Ronnie's Awesome List is proud to present a guest article by Annabel, a 15 year old high school sophomore with GirlVentures: Outdoor Adventures for Inner Discovery, a life changing outdoor experience for girls entering 6th – 9th grade. Be sure to check out their summer programs.
1. Get outside. Start with just sitting on your doorstep and then find a way to take a walk in the woods. Taking some time for yourself to reflect on your life and assess how you are doing mentally and physically. Oftentimes we don’t realize how stressed, emotional, or lost we might be feeling, until we sit down and take a deep breath. A step up from the day to day retreat would be to take a trip deeper into nature, like on a camping trip or a visit to a national park. Without the strain of society, technology, and the media surrounding you, being in nature can also be extremely liberating.
2. Take initiative. If you think something should be done, do it. Commit to your ideas and execute them quickly. Taking initiative could mean doing something nice for someone without being told, speaking up for your beliefs even if they aren’t popular, or not taking the easy way out. When you make the decision to do what you believe is right, then you are being a true leader. Even though taking initiative might not always be in your favor, knowing that you are making someone else’s life easier, will make it worthwhile.
3. Talk with people who are different from you. When talking to someone different than yourself, you can see the world in a new light. Someone from a completely different background will experience different hardships, possess different knowledge, and think a different way; all of which you can learn from. Actively go out into the world and talk to strangers. Start off with someone safe, like that guy who always eats alone, or that girl that you buy your morning coffee from. Don’t make any preconceptions about them and just listen to their story- they might just surprise you.
4. Trust yourself. Recognize your inner voice and stick with your gut. This also means having the confidence to project that inner voice. Expressing how you feel can be hard, especially under stressful situations or when surrounded by intimidating people. But if you don’t take a leap of faith within yourself, you will never make any progress. Throughout my years in the school system, I have seen fewer and fewer girls raising their hands and actively participating, and during group projects, the boys tend to dominate the conversation. You must encourage your daughters to be outspoken and confident so that they can achieve higher levels of leadership and eventually become strong, independent women.
5. Strive to be a leader and be your own kind of leader. Most people imagine leaders as loud, outgoing people that can capture a room with their presence. While these characteristics can be applied to many leaders, you must also keep in mind that leadership should be a mix of your own unique leadership style. A leader should not overshadow everyone else. Instead, you need to do a lot of listening, ask good questions, and do jobs even if they are not yours. Leadership should not be focused on your achievement, but rather on what you can do for everyone else.
I hope you will take my GirlVenture and apply it to your own life!
Annabel is a 15 year old high school sophomore who has participated in GirlVentures' Summer Programs since she was 12. Join Annabel and the other GirlVentures Girls Advisory Board members at their HIKE FOR GIRLS on Saturday, May 2nd.
GirlVentures offers Outdoor Adventures for girls entering 6th – 9th grade. Discover your strengths, build leadership skills, and journey through the California wilderness with a dynamic group of girls.
Spaces still available for: