SISTERHOOD: A Survival Guide for 17 Year Olds

Listen to Mahalia while reading this

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1 Learn from art; make art 

Your creativity is your safe space. Your room is your refuge; your pictures, your drawings, your books, your music and your writings are your tools for self-therapy. Be inspired both by yourself and other women. Share their strength, learn from them and learn from and about yourself. Listen to Beyoncé, watch insecure, read Maya Angelou. Let them teach you that women are complicated just like art is complicated. Watch ted talks, write your own. Draw daily, write daily, be creative.

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2 Trust in your journey

Growth and self-discovery are pain. Whether it’d be frustrating politics or the fact that most boys/girls will fall in love with people who like things you find uninteresting and/or look  very different to you. It is difficult to grow into your own person when you feel like the people around you cannot see and appreciate you. All this is part of your journey and you need to trust that things will fall into place at the right time. Don’t rush or force any experiences and if you don’t know which way to go, keep going regardless and follow your intuition or maybe a good friend’s advice.

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3 Don’t be afraid to ask for/accept help

It is important to believe in your own strength. However it is equally important to understand that we are all stronger knowing that we have people we can rely on. Everyone feels overwhelmed sometimes and in these moments we need someone to talk to, give us advice or criticism or nice food. Trust that advice comes from a place of love and compliments from a place of honesty. Let your guard down, knowing that the people you love will protect you and eventually put it back up with you again.


4 Be your number 1 fan, not your harshest critic

You need to focus on what makes you special rather than to constantly overthink your weaknesses; the world criticizes you enough already. Nobody is perfect, nobody learns without making mistakes, nobody is good at everything. Everyone fights their own battles, even your role models and if they can get through it, so can you. Instead of getting caught up in your fears and insecurities, improve your strengths and fake it until you make it. This is how empowerment starts, by telling yourself that you are good enough.

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5 You are experiencing and will experience love, just not the way you anticipate it

Love is not defined by having a partner. Love is not only going on romantic adventures like the ones you know from books and films. Sex isn’t sexy; at your age (and for quite a while longer), sex is awkward, sometimes painful and much more complicated than you imagine. Longing for another person shows that you are in need of yourself first, because it is really true that this romantic, idealistic kind of love can only ever enter your life if you are totally in love with yourself first.

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6 Be open and give love, even if this emotion might not be reciprocated; protect yourself

These two seem, but are not, mutually exclusive. We as millenials try to be independent and anything but vulnerable. However, in order to be happy, in order to enjoy genuine relationships with people, we need to open up and not become bitter if we find ourselves in disappointing situations. At the same time, you need to protect yourself from being taken for granted. Make sure people give you the respect you deserve. Don’t worry, you will find your balance as you grow.

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7 Be healthy

Being physically and mentally healthy is the most important thing in the world and you owe it to yourself to look after yourself, always.

  • Eat well and eat whatever you want. However if the food you eat makes you feel bad and weak, take a step back and check your diet
  • do yoga
  • explore what makes you feel good and do self-care, regularly
  • have a little cry when you need to
  • laugh at your hormones and don’t let them fool you into thinking this state of confusion and sadness is never-ending
  • dance daily
  • be honest with yourself and your evolution
  • don’t be dishonest with the people who want to help you
  • don’t smoke; be stronger than peer pressure

8 Never compare yourself, especially not to your sisters

One of the worst things you can do to yourself is to compare yourself to others, especially to your sisters. Don’t mistake having amazing sisters as an obstacle or pressure for your own growth. They are here to support you in finding your own path that might be completely different to their own. Siblings have different talents and you don’t need to follow each other. Don’t manifest your value in relation to anyone else’s.

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9 You are loved

Take a second and think about how many people you have in your life who genuinely love you and are proud of you.

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10 No one else is gonna live your life for you

You are responsible for yourself, so treat yourself responsibly. Do what you think is best for you, take risks remembering that no one knows you better than you know yourself. Don’t wait for anyone else to tell you what to do, because you are the only one in charge of your decisions. Never underestimate your own judgement, never hold yourself back. 

All drawings are taken from @recipesforselflove, one of the most thoughtful, important and artistic profiles on the gram. Check her out and show her the love she deserves for her amazing work. She also has a book coming out soon, you can pre-order here.

Advice by Amuna Wagner

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