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14 February

What Have You Learned About How to #BeYourself?: Xander Tonjaroff has Ten Tips for His Younger Self

Xander Tonjaroff is a YouTuber, a LGBT+ activist and a Social Justice Warrior. He highlights below his 10 tips that he would give to his younger self. There is a strong theme of being yourself and exploring who you are, whether you want to wear makeup, dress a little differently (or a whole load differently) or express yourself in way that is not necessarily everyone else norm. Xander is perfect example and role model for expressing yourself and being you.

10 Life Lessons I Wish I Learned When I Was a Teenager

 
Lesson #1: Love yourself

This is the most important life lesson that you can say to any person, teenager or child (or no matter who), is to say to love themselves, to not let anything bring you down, that people should not feel like they can't be themselves. Find out who you are and to love yourself completely and utterly 100%.

Lesson #2: is a really important lesson (very similar to the last one). Being yourself is more important than other people’s opinions


Say you are at school and other people don't like your hobbies and interests and don't like you, your fashion. That’s all about negativity. Be yourself, love yourself and don't ever try and change yourself to make anyone else happy. If you love doing your hair in a crazy way, do it! Don't let someone tell you it’s stupid or you can’t do it. It’s your hair, it’s your decision, and be yourself :-)

Lesson #3: It is ok to be weird and feel like you don't fit in.
 
I have live the majority of my life feeling like I don't fit in with that group, that group or that group… but you know what I realised is that I don't give a shit. You don't need to fit into any of these groups, school is very much a place where cliques exist, there is a social hierarchy kind of like what you see in the films, with sports and drama and whatever else. It carries into life as well, it happens in university, in college, in work life, its forever happening but you don't feel like you need to fit into small tiny categories to be a part of something or be friendship group or in order to be happy. You can fit into load of categories; you don't have to be one narrow box. So it’s ok to be weird and feel like you don't fit in, not fitting in means you are being different and unique and that’s something that I personally love to celebrate.

Lesson #4: And I need to take this advice myself is to be a leader and not a follower.
 
So I think, if you have any idea in your head or you got something that you want to do, or something that you want to see change, then DO IT, make it happen and see it change. Do expect it to happen for you. Be the change that you want to see, lead that change and make it happen.

Lesson #5: It gets better.
 
It happens at any age, this is important to remember in times of crisis, or when things go wrong, or even when thing are going right especially if you are a teenager and your emotions are high and hormones are running away with the wind. Because even now there are times where I feel really down and feel overwhelmed with everything go on around me. Having that life lesson in your head that it gets better, then there is always a light at the end of the tunnel and there is always something to do to make your situation better.  You just got to problem solve, think it through and make it better. 

Lesson #6: Never apologise for who you are.
 
There is a strong theme of being yourself, knowing yourself. This is similar but separate. As this might apply in the way you might want your crazy hair style and you are ok that people may not like that but never apologise for that. Don't say “I am sorry but”, say this is me and this is who I am and I own ever single percent of who I am, I am me and I am perfect. If you own who you are and people will see that and that one thing people find attractive in human beings. (In my opinion :-) , I don't know shit, I have not done a degree in sociology or psychology , this is just things that I think about).

Lesson #7: Education is better than anger.
 
If someone is doing something or saying that is pissing you off and you want to hit a wall or scream, get revenge or retaliate then it’s not going to help. for me personally I like to stay as calm as humanly possible, I like to think through and even write stuff down and get it out of my head and get it on to paper and realise what is going on exactly and then think about what that this person has done… rather than getting angry and cross and causing arguments, help the person understand how you feel and that the way they have make you feel. So of example: if I am dealing with someone who is homophobic (which can happen frequently) rather than getting angry at this persons ignorance at the state of the world and how things work, take the time to be calm and breathe and relax and think about why this person might be feel that way… It’s because they don't know any better, if they know better, then they can learn something and if they can learn something, then you can teach them :-)

Lesson #8:  What are you waiting for? Life is passing you by at every second.
 
If you go something that you are waiting to do then do it now, nothing is stopping you. What are you waiting for?

Lesson #9: More often than not your gut instinct is something that you should trust.
 
So if people are telling you things that are completely and utterly opposite to what you believe in, then maybe your gut instinct is right and maybe you should just go with that. Don't allow your mind to be changed completely (easily), other people aren't always right and neither are you but don't be always so ready to give up in what you believe in. An example of this is that someone says it’s not ok to wear high heels or to wear make-up or whatever. Just because they say it’s not right, that does not make it true. You can know what is right and true for yourself and that can be different to what the other person thinks.

Lesson #10, Work hard at your passions and find your passion.
 
If you don't know what your passions are that is fine but when you have found something that you are passionate about work hard and don't let it go. Nurture it, nurture your creativity, grow, succeed, be powerful, be amazing, you got this!!!


The final bonus lesson: Is to explore, be curious about the world, explore!
 
Learn as much as you can, see as much as you can, grow as much as you can and use that to you full advantage.
 
 
Check out more from Xander on his social media links and subscribe to his YouTube to learn more about him:
 
·         Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/Tonjaroff 
·         Twitter: https://www.twitter.com/Tonjaroff
 

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