters are much wiser and beyond their years when it comes to this kind of stuff, so i didn't have to worry about them in school, but it is very possible that i will use that same story on my own children in the future. 

i jotted down this list, when i should have been studying, of what i would say if i had enough guts to stop and talk to those girls:

1. do NOT date anyone seriously, have a boyfriend, "go out," etc...when you are in high school. it is meant to be fun.
2. always pick your friends over boys. 
2. go to class, get beyond good grades, get a scholarship and go to college.
4. don't eat crap - it will only catch up with you once you are out of your teens. 
5. if you do date, make sure you date (and marry) the nerds - they are the ones that will be successful and treat you well in the future (Cort, I am not calling you a nerd....no wait, I kind of am.)
6. it IS cool to be the smart/good girl. 
7. it is also cool to spend time with your family, even on weekends.
8. don't tan - unless you want wrinkles and skin cancer when you are 26.
9. be nice to your parents. impress them.
10. stay away from all boys - at least until you have graduated...college. 

only my opinion, but i think it is true. i'm so lucky to have been born into a family that tried so hard to keep me grounded, instilled some ambition in me and always pushed me to do better.

my nieces are in trouble....i will try to keep my rants under control.


Anna said...

i could not agree more with you laura.

as a recent high school graduate (haha), i often saw many of these types of girls. lack of ambition is not uncommon. it makes me wonder where many of them will end up.

so... sign me up for college.

Amy E. Campbell said...

Totally in agreement, you couln't be more right.

joncampbell21 said...

I'm working on being a nerd.....

Katie said...

Amen to that!!

Lisa Marie Trent said...

I feel the same way. I walk by stores like "Limited Too" and feel like the clothing corps are out to make my future daughters whores and floosies. It's incredible. And it IT hard to tell how old girls are- they go to Victoria's Secret (which I didn't shop at till I was 20) and they buy water bras to fill out their wee breasts.
If I could go back in time and tell myself different things about high school I doubt my actions would have been much different- because I hated high school and thought most people there were crazy. But the nerds really are great..I know alot of girls that had crushes on Mr. Courtney Nelson.
God speed to our teenage daughters-let's hope the internet, ANTM, tanning salons, texting addictions and water bras never get the better of them.