Single Sisters Speak Out

The Modern Life of the Single Sister

Letters to a Youngster August 23, 2009

 

Class of Waldorf Negro Elementary School, Maryland (1941). Image courtesy of the National Archives.

Class of Waldorf Negro Elementary School, Maryland (1941). Image courtesy of the National Archives.

My S.O inspired this post unknowingly-  as I was walking past his bag, I saw Letters to A Young Brother by Hill Harper peeking out. 

We’ve all had quite a few life experiences- good and bad.  And  I’m sure at one time or another, we’ve all used the phrase, “if I knew then what I know now…”  What sucks is- you can’t turn back time.   On the other hand, you can teach a young person not to make the same mistakes you did (Or TO make them!).

If there were three pieces of advices that you  could say to the younger generation,  what would they be? 

1.  Attract boys with your brains, not your body:  I was a brainiac child,  but back then, I felt like I was missing out on something.  The hotter girls had so much fun!!! I wanted to go out on dates and hang out at all times of the night too-  but my parents kept my head in the books.   I remember my daddy going off on me because I brought a “B” home from school (Dude- are you serious????)

These days,  I understand the value of education (although I’m still working on my first degree) and can appreciate everything they did.  A lot of my counterparts are unmarried with children by multiple men, or just not doing ANYTHING.    (Not that my choice made me any better than them but no one PLANS to be a single mother.) 

2.  Participate!:  I was involved in a couple of clubs and organizations in school- track, Pep Club, Beta Club… things like that… but I never did a whole lot.  And I know it was because I was so shy.  I was a Governor’s Scholar  (alternate), which  was a very special award that you were nominated for. 

Over the summer, these students got to spend a few weeks at a college and prepare for freshman year.  In turn, your entire four year college degree was paid for.   Because I was an alternate, if one of the five or so chosen ones backed out, I was able to go.  Guess what?????  Someone did!!!! But I was too shy to go, so I screwed up a great opportunity. 

In the end, I did end up going to a four year college but I stayed in my room whenever I was not in class.  I wish I would have socialized more and joined some clubs.  I missed the entire college experience.

3.  Be charming, be a lady:  It disturbs me HIGHLY to see the attitude in the actions and on the faces of so many of our young women.  Your grandma wasn’t lying when she said you could attract more flies with honey than vinegar.  This doesn’t only apply to how you deal with the opposite sex, smiling and being approachable helps you in all aspects of your life.    I believe because I was so friendly, I received more help from my teachers and school administration.  Whenever I needed academic advice or a letter of recommendation, they were always happy to oblige.  

Your turn- What do you have to share?

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31 Responses to “Letters to a Youngster”

  1. Danielle Says:

    What a great post! I would like to add….1. Never be afraid to be you. There’s nothing wrong with what you look like, what you have an interest in, or what you have to say. If those around you don’t like it….find those who do. 2. Don’t let pride get in the way of friendship 3. No matter what your mother, father, sister, or brother has done, only you can define you.

  2. Athena Nike Says:

    Yes, I definitely a lot I would;ve changed about my HS experience and partied less in college so I would’ve gotten out in 4 years instead of 6. I was a band member in HS and our instructor acted like every other extra curricular was evil during marching season and got an attitude when people were late from track, b-ball, softball, chess, quick recall, choir practice- puh-lease.
    Yep, the fast girls did seem to have more fun, and while no one plans to be a single mother, you HAVE to plan not to, I know I did, planned and prayed!
    I’d like to add, 1. you don’t need a free t-shirt that bad you sign for a credit card, just say NO!
    2. don’t live with friends who are in quasi serious relationships. He will always be there when you get home and probably doing something you don’t appreciate. He will always be calling when you don’t appreciate it.

  3. Thanks Danielle!!! “There’s nothing wrong with what you look like, what you have an interest in, or what you have to say. If those around you don’t like it….find those who do. ”

    This is very true.

    “don’t live with friends who are in quasi serious relationships. He will always be there when you get home and probably doing something you don’t appreciate. ”

    @Athena: I wish I would have known this before rooming with my best friend in college. We ended up falling out and not speaking for YEARS over this… her boyfriend was always over, in our dorm room… and you know how small a dorm room is!

  4. Jaci Says:

    Great post Ms. Nicki

    Take it slow. Don’t rush and enjoy every single minute…getting old and feeling old will come before you know it!

  5. Thanks Jaci.. I agree- enjoy being young!

  6. Anna Says:

    Hmmm, reading SBM’s site he may disagree with #1! But I agree with it, your mind will stay with you much longer than a hot body. Your mind will also take you farther and to better places. I’m old enough to see first hand where the “hot girls” from high school are now…and it ain’t pretty.

    I would also say to jump out of your comfort zone. Find out what you’re truly passionate about. Find a cause and support it. Make mistakes, but always give yourself a “safety net”. Be young while you’re young.

  7. SBM just might Anna, but we know the truth. *winks* lol

    “Make mistakes, but always give yourself a “safety net”. ”

    I could not have said it better.

  8. thecomebackgirl Says:

    “This doesn’t only apply to how you deal with the opposite sex, smiling and being approachable helps you in all aspects of your life.”

    GOD !!! this is so true. I think most things that apply to the opposite se!x can apply to your whole life.

  9. “I think most things that apply to the opposite se!x can apply to your whole life.”

    Exactly.. do you have any tips, Comeback?

  10. Holly GoLightly Says:

    Great post Nick!!! I need a moment to think but I think everybody has great pieces of advice!!!

  11. peyso Says:

    I think all people should remember to: take time to care for themselves and be healthy. I think the latter is more important. PPl often forget about their health, mental, spiritual and physical.

  12. I agree, Peyso.. Very good advice.

  13. thecomebackgirl Says:

    “Exactly.. do you have any tips, Comeback?”

    @ Sunny..

    the importance of being nice. Using your intinct. Being optimistic- there are so many women out here who believe they are doomed and will only meet scum bags. You have what you say. Thats true with anything.

  14. “You have what you say. Thats true with anything.”

    AMEN!!!! People really need to cut out the negativity… it not only hurts you but it effects everyone around you.

  15. Jaci Says:

    In sort of agreeance with what CBG and Nicki are talking about…

    Yesterday’s sermon was about how we have change our praise to meet our situation. So instead of sitting around say woe is me about everything change that around.

    For example, if you meet a scumbag and date him, etc and he breaks your heart…then say you know what this is a lesson. I have learned something and learned it early…be grateful always for the good and the bad…

    (NIck, this comes from Phillipians 1:18-19 and 4:4 :))

  16. I agree…. take it as a life experience bc what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.. and you are able to be on the lookout next time.

  17. Tango Says:

    This is my first time here, but not my last.

    This was a great post. My experiences in school were different and I love your 3 things.

    Mine would be

    1. Always stay true to who you are, never allow anyone to take you outside of who you are are, and what feels right to you.

    2. Be a leader, do what’s comfortable to you. Try not to follow your friends be supportive, walk beside them, but do you.

    3. Never forget where you come from, and what your parents instilled in you.

    Great post.

  18. Thanks Tango… and welcome to the blog. Please don’t be a stranger.

    “Always stay true to who you are, never allow anyone to take you outside of who you are are, and what feels right to you.”

    Very good addition here!!!!

  19. Zanne2007 Says:

    Usually read you guys, without commenting, but had to delurk for this one:-

    Growing up, a great deal was placed on education in our home. There was also the added pressure of being the youngest child with siblings who had all done extremely well in uni. A bit of that pressure I might have placed on myself because, I too wanted to excel. I recall my mother saying ”get an education first, then you can do whatever you want”. In other words let that be your cornerstone. How true.

    My young sisters:
    Be true to yourself and listen to that inner voice that we all have. If you’re not comfortable in a situation by all means try to remove yourself. Don’t try to act or be someone that you’re not because you have to live with the decision(s) you make. Have a mind of your own.

    Learn to dream, to believe in yourself and your ability. Don’t let anyone put you down. Never say “I can’t” before even attempting something.

    Treat your body and mind well both physically and mentally.

    Have and cultivate a wide range of friends in and out of the neighborhood .

    My parents instilled in me to be respectful to others and treat them with the respect as I would wish for myself.

    Be strong. Stay positive.

  20. Thanks Zanne2007.. Please feel free to jump in at any time.. your additions were great.

    “Have and cultivate a wide range of friends in and out of the neighborhood .”

    This is so important… Getting to know people with different backgrounds will expose a person to so much that they normally wouldn’t see!

  21. very well said Nicki. These are like the post I often find on ‘What About Our Daughters?’.

    I think being active in social activities as well as a sport or two is extremely important in helping to create a well rounded individual. Grades are important, but they still only get you so far. You have to know how to interact with the movers and shakers of the world to become successful.

  22. Thanks undressingHer.

    “You have to know how to interact with the movers and shakers of the world to become successful”

    This is true, too!!!! Sometimes it’s all about who you know.

  23. temps..aka enyfilms the blog is up! Says:

    yea i know its kinda late..well not fa the 2nd shifters!

    Have a goal-write it down- date it, put what you will need to get ur goal, then chart it are you “in progress” “completed” etc.

    Start with the current, I did this freshman year, so it had “not be dead or locked up” double check! (I am from East New York;)

    In college, check. Then came film and this was the pre Matrix mid 90’s(which means film equipment was crazy expensive). I had no clue on how to “get there” so that leads me to no 2: research that a$$ off, my prof in writing class said, read someting just written, something in the middle and something in your interest beginning.
    And keep doing this fo life, Moores Law is pretty much part of everyday life and in Carlito’s Way, Carlito said “society changes over every five yrs” no abruptly but subtley. Be on point for that. The pendulum swings one way so its bound to swing back the other way. Now in the Al Pacino flick I mentioned he was talkin about the 70’s 2day you can say that those changes are down to 36 months. Last be clear on what ur willing to do and go without or delay to go for ur goal.

  24. BrownSkin Says:

    I am so happy for this post (and this site … I’m so glad I came across it) =) … I can say that I never really had a problem with #1 and #3, but #2 held me back at times in college. I was a bit shy when it came to participating in certain events, but I soon found out that the more I pushed myself to step outside of my comfort zone, it wasn’t as bad as I had made it out to be … and I ended up really enjoying doing different things and I felt more confident!

  25. Hey temps! It’s never too late.

    Writing down goals is such a good idea… I need to start doing it myself bc I think it would make me stick to them.

    Hey Brownskin!!! Welcome to the blog and feel free to come back… anytime!!!!

    Do you have any advice you’d give to youngsters?

  26. BrownSkin Says:

    Thanks for the welcome, girl! =)

    … And to the youngsters, I would just say to always stay true to yourself and trust your instincts! That’ll get you a long way in life! =D

  27. It sure will brownskin!!! 😉

  28. Anger Management Says:

    1. Surround yourself with like-minded people. If you tryna be rich, dont hang around a bunch of broke mofos.

    2. Listen to that little voice. I can’t tell yo uhow many times I’ve kicked myself after not going with my gut feeling.

    3. Learn to be comfortable in your own skin, flaws and all.

    and finally…

    4. My current mantra: You only live once, remember this everytime you try to talk yourself out of doing something new.

  29. “My current mantra: You only live once, remember this everytime you try to talk yourself out of doing something new.”

    I love this one, anger management!

  30. Anger Management Says:

    Thanks!


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