top of page
  • Writer's picturethehonestmama

7 Things I Wish I Knew When I Was 17

I was beyond excited and honored to be the guest speaker today at ALA Girls’ State, a program that teaches future female leaders who are entering their senior year of high school about civic engagement, state government, and the political process. I shared all about my state position and what it’s like to work for the senate as well as how my blog, dance leadership positions, and Ace Homes have evolved and fit into my professional life.

When I was asked to speak, I put a lot of thought into what I would have wanted to hear at that age and what might have the biggest impact on girls that age. As someone who didn’t have a clear sense of direction and was once told at 17 that I wouldn’t succeed in college or have a strong career path, I decided to leave them with 7 pieces of advice, and of course incorporated a little Taylor Swift throughout the presentation. 😉 The cherry on top was having my favorite little future female leader there in the audience. 🥹👩‍👧

Here are the 7 Things I Wish I Knew at 17 (and lessons that I’m still re-learning constantly):

Guidance counselors, teachers, maybe even your parents might pressure you to have it all figured out already. Whether it’s your senior class schedule, your college of choice, your major, what you want to do when you’re an adult… it’s okay and normal if you don’t know yet. If ten years from now you still don’t feel sure, that’s okay too!

It’s okay to change your major in college, or maybe even transfer to a different college if your first choice isn’t a good fit after the first year. It’s okay to outgrow or change friends, romantic partners, or careers as many times as you need to until you find the right fit for you. Change does not equal failure. Change just means that you are growing as a person.

The very best and the very worst experiences you’ll go through are what will teach you the most about life. As awful as they are, some of the hardest and most painful experiences that you feel like you may never recover from are the ones you’ll get through and learn the most from. Every lesson you learn from every experience you go through will change you and make you exactly who you are supposed to be.

You should never be the one always doing the chasing and putting in 100% effort that isn’t reciprocated. Whether in your friendships, romantic relationships, relationships with your employer in your future career… don’t change who you are to fit someone else’s expectations and don’t force things that aren’t meant to be. You will find the right fit when both parties are mutually invested in the relationship and put in equal effort to make it work.

Every single person you interact with in your life, even if it’s a brief interaction, will formulate an opinion about you, good or bad. That opinion does not define a thing about you, so you might as well do things that make you happy and stay true to yourself at the end of the day.

You will have experiences where you may feel “less than” or not good enough. There will be failed auditions, maybe college rejections, or job rejections, growing apart from friends, romantic break ups, unkind rumors about you… Know is in your corner, whether that be your mom, or a best friend that is always there to support you and lift you up. The people that love you will always know that you are good enough.

From the day that you’re born until your death, you are the only person that you will spend 100% of your life with. Be kind to yourself. Remember to take care of your mental and physical health, because if you forget, your body WILL remind you. Your body shows up for you and fights for you every single moment that you are alive in this world, so be kind to it.


We also had a Q&A session and discussed facing adversities as a female in male dominated industries, how to prioritize mental and physical health during busy seasons, how to balance a crazy busy schedule and still make time for yourself and family, trusting your instincts about different opportunities that arise in life, and how saying “no” to opportunities in the moment doesn’t have to mean “no” forever.

It was such a great experience!



bottom of page