Advice to a Young Woman | Jackson Free Press | Jackson, MS

Advice to a Young Woman

Ginger Williams-Cook

Ginger Williams-Cook

Amelia Steadman McGowan Find a mentor and be a mentor!


Amelia Steadman McGowan

Whitney Alex Barkley Tina Fey has a great new show on Netflix called the The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt. At the end of the first episode, Kimmy says something that I've been repeating all day: "life breaks everyone down. You can either curl up in a ball and die, or you can stand up and say, 'Yeah, we're different. And you can't break us."


Whitney Alex Barkley

Carra Powell Ignore the naysayers and keep pushing forward!


Carra Powell

Julie Propst It says it on the AA chip given for lengths of sobriety: "To thine on self be true." Not self centered or selfish but acknowledging the need to care for self (food, exercise, fun, spirituality) before caring for others.

Renee Shakespeare You are the foundation. If you fail, everything fails. Take care of yourself FIRST.


Renee Shakespeare

Donna Ladd Amen, Julie. Start exercising and eating better now no matter your age. It will help stress now and keep away nasty problems as you get older. And give you more energy to devote to breaking ceilings and running things! And standing up to those who try to stop you.

Emily Braden Knight Don't allow anyone to change your narrative, even if it upsets them.


Emily Braden Knight

April Maey Never give up on your dream, no matter how far your path may deviate. Never let your dream(s) be derailed!

Heather Fox IF and only IF you marry, learn how to be a partner—we don't always need to be equals.

Susan Fontenot To thine own self be true. Be honest even when it feels hard. Represent yourself with confidence and dignity and never lose sight of what impact those two things, honesty and dignity, will have on your life.

Melissa Kelly Let go of competing outside of games and sports. You don't win life, or parenthood, or marriage, or friendship—no one is going to hand you a medal for the really important things.

Claudia Dreifus What I tell my students is that every generation has to fight this battle anew: never forget that. My mother's generation did, and we had to do it over again for them.


Claudia Dreifus

Debra West Don't depend on someone else for your security or your happiness.

Dawn Beasley Macke Believe in yourself. You are stronger, smarter, better than you think. Believe in each other. Always try to build other women up rather than tear them down. Don't make apologies for making waves. Making waves is how the status quo is changed.

Ginger Williams-Cook Discover yoga as early as possible. Work towards self acceptance daily, and try to have a kind inner voice. Self acceptance is the best way to feel beautiful.


Ginger Williams-Cook

Cecilia Reese Bullock Take care of yourself financially. Don't gamble your youth and your career and your life assuming that someone else will be your safety net. Men do leave, and they do try to take it all with them.

Giselle Claypool Stromgren If you see something that needs to be done, don't wait for "someone" to do it. Do whatever you can, even if that's only pointing out the situation to the people who have the resources for the doing.

Antoinette Pippins · Go out and enjoy life! Explore! Don't be so quick to be in a "committed" relationship. There's plenty of time for that. Commit to yourself first in all areas. Be mindful of the company you keep, and it's OK to say "NO" without apology.


Antoinette Pippins

Giselle Claypool Stromgren · Learn as many skills as possible to be able to take care of yourself. My parents made sure that not only could I cook, clean and sew, but also do basic auto maintenance and home maintenance tasks. Therefore I don't have to rely on anyone else to take care of me, but if I choose to outsource any of these things, I know enough about them to know if I'm getting a fair deal or being taken for a fool!

Donna Ladd Speaking of relationships, NEVER enter into one thinking you will improve or change your partner. They must decide to do that; thinking you can turn them into who you want will only lead to disappointment. Want them for who they are, and then grow together. Meantime, remember that only you can make you happy. No one else can do that, although the wrong people can certainly make you unhappy.


Donna Ladd

Kathleen Chapman Protect yourself, continue to learn, always.

Giselle Claypool Stromgren Don't be afraid to ask questions. Seek out people who are knowledgeable about the things you want or need to know, and ask for their advice and expertise. Most people like to teach and share what they've learned, and are happy to help if you're sincere.

Melissa W. Shoemaker My two cents: Find yourself and be proud of who your are to your core—embrace your imperfections and defend yourself when you are right. Speak up and look to those without a voice; empower and mentor them.

Donna Ladd I would add that more women need to practice speaking up in intimidating situations. I was surprised that I was often afraid to speak up in graduate school—just 13 years ago. I had to work to overcome that fear. All part of lifelong learning. Don't be the last one to speak up. Raise your hand. Participate.

Melissa W. Shoemaker I even have that fear now. Although I have had a lifetime of leadership roles. I have that nagging in the back of my head in these situations. Women are also reluctant to be called experts in fields where men in similar roles or without even close credentials will proclaim it.

Donna Ladd OH, and don't expect everyone to like you. That sets up a life of disappointment. And if a jerk or negative goofball doesn't like you, meh. Well done.

Donna Ladd I know, Melissa, just keep going back in. Practice builds confidence.

Kimberly Griffin Probably should ignore anyone that says you are too aggressive, too opinionated, too loud, blah blah. Find some really good, really powerful women friends that you can be honest with. Trust other women. Our society has created this idea that we can't trust one another. Work hard and smart. Get plenty of rest and take real vacations. Leave the darn country, for goodness sake. Read. Read. Read. You'll be a better person for it. Eat good whole foods, drink plenty of water. You must take care of yourself before you take care of anyone else. Be positive. Half the battle is attitude. Whiners never win. Be fearless. Even it doesn't do go well at first it will all work out in the end.


Kimberly Griffin

Melishia Brooks If you must imitate someone, imitate a woman that is accessible. By doing this, you always have access to her, and she can guide and help you become a better woman. Celebrities are great to look up to, however, they cannot give you any real advice about your current situation. However, that teacher/church member/neighbor/aunt/doctor/mentor can give you everything you need, when you need it. Always remember that there is a woman that has made your mistakes before, and she is out there waiting to help you overcome and persevere. You are not alone. Ever. Someone out there has the answer to every question. Be the woman you would want someone else to look up to.


Melishia Brookes

Angie Ladd Carpenter Daddy always told me to get as much education as possible. His words were "A man could take a lot of things but he could never take your knowledge. Knowledge is power." He was a protective father of three girls who only wanted best for us.

Stephanie Burks Always go with your first mind. Don't overthink it.


Stephanie Burks

Vicki Robinson Slater Go for the gusto!


Vicki Robinson Slater

Donna Ladd I like that, Stephanie. I've also been guilty of under thinking and being too impulsive as a result. I've become a fan of looking for the second best idea, to be sure, and to avoid closing doors too quickly. It's a balancing act.

Jan Levy Mattiace Don't be a follower. Act and respond only in a way that feels right to your true self. Build a network of women—many individuals or small groups from different walks of your life. They will carry you through many life events. Age is a number. Embrace every age, and don't let age limit your friendships. Have friends younger and older than you. And never ridicule or disrespect people of other ages. You've either been there yourself in youth, or are making fun of your own inevitable future.

Donna Chesteen Don't ever be afraid of others not liking you because you are smart. Wave that smart flag proudly! Use your intelligence to the best of your ability and you WILL change the world—even if only in a small way. The world was built by standing on the shoulders of giants.

Kelly Shannon Graeber Always let your inner and outer beauty shine in any situation—the good, the bad , the ugly. Continue to learn and be open to adapting to change. We are in an ever-changing world, so if you don't change with it or learn then you will fall behind. Learn to be resourceful and be proud of the goals you accomplish yourself. No one else is going to do the work for you. When you get up in the morning, be ready to show up. Don't forget where you come from—don't toss your beliefs, moral and values to the side just to fit into a workplace or where you are presently.


Victoria Cross

Victoria Cross Focus, focus, focus! I remember in high school and college algebra, sometimes we'd be given some ridiculously long math equation with several variables and one assignment: simplify the equation. ... A lot of times the tendency would be to focus on this mile long problem. The funny thing was, we weren't asked to solve it, merely to simply the equation. My advice to young ladies is this: simplify. There will be things that seem impossible and confusing, with a million different variables. You don't have to have the answer. But simplify. Break it down. Big problems aren't as big when you look at the small pieces. This has helped me over the years when I've become overwhelmed. As a woman, we can do anything.

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