Experience, they say, is the best teacher, right? This is why it is imperative for young girls to listen to the advice of older women. Older women may not always be right, but we learn from their experiences and make our own decisions. For this week’s post, I asked some older women to share what they wished they had known when they were in their twenties. P.S: I didn’t use their real names.
Enjoy! (And learn)
I got married at 17. I wanted to go to school but my father said he cannot educate a woman. When I got married, I hoped that my husband would send me to school but then we started having children, and there was school fees to pay and feeding and books etc. I told myself when my kids are older, I’ll go to school but the older the kids got the more expensive it was to care for them. My dreams of an education has died. Anytime I see my age mates speaking eloquently or working, I feel sad. I’ll advice young girls to take their education seriously. A good education will make you have dignity among your peers and it will open doors for you.
The most important thing as far as I am concerned is finances. A girl should have a source of income. If you don’t have corporate job, learn a trade. It could be how to bake, or braiding hair. I hear these days you can even open shop on the internet. Even if you marry a rich man, you can’t depend on him for everything. Learn to save, learn how to invest. When you have your own money, nobody can talk to you anyhow.
When I was in the university, everyone was having a boyfriend and having sex so me too, I went ahead to have sex. I wish I had waited until I was ready. There is nothing exciting about having sex just because everyone is doing it. In fact, don’t do anything because everybody is doing it. Be self-conscious, know what you want. I’ll advice young girls not to rush into sex.
I spent all of my twenties wanting to be married. Instead of developing myself, I put all my effort into finding a husband. I had it in my head that I wanted to get married by 23 for some reason. I got married at 24 and had children immediately. It’s not that I don’t love my family, but I wished I had focused my energy on other things. I wish I had worked in an office for the experience. My advice to young girls is that marriage will come, focus on developing yourself before then.
I wished I had been bolder when I was in my twenties. I was afraid. In my relationships, I couldn’t even ask the right questions. It would have saved me a lot of trouble. I wished I had spent time with myself, to know what I like or don’t like instead of doing what my parents told me to do blindly. I wasn’t courageous. I didn’t do things that made me happy. I wasn’t prepared for motherhood too. I’ll advice younger girls to be more courageous, know yourself, be adventurous, don’t be afraid of asking questions. Only you can determine your life.
When I was in my twenties, I wish I didn’t care so much about what people would say. I was always thinking what people would say and this made me limit myself in so many ways. People will always have something to say. So please do what you like. In addition, I was so quick to jump to conclusion. Patience is a virtue. Be more patient and understanding. Things are not always the way they seem. Finally, I have learnt not to regret things too much, whatever happens at a particular stage prepares you for the next stage of your life.