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A Dallas Senior Photographer's Advice To Her 17-Year-Old Self

dallas tx senior photography
dallas tx senior photography

This isn't my usual type of post.  It isn't even about photography. And please understand how much I detest writing about myself in third person. 

I have a reason for doing it, though.  This is advice I would have given myself. I wanted to be clear on that because if a teenager reads this post, the advice may or may not be for her.  I wouldn't presume to know.  So that is why I'm writing to myself in third person.

Glad I cleared that up.

As a senior portrait photographer in Dallas, I think a lot about high school students and remember my own high school years. (It has been quite a while, in case you're wondering.) I graduated when I was 17, which is why I am writing to that 17-year-old and not that 18-year-old.  Lots of stuff happened in that one year.

First, some background. I am a mother of 2 boys and a stepmother of 3 girls, so I've raised kids in every stage.  I now have experience with adult children, which is very different, but fun, too. I am no expert and don't pretend to be.

I have given a lot of thought to the advice I would give my 17-year-old self.  Not that she would have listened to some of it, mind you.  And by my stating it, I'm not saying I messed up in a particular area; it's just good advice.

Here's the start of my perpetually incomplete list (in no particular order):

  1. Pay it forward.  Let people ahead of you in line at the grocery store.  Smile at strangers.  Buy the loaf of bread from the homeless man even if you don't eat it.  Go on mission trips with your church.  Teach a Sunday School class.  Be a listening ear. Buy a coffee for the person behind you in the Starbucks Drive-Thru line.
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  4. Avoid catty women. If they talk about other people behind their backs, they will talk about you behind yours.
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  7. Wait until you know yourself well and are established in your career before you get married.
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  10. Figure out what you love to do.  Have hobbies. Try new things.  Learn new things.
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  13. Search long and hard to find a career that:
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    • you will enjoy.
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    • pays the bills.
    You have to eat.  Doing good works is wonderful but you still have to eat.  Volunteer for causes that mean a lot to you if your career choice leaves you unfulfilled. Yes, I know you love philosophy, but being a philosopher won't pay the bills.  And money is most definitely not everything, but being poor is not fun.

Do you agree?  What do you wish you had known then that you know now? Click here for the next post in the series.

If you enjoyed this post, perhaps your senior would enjoy working with me.  Contact me today to book a session!