Growing up can be difficult at the best of times. The teenage years not only bring physical and emotional changes, but also the challenges associated with “fitting in” and finding out who you really are.
I look back on my teenage years with mixed emotions. They were some of the best and worst years of my life for a number of reasons. But whether you loved or hated being a teenager, those youthful years teach you a WHOLE lot. This is exactly what Megan Street discusses in her latest book Well, this is Growing Up!
Think regrets, relationships, decisions, and a lot of hindsight. In Megan’s first self-help book, she explores the ins and outs of growing up. There are 21 chapters to the book, which each offer the most USEFUL advice for any young person who feels a little lost! Even for those who are well passed their teenage years, the stories Megan shares from her younger years are so relatable!
I recently sat down with Megan to chat about her book, so here is what she had to say.
If you had to choose one chapter from your book to give to a young person, which one would it be and why?
That’s such a difficult question, but it would have to be the Choices chapter because we are ultimately defined the choices we make. As J.K. Rowling writes in Harry Potter, “it is our choices that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities.”
In the Friends chapter, you talk about popularity and how there are two types of popular people: the bullies, and then the friendly ones. What advice would you have to young people reading this who want to be popular, or wish they were considered cool in high school?
Trying to be popular isn’t important at all. What I do think is important though, is having the ability to get along well with all types of people. Rather than being cool or popular, I’d aim to be friendly and warm. Being “cool” isn’t everything, especially if it means putting other people down or compromising your own values.
You also mention how friends reflect who you are, and how much of an impact friends have on you. What would you say to anyone reading this that hasn’t found the right group of friends yet, and who feel as though they don’t fit in?
The right people are out there for you! As for not fitting in, it really is okay not to fit in. In fact, it’s awesome to be different! Remember that you are who you are, and no one is more “you” than you… and that is your power!
You mention in the book that you have been bullied. How has this experience shaped who you are today? I was also bullied, and I feel like it can really build your character!
Being bullied is not a good position to be in at the time, but I absolutely agree with you in that it can totally build your character and help you become strong and resilient.
If you’re currently going through a difficult situation, just know that you will get through it. The best way out is always through, and once you look through the situation you will learn so much from it. Think of the bigger picture and not the current reality!
You have a whole chapter on parents in your book, so they have clearly played a huge role in shaping who you are today! How would you describe your relationship with your parents, and why is it important to have a relationship them to begin with?
Words can’t describe how amazing my parents are. I’m so thankful and blessed to have them. I think it’s so important to see the good in our parents, and know that they’re always trying to do what they believe is best for you, even if you don’t think it’s best!
In the chapter Teachers, you talk about the pressure you felt when you didn’t get an interview for school captain, and how you weren’t just upset at yourself, but shattered to tell your mum. How can young people in a similar position stop putting this big pressure on themselves?
The best thing to do when you feel pressure or stress is to “trust the process”. Everything happens for a reasons. Ask yourself, will this be important to me in five years time? Remember that every negative has a positive!
In the introduction of your book, you have a quote by John Lennon that I think is really important: “Everything will be okay in the end. If it’s not okay, it’s not the end”. What or who has helped you through times of hardship in your life, where you weren’t okay?
I always turn to quotes, and a few of my favourites are:
- “If you’re going through hell, keep going” – Winston Churchil
- “When there is a will, there is a way” – Proverb
- “To turn one’s obstacle into one’s advantage is a great step towards victory” – French proverb
- “The enemy of your potential is your comfort zone” – Unknown
- “I can do everything through Him who gives me strength” – Philippians 4:13
I have to also acknowledge how God, prayer, family and my friends have helped me through difficult times.
Why did you decide to write a self-help type of book?
Ever since I found my mum’s quote book from when I was 13, I have been semi-obsessed with inspirational quotes. I also love psychology and have a passion for helping other people, hence the self-help book!
On a more serious and deeper note, I tragically lost a friend to suicide. On that day, something just came over me, and I knew that I had to use what I knew and learnt to help other people. I knew I couldn’t change the past or bring her back, but I could change the future and help others struggling.
I think its great how honest you are in the book, as you share so many personal stories that I’m sure will help many young people! As the last question, what is your number one piece of advice for any young person that feels a bit lost at the moment?
A little analogy by Rick Warren sums it up!
When making a cake, eating the ingredients on their own wouldn’t taste that great. Imagine eating flour, raw egg, and butter by themselves! BUT, when the ingredients are mixed together and time is taken for them to bake in the oven, out comes a perfectly made cake! Your life is the same, so the circumstances you go through may look and feel bad on their own, but in time will be used for good.
Never forget that challenging times are like ingredients for your cake, which is gradually being assembled. All you need is some patience and a positive attitude before you realise what you are going through has a bigger meaning, even if it doesn’t seem so now. Your cake is on its way!
Pre-order Megan’s book Well, This is Growing Up here.
Chelsea Elizabeth xx