by Bethel Mgbebuihe
“Your youth is a time you will remember forever”
I have a lot to say but I really don’t know where to begin. Your youth is a time you will remember forever. In the coming decades, you will experience more than you can ever imagine; good and bad. People will come and go and when they do, you may be let down and you most definitely will be surprised. There will be the pressures to conform and join the societal bandwagon; more pressure to make decisions and face conflicts. In all you will learn and you will grow. One thing is important though, that you stay true to yourself. You are uniquely you and that’s why you matter.
1. Take risks: It’s the risks you take that guide you to learn more about yourself and make you who you want to be. Consider challenges as opportunities to build your strength and learn lessons. However, be careful what risks you take, and get a second – reasonable – opinion before you do. This also means you should not let the opinions of those who do not matter, ruin your chances. This an even bigger risk. You are your own person, and you will learn that your opinion is what will drive you.
2. There will be great friends, but foes, as well: There will even be great friends who turn into foes. Do not let the drama of youth run your life, so stay true to your friends; be trustworthy and honest. You most assuredly will come across others who may not be fans of your style for no reason at all; and what you should do is simple – disregard the negativity.
3. Be good to others, and they (well, some) will return the gesture: As much as one good turn deserves another, do many more good turns; and no matter the outcome! Everybody deserves to have some good in their lives, even you, so give as much as you want to get. You may not get back as much as you give, but the blessing is in giving, remember?
4. Be loyal and faithful in love: Love is a truly intense feeling, and of course you will experience that. Many people want to be ‘wise’ in love but avoid the kind of temptation that quickly turns into regrets. Even if you have been hurt before, it’s a good feeling when you can confidently say you are and always have been a good partner.
5. Be appreciative of what you have: You have dreams and goals bigger than the resources you have; but do not be ungrateful for what you have now. Your family and your support systems are as good blessings as the life you have in its own. Appreciate what you are given, and never take anything for granted. Keep in mind that one day; what you once had will no longer be there.
6. The changes that you experience will shock you: There will be countless blessings that come unannounced, and losses that happen all too quickly. While some changes will be the guide to a better future, others will be hard to accept. Welcome the good with open arms, mourn the losses you cannot prevent and save the ones that you are able to – they all mould you.
7. You have the power to empower: Have confidence in yourself. Be a leader and enforce change. Be strong enough to stand up for what you believe in, gain support for a good cause and alter the world as we know it. The world is in your hands — don’t let it drop.
As a young man or woman, your life is fun, even with the pain. Be funny; be silly because frankly, you are too young to be too serious. Express your weirdness and do it with pride. Life goes on and since it never ends, savor your days. Make new friends, but keep in mind that when you have to do battle in the dark alleys of your life, you may be alone on those days. Spend the days of your youth getting equipped, living and smiling, because truly, life is beautiful.
Bethel Mgbebuihe is an energetic, true to the core Nigerian youth with bright future prospects. A 400 level student of University of Ibadan, he is an orator who likes football and making good friends.
30 Days, 30 Voices series is an opportunity for young Nigerians from across the world to share their stories and experiences – creating a meeting point where our common humanity is explored.
Op-ed pieces and contributions are the opinions of the writers only and do not represent the opinions of Y!/YNaija.