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22 Things I Wish I Could Say To My Quince-Year-Old Self

Being 15 years old is not easy for anybody. From the awkward hair, to the awkward face, to the awkward body… Okay, really, everything is awkward at that age. Whether you’re a good student (like me) or are more into extracurricular activities, being a teen isn’t easy. There is so much that we aren’t sure of, yet at the same time we have so much hope for the future. And, of course, so much stress about it.

Now that I am (cough) older and wiser, there are a lot of things that I wish I knew at that age that would have made those early years so much easier. Sure, there was the quarter-life crisis I had at 25 (and the things I would have said to myself then, too) but 15 is such a tender age that I really wish I could go back to my high school days and whisper in my own ear a few of the secrets I know now that I am 32 years old. From giving myself a chill pill because it’s okay if I don’t have everything figured out by then (or now, for that matter) to acknowledging that it’s okay to like girls to encouraging 15-year-old me to try the scary things, here are the 22 things I would say to my 15-year-old self now, if I could.

1. “Say ‘yes’ to new experiences a bit more.”

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It’s totally okay to bury your nose in a book and study, but I want you to say “yes” a bit more. This is a time of discovery and a great time for you to explore new things. I know you’re scared (trust me, I remember), but saying “yes” to things now will make it easier when you get older and need to learn to say “no.”

2. “Get outside more.”

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Seriously, girl! I know that you don’t really like going to the beach despite living in Florida, but one day you will live in a place where the beach isn’t easily accessible and it’s not warm year-round. You need to get outside more now and enjoy the sunshine. You’ll do this when you’re older, too, but no use being cooped up all the time now.

3. “You don’t know yourself yet. That’s okay.”

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I know you’re on a journey of self-discovery at this age, and that’s cool. You’ll go on this journey a lot. In fact, here’s a little secret: Knowing yourself is a journey that you will continue to go on for your entire lifetime. As you grow and age, there will be new things to learn. Don’t think that you will ever be “done” but instead embrace this lifelong road of self-discovery.

4. “No, you don’t need to have it all figured out by the end of high school.”

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I know you’re totally freaking out and thinking about college already, but trust me when I say that you do NOT need to have it all figured out by the time you leave high school. Sure, you’ll probably need to decide where to go to school or where you want to live, but you’re only going to be 18. You’ll have many more years of figuring out where you want your life to lead.

5. “Those hurtful comments will someday help make you who you are.”

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That so-called friend that calls you a “double commie” isn’t going anywhere, but his hurtful comments will someday make you stronger. I know it’s hard to believe that right now, but they will. All of these things that are painful or awkward or just downright awful will someday make up the person who you are; and as the cliche goes, “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.”

6. “The friends you make at this age might last a lifetime.”

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The friends that you’re meeting right now will have a bigger impact on you than you realize. They say that your life is basically made up of the five people that you are closest to, and the friends you have at this age will be monumental to who you become later on. Make sure you’re picking wisely, but also make sure that you are meeting more people and diversifying your friend group.

7. “But some of those friendships will fade over time, and that’s okay too.”

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Of course, not every friend that you meet right now will be a friend for a lifetime. Something that you will learn years from now is that a friend is a friend for a season, a reason, or a lifetime. Sure, some of the people you meet right now might be for a lifetime, but it’s okay if some are only for a season too. I don’t mean a literal season, by the way, but a season of your life. Some friendships are meant for youth and it’s okay when you leave them behind later on.

8. “GET. MORE. SLEEP.”

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Okay, I know that you’re super proud that you can function on only five hours of sleep during the week, but the fact that you need 14 hours of sleep on the weekends to make up for it actually signals the opposite. You may think that you’re superwoman right now, but you’re not. Get more sleep and you’ll actually start to feel a lot better and more focused in those early morning classes.

9. “Don’t worry so much when you don’t finish your homework.”

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I remember the dark place you were at when you didn’t finish major projects at this age, and it was a scary road. Here is a lesson that I wish you had learned earlier: No piece of homework or project is worth you hurting yourself over. I know it’s hard to imagine a life right now outside of the homework and pressure to succeed, but it does exist. And to add to that…

10. “Anxiety and depression are a real thing. Maybe you should talk to someone about your feelings.”

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I know you might not be ready to deal with your complicated feelings, but you should know that they have names: anxiety and depression. It’s hard to open up to your family because that fear of them just calling you a “loca” is very real, but you should still talk to someone. Find a counselor or confide in your favorite teacher. But do something and don’t just sit there, crying and wishing someone would notice.

11. “It’s totally okay if you like girls, too.”

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I know you haven’t quite dealt with your bisexuality just yet, but listen to me: You’ll be okay. That cute girl in class that you kinda sorta have a crush on is a real crush. The same as your crushes on boys. Thankfully, you’ve surrounded yourself with friends that, when you come out, will be encouraging and supportive. Just know that none of this makes you a freak.

12. “Don’t ever stop dreaming.”

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You’ve got BIG dreams right now. And that’s awesome. I know that there will come many times in the next few years when you will doubt them, but trust me when I say that you want to keep dreaming. Those dreams are what will help you move to a big city for college, succeed in your first few jobs, and take big leaps in your life and career. Keep dreaming.

13. “Stop wearing so much black and blue.”

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I know you love wearing those dark blue jeans and lots and lots of black and blue t-shirts, but look around you. There’s so much more to fashion than this. Although there’s nothing wrong with being goth, you should probably be honest with yourself and realize that the only reason you limit your wardrobe so much is because your best friend hates pink. I know you love her, but you also love pink. Don’t wait till college to finally expand your closet.

14. “Experiment with makeup. It’s a lot less scary than you think, trust me.”

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Here’s a secret: Makeup isn’t just for dances. You can wear it any time of day or year, really. I know it’s kind of scary and mom is, unfortunately, no help in this department, but you can just go to the mall and experiment there. Talk to the ladies who work the makeup counters, and try new things. You’ll really thank yourself here when you get to college and discover eyeliner.

15. “Don’t judge those ‘popular kids’ so much. One of them might become your bestie someday.”

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I know there’s many cliques in high school, and you’re not exactly in the “popular kids” one. You love your friends, but you shouldn’t judge anyone outside of your group so much. In fact, this might seriously surprise you, but some of those kids from outside your group might actually grow up to be pretty cool adults and friends of yours. Shocking, I know, but maybe give them a chance sooner than later.

16. “Dance more.”

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One of the things that I know you did right is that you went to every high school dance and boogied on the dance floor with your friends. But I also know that you often took too long to find your courage, and sometimes didn’t dance as much as you wanted to because you were shy at the start. Well, dancing opportunities won’t be as easy to come by when you’re older, so take advantage NOW.

17. “Study a little less.”

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I know you love to learn, and that’s something that will never fade. However, I want you to study a little bit less. School work is important, but so is life. In fact, there is a lot of life that you can learn from… outside of those books that you love so much. This is probably not advice you hear very often, but I think you’ll be okay if you get out a little more and study a little less.

18. “It’s okay to be embarrassed of your parents’ accents right now, but just know that one day you’ll be so glad for them.”

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Your parents have heavy accents, and that can be embarrassing. I know this. But their accents are part of who they are, and who they are is immigrants who are working very hard to give you a good life. They make it possible for you to not have to have a job and will eventually help you pay for college. It’s okay to be embarrassed by then, but you should also acknowledge that you are grateful for them, too.

19. “You don’t need to be perfect.”

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I know this is something that you are struggling with. It’s why success at school is so important and why you are having such a hard time saying “yes” more. It’s okay. Social anxiety and perfectionism go hand-in-hand, and this is something that you will learn in the future. In the meantime, try to remember that perfectionism isn’t actually a good thing. You don’t need to be perfect because perfection doesn’t exist. It’s a hard lesson, and one that you will need to keep teaching yourself for years to come.

20. “Don’t be afraid to try scary things.”

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There are a lot of scary things that you can experience in high school, especially as you grow up and mature and are exposed to things that you have previously never seen (like pot or drinking). You might run away screaming at the start, but these scary things will not go away. They’re part of growing up and learning what your likes and dislikes are. Stay safe, but not so safe that you’re afraid to try anything that comes your way.

21. “Have that damn quinceañera!”

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You didn’t feel very Latina at this age, thanks to your small Cuban family and lack of Latinx friends. That’s why you opted to not have a quinceañera… but maybe you should reconsider that. One day you will regret not being a part of this tradition and, even though your papi doesn’t quite understand your fascination with dresses just yet, it’s worth to try this and not regret it later.

22. “Don’t be afraid to fall in love.”

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Love is scary. Love is hard. I know you’re terrified of getting your heart broken, but that feeling is never going to go away. You should take more chances here, and don’t wait until you are in your mid-20s for your first love because you are so scared to be hurt. There are plenty of awesome people you’ve met at this age who could be someone you fall in love with… Take a chance. Always.


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Latina Teen Fatally Stabbed In Feud Over A Boy In Texas

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Latina Teen Fatally Stabbed In Feud Over A Boy In Texas

An 18-year-old girl was fatally stabbed in Texas on Friday after an online feud with another teen turned physical.

After weeks arguing on social media, Kaitlin Leonor Castilleja, alongside her friend Vivian Foster, also 18, went to the house of a 16-year-old girl to fight at about 1 a.m. During the brawl, which occured on the younger teen’s driveway, the 16-year-old, who has not been identified because she is a minor, pulled out a knife and stabbed both Castilleja and Foster.

Castilleja, who graduated from James Madison High School in 2018, was rushed to a hospital and pronounced dead just before 2 a.m. Foster reportedly suffered “superficial wounds.”

Following the attack, the suspect, a current student at the high school, called the police to say “she had been assaulted in her driveway when she arrived home from work,” later telling officials that the friends were “stating they want to fight her.”

Foster, too, told authorities that she and Castilleja had been assaulted after “jumping” a girl at her house.

The suspect, who allegedly briefly dated Castilleja’s ex-boyfriend before he returned to her, is being held at the Bexar County Juvenile Detention Center.

Castilleja’s aunt believes the deadly fight was related to the ex-boyfriend.

“She isn’t able to give you her side of the story, but it’s been ongoing bullying on both sides,” Marie Fernandez told the San Antonio Express News. “It’s social media. There’s so many factors that have contributed to this, and at the end of the day, whether it was wrong, in all aspects my niece had no intentions of hurting anyone.”

The aunt, who believes her niece was lured to the 16-year-old’s home and noted a video of the fight had been on social media, shared her grief with KENS.

“I broke, I was lost for words and I just sunk into my pillow and didn’t believe it,” she said of learning of the death of her niece, who recently expressed interest in studying nursing in college. “I thought I was waking up from a nightmare.”

Police are still investigating the fatal stabbing.

Read: Latina Faces Deportation After Confronting A Man Wearing A “Make America Great Again” Hat At A Mexican Restaurant

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A Latina UFC Fighter Took Out A Man Who Tried To Mug Her And This Is Why Parents Should Sign Their Daughters Up For Self-Defense Classes

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A Latina UFC Fighter Took Out A Man Who Tried To Mug Her And This Is Why Parents Should Sign Their Daughters Up For Self-Defense Classes

What happens when you try to rob a woman who just happens to be one of the best UFC Fighters in Brazil? Well, you get your behind quite swiftly kick, as a man in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, just found out after attempting to rob Polyana Viana. According to Buzzfeed, the 26-year-old mixed martial artist had quite the eventful night last Saturday.

Viana was waiting for an Uber on Saturday night, just outside of her apartment in Rio, when a man approached her. Soon enough, she realized that he wanted to rob her. Well, she wasn’t having it.

Speaking with MMA Junkie, Viana recounted what happened when the man approached her around 8 p.m. in Jacarepagua, a neighborhood in the West Zone of Rio:

“When he saw I saw him, he sat next to me,” Viana told MMA Junkie. “He asked me the time, I said it, and I saw he wasn’t going to leave. So I already moved to put my cell phone in my waist. And then he said, ‘Give me the phone. Don’t try to react, because I’m armed.’ Then he put his hand over (a gun), but I realized it was too soft.

“He was really close to me,” she continued. “So I thought, ‘If it’s a gun, he won’t have time to draw it.’ So I stood up. I threw two punches and a kick. He fell, then I caught him in a rear-naked choke. Then I sat him down in the same place we were before and said, ‘Now we’ll wait for the police.'”

Clearly, the man did not know about her impressive 10-2 record or what a badass she is in the ring.

In an even more surprising turn of events, Viana later found out that the man didn’t even have a gun at all. Instead, it was a cardboard cutout in the shape of a handgun. At the time, Viana suspected it wasn’t a real gun but thought it may have been a toy weapon or a knife. After the man was subdued, Viana asked for help from strangers walking by to call the police. According to MMA Junkie, Viana said that she kept the man’s arm immobilized until the police came and took the man to an emergency care facility in order to treat his sounds. Eventually, they took him to a police station, where she was able to file a report. While there, she learned that he had only recently been released after having been arrested before.

Well, he might think twice about approaching any women who are alone on the street for fear that they fight back with the same power and ferocity that Viana demonstrated.

Unsurprisingly, her story has now spread (thanks to UFC President Dana White) and women are celebrating Viana’s victory over her assailant.

It’s pretty fair to describe this whole thing as a “bad idea” for sure. Although the robber likely didn’t know that Viana is a UFC fighter, he should have been clued in by the shirt she was wearing.

That’s right, Viana was even wearing a “UFC” shirt when he tried to rob her.

Here’s something that we should all probably learn, in addition to just never attacking anyone ever, definitely don’t attack anyone wearing a UCF shirt. You never know when that person will turn out to be exactly the wrong person to attack. Of course, if we could simply teach men to not rob or attack women, that would be even better. In the meantime, we could all learn a lesson from Viana and perhaps sign ourselves up for MMA classes.

In fact, one mom is already celebrating Viana’s victory by reminding us all that this is precisely why she takes her daughter to MMA classes.

This is definitely enough to make any mother proud and enough for any woman to decide to take self-defense classes herself. Sure, Viana is a professional fighter… But we can all stand to learn a thing or two from her, can’t we? Learning to defend oneself, as she has, can definitely come in handy.

Of course, Twitter users agree that this man deserved every punch and kick that Viana gave him.

There’s no question that Viana is Twitter’s (and our) new hero after the way she stood up to this would-be robber. We’re also betting that he is very, very sorry for approaching her in the first place. In the meantime, though, it’s probably time to subscribe to Viana’s YouTube Channel to learn a move or two for ourselves.


Read: A Latina Aide Is Accusing Ohio Representatives Of Making Racist And Sexually Suggestive Remarks

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