From Ethiopia To Atlanta, This High School Girl Has An Important Message For Teens


By Eden Mekonnen

As a junior in high school, I must say that there are quite a lot of things that I’ve learned since my freshman year. I’ve transitioned from a very shy, quiet girl to a more social, slightly ambitious young girl. I learn more and more each day about life and have learned to be more open-minded. So here are a few things that I have learned over the years that I hope that most girls my age and younger, will consider.

1. You don’t always have to be happy all the time. You are allowed to be sad but you have to pull through eventually. You have to be able to pick yourself up regardless of the situation.

2. Don’t put your crush on some type of pedestal. He is human and probably has many flaws and acting as if he is the perfect guy for you is unrealistic. Get to know him as a person, and if you still like him, then go for it. I can say that I have liked some guys who turned out to be much different than I thought, and not always in a good way either.

3. Regarding body image, I’d have to say that it’s not good to try too many diets or put yourself down.  I mean I can say that I have accomplished very little in trying to stay fit. But I’m learning not to obsess over it and learn to accept it or change it.

4. Don’t think of yourself as inferior to others. As you glance around, you can witness that many people have flaws and if you are able to look up to them, why feel so horrible about yourself? You are able to accomplish a lot more than you think.

5. Try to appreciate what you have. Imagining how happy you’d be if you had nicer hair or nicer clothes or being taller or thinner will not get you anywhere. If you look around, you can see that there are some things you can be happy about.

6. Don’t expect people to feel sorry for you. Regardless of how horrible your situation is, keep in mind that you truly know yourself better than anyone else. You can help yourself and not everyone is going to sympathize with you. Sure there are people that care but don’t expect them to better your situation, only you can do that.

7. You should be pro-active. I find that many people are happiest when they have a lot of fun things to do. Do a sport, try out for all types of clubs and be social. It is so much better to go out and do things rather than watch from the bleachers and wish that you had the guts to do those things you so crave to do.

8. Don’t care too much what people think.  I know you all hear this all the time and I am still struggling with blocking this certain insecurity out of my system.  But with time, you’ll learn that people don’t judge you half as much as you think. Most of the time, they’re concerned with their own lives. And if they try to make fun of you or laugh at you, keep in mind that they only have the power to hurt you if you let them. You have to realize that you should not live at the result of other people’s thinking; you have to be your own person.

9. Don’t procrastinate. I recently had to do this research project and I would’ve done so much better if I took the time to do it ahead of time instead of stressing about it a week before it was due.  Procrastination can be detrimental to your grade and keeps you from getting things done.

10. Cheer yourself up. Whenever you feel sad or down, do things that make you happy. There are plenty of times when I feel under the weather   and I feel better after a cup of green tea and a funny movie. So you can get your friends together and watch a movie or simply relax at home.

11. Don’t hold grudges. Whoever you want to get back at or whomever you feel like you hate is not worth it. You have to be able to let go of this negative emotion because it becomes like poison to you. All it does is cause this conflict and you would be under the delusion that hating them is hurting them when really it’s hurting you.

12. Learn to be patient. You have to wait for some things in life. Sometimes you have to wait to meet a nice guy and build a relationship because maybe it’s not the right time right now. It’s good to wait when you’re ready for all that. Patience can help you get through all areas of life, whether it be dealing with difficult people or craving something new and spectacular to occur in your life.

13. Don’t expect too much out of people. Even though you would be willing to do certain things for the people you love, they may feel differently. While you may be willing to throw off your whole schedule to hang out with them, they may not be so willing. Perhaps in their mind they’ll make room for you when they want to and that should no longer upset you because it does not mean that they don’t like you. It just means that they think differently than you do.

14. Listen to your gut. If you know that you should not do something, don’t let others force you.

Teenage years can appear to be the most challenging years of one’s life. But overall it is meant to be a very enjoyable time. It all depends on whether or not you let your situation shape you or if you will shape yourself regardless of what you are going through. As you look ahead to the end of the school year and prepare for the next after the summer, think about how you want to make a difference and live with a purpose as a teen. Don’t let the world or society tell you that your teenage years are just for making mistakes, breaking the rules and being difficult. You can have an impact on others’ lives right now that will determine the course of your future.


Eden Mekonnen

My name is Eden Mekonnen. I’m a soon to be high school senior and I enjoy reading and writing. I’m 16 years old. I was born in Ethiopia and have lived in Georgia for about 11 years now. 



  1. You’re awesome!
    I love love LOVE this post! I’d love to share it on my own blog – Ive started a business in Australia specialising in portraits for teens. I am certain that my clients would get a lot from this post. Can i do that with a linkback to this site?
    I’d love to photograph you Eden!
    Im traveling to USA next month actually, LA, San Fan, Reno if you just so freakishly happen to be holidaying there at the time – email me! haha

    xo Cat

    • GirlTalkHQ says:

      Hi Cat, share away! And please do include a link back to our site also, that would be great. I believe Eden is based in Atlanta, but I could find out for you. -Asha

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