Aviation for Girls

2015

Aviation for Girls is a special annual member publication of Women in Aviation International for Girls in Aviation Day. Articles feature young girls living their aviation dreams, career ideas, and education resources.

Issue link: https://afgdigital.epubxp.com/i/742269

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28 AVIATION FOR Girls 2015 H ang around a bunch of adults long enough and one of them is bound to comment, "If I only knew then what I know now." When you're older, you think about how different your life might have been if you had some of the wisdom as a teenager that you've accumulated with the years. I think back to my teenage self and want to tell her, "Please don't worry so much. It will all be okay." And it was. With that in mind, I asked some of my long-time female friends, "What advice would you give your teenage self?" I pass our collective wisdom on to you in the hope that some of it will sink in. Maybe you can evolve from girlhood to womanhood just a little brighter, just a little more "with it," or just a little more confdent than we were. It's a big, beautiful world. It's yours for the taking. I've walked on the Great Wall of China and been to the top of the Eiffel Tower. I've applauded the sunset in Key West and shopped in London. I've eaten lunch in a fshing village in Indonesia and ridden a railroad through Australia. So many adventures! Take the time to travel and see your world. You will see spectacular sights and meet wonderful people. Don't be one of those who whines, "I al- ways wanted to go to Venice." Figure out a way to get there. Take advantage of educational opportunities offered to you. Study and do your homework, don't just try to "get by." Learn the subjects that are being taught to you, and don't let all that information go in one ear and out the other. In high school, I thought studying French meant vocabulary words and con- jugating verbs. On my frst trip to Paris, the lightning bolt hit me. People actually speak French all the time. It's how I could ask for orange juice at breakfast and inquire where the rest- room is. I could compliment someone on her scarf or have a dozen conversations. I admit, I don't use calculus in everyday life, but you learn plenty in high school that will serve you throughout life. Follow up on your own interests. When I was in high school, I envied the kids whose families went skiing. Mine didn't. Even when a ski club was organized at school, I didn't join, so I didn't go on the club's day trips. Why? I thought skiing was for "other people," not me. I realize now this makes no sense, but it's how I thought. Believe that every activity is for you. You don't have to be born into a certain family, or endowed with a specifc talent to simply take part in an activity. I know there are those who think becoming a pilot, or working as an air traffc controller, is for "other people." It's not. Take a baby step toward changing an interest into a reality. Take advantage of oppor tunities without worr ying about failing. If you have the opportunity and want to learn the trapeze, or try out for the debate club, and it seems as if it will be too hard, try it anyway. If you succeed, it's wonder- ful and you could identify a lifelong pleasure. If you fail, you will have faced a challenge and survived, which is a valuable life lesson. You'll also have great stories to share when you're older. Don't fret so much about cliques and being accepted by the right people. When you leave high school, the world gets so much bigger! There are so many interesting people out there whom you never met in high school. Some you'll love and some you won't, but you'll fnd your tribe of like minds with whom you can share stories about being in band, or being a library assis- tant, or almost failing world history. Do what you enjoy frst, and don't just do what is cool to everyone else. Find ways to worry less. This could be by putting your situation in a more realistic perspective, learning to cope via medita- tion or yoga, clearing free time in your schedule, getting coun- seling, or just talking about your worries with your parents, teachers, or others who have been around a bit. Take control of your life and become your own advocate. Listen and sort through everyone's advice, but remember it's your life. Own it! Don't do something just because your parents, boyfriend, or someone else wants you to do it. Don't bend to pressures set by anyone else, or be made to feel guilty that you want to be your own individual self, who has her own wants and desires. Finally, ask for help. Be kind when others ask you for help. Make friends with people who make you laugh, and never lose touch with your female friends. They are the ones who will cheer the loudest for you in good times, and be closest to you in hard times. Now go out and make the world your own! ✈ . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Patricia Luebke, WAI 1954, is a New York City-based freelance writer, editor, and marketing consultant. P E R S O N A L D E V E L O P M E N T P A T R I C I A L U E B K E ADVICE TO MY TEENAGE SELF

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