Ashley is a 17 year old from Torrance, CA with unique curly hair. She loves writing poetry, trying new experiences, eating spicy food, socializing, listening to music, and giving advice.
Everyone on the face of the earth has done something they’ve regretted in their lives. Some of these common regrets include losing your virginity to the wrong person, losing your virginity too soon, getting a tattoo you end up don’t liking, etc. There are also those choices that people have made that caused them to lose a great opportunity (or even by some unknown reason). I am one of those people.
Not long ago, I got an email from Vanessa Van Petten informing all of the Radical Parenting interns that a London Times spread on some of the interns and their articles was going to be published, and that she needed our picture, our age, our parents email, and our email if we wanted to get published by 1/30. When I read this, which was a day later when she sent the email, I was really excited because it was such a great opportunity for me to be known as a writer to the public. In a heartbeat, I sent my picture, my age, my mother’s email, and my email, on 1/31, a day after finals, feeling confident that I was going to be published in the London Times. After I clicked the send button, I couldn’t stop imagining all of the benefits that went along with getting published for the first time in an actual magazine.
A day later, I checked my email. No reply from Vanessa. I checked it the day after that. No reply from Vanessa. I checked it the day after that, adding up to a week. Still no reply. Seeing I had no reply or confirmation that I was going to be in the London Times brought all of my hopes down. Still, at that time, I looked on the bright side. I thought to myself, “maybe she will inform us the day our articles are officially published”. I still believed I was going to be published. A few days later, on February 21, there was an email from Vanessa in my inbox with the title “Congrats! 6 Interns Published in the London Times!” Immediately, my heart skipped a beat. Was this what I was strongly hoping for? Is one of my articles officially published in the February edition of the London Times? I couldn’t contain my excitement at the time. Immediately, I clicked the message. It read
“Congrats to our interns Anthony, Kendal, Shamima, Catelyn, Monique and Noelle for their feature in the London Times–they are officially published columnists.
See attached piece with pictures!
I read it, and absorbed all that it said. My name wasn’t there. Instantly, I fell to pieces. My confidence in myself went down. Was I not a good enough writer to be published? Were my articles not that important compared to those 6 published articles? Did I reply to Vanessa’s email too late? Too many thoughts were clouding my mind at that time. I just sat there, in complete disappointment, and angry at the fact that I wasn’t able to check my email on 1/30 due to all the studying I had to do for my finals. Through this experience, I’ve learned 3 things.
From this experience, I’ve learned to:
1.) Check my email each and every day.
2.) Not let school interfere with my writing and all that goes along with it.
3.) Not have such high hopes for something that involves many people (So I don’t end up becoming overly devastated)
My experience was devastating, eye-opening, and somewhat positive all at once. It was devastating because I wasn’t able to see my writing in a new light or have that amazing experience of being published in a popular magazine. This experience has greatly opened my eyes, causing me to realize that I could miss yet another great opportunity of getting myself discovered as a writer, or even another big opportunity, if I don’t check my email every day. The positive things that came out of this experience are that it has inspired me to write a lot more, has made me a stronger person, and has given me the chance to experience rejection from a huge opportunity (which is good, because it prepares me for devastating rejections in the future). Although this has happened to me, I believe there is a great opportunity waiting for me out there somewhere. I still have faith in my writing and the benefits it could bring. From my experience, I feel that you as a parent should do a few things to prevent your teen or tween from losing what I lost.
From my experience, you as parents should do the following:
1. Make sure that your teen or tween is or does not let school get in the way of his/her extracurricular activities (if they are letting school get in the way of his/her extracurricular activities, inform him/her that it shouldn’t and that he/she might miss out on a great opportunity from his/her activities if they let school take over his/her lives)
2. Make sure that your teen or tween checks his/her email everyday if they are involved in an activity that informs him/her of important things or important events via email.
3. Make sure that you check your email everyday if you are sent important things, notices, etc. through an activity, an organization, anything, regarding what your teen or tween is involved in (so that your teen or tween doesn’t miss a great opportunity like I did).
If your teen or tween misses (or is even rejected by) a great opportunity like I did, just inform him/her of the positives the experience brought. For instance, my experience gave me the ability to experience rejection to a huge opportunity, preparing me for devastating rejections in the future. Let your teen/tween know what he/she could do to subside the risk of getting rejected from an opportunity or by missing it, such as checking his/her email every day, improving in specific areas he/she needs to work on to make them more eligible to be accepted into whatever it is he/she has applied for, etc.
Although your teen or tween might have been rejected from an opportunity, or even missed it, just remember that more opportunities will come his/her way in the future. Just be patient and hopeful.
Image: Robert S. Donovan from Flickr
If you liked this article get more Radical Parenting in our new book: Do I Get My Allowance Before or After I’m Grounded?