10 Life Lessons Sweet Sixteen Taught Me As A Young Person

Posted on Sat, Aug 03 2019

Book/movie review Category


Sweet sixteen is a novel about a teenage girl, Aliya. She hated to be called a child because she believes that once you attain the age of sixteen, you are no longer a child, but a young adult. Because of this notion she believed in, she was always drawn to grown up things, and free when relating with people older than her. 

After her early years, her parent took her to a boarding school. Life was fun for her and at the same time challenging, but with the help of her guardian Angel, her father Mr Bello, she was guided in the proper way. She also had proper footstep into making her great in life. Her father then starts to show her special and extra care in other for her not to get distracted in school.

Aliya was given a teddy bear on Valentine's Day by bobo, a guy in her class. The boy told Aliya that he likes her, and the sensation began. Nervousness drown her, as she was short of words, not knowing how to respond. This was the first time a guy will ever say that to her. On the long run, she was confused if she did the right thing by collecting the gift from him.

Aliya's father explained to her, "There is nothing wrong in giving or receiving gifts. But usually, especially in this kind of situation, when someone feels he has done you a favour, he would feel you owe him something. Sometimes, he could even, maybe, expect you to return the favour." Her father told her how priceless she was and the reasons why she should avoid situations that will make her feel indebted to someone.

While her father was busy protecting her as the only apple of his eyes, she made a revelation that quickened the old man’s heart beat.

"Daddy, I have heard sex before". She said. Hearing that, her father thought she meant "had" and not "heard". He almost collapsed thinking her little girl is already treading a dangerous route. She saved her dad of the trouble, by saying "heard" again, this time with emphasis. Her dad who was a bit relieved after this explanation was still anxious to know how her innocent girl got to know about sex. 

Little did her father know that one must not necessarily own a TV before you get to know about these things? Just a phone, a magazine, an advertisement and the likes, reveals all these things parents thought are actually hidden or unknown to their children.

The biggest question in Aliya's heart was to ask her dad if she can date at her age, since some of her age mates do it. But, she always finds it difficult to ask.  Later on, she found her lost voice and asked “Now that I am sixteen, I am old enough to date right?

That is basically the summary of the story. So, what does this teaches us as young persons?


1. No relationship between two people can survive, if it is based on material benefits.

 I have come to learn that we as humans should not give things to people with the expectation of something in return. Also, People giving you gifts does not guarantee the fact that they love you. It is always best to avoid assumptions connected to our relationships with people.

2. Give your validation to no man (human). 

You don't need to live by other people's expectation. Do you and live you. If the only way for you to tell a guy you really love him is to have sex with him; then that is the real definition for gullible girls. Never ever try to sell yourself for nuts. You have to understand that you are priceless. It doesn’t end in believing, you need to constantly tell yourself how priceless you are as a young person.

3. Do not live a boring life

One mistake some young folks make is living a regimented and triangular life. Asides studying, engage in other extracurricular activities that will give you good muse to do positive things.  An adage States and I quote "All work without play, makes jack a dull boy". 

4. Guard your mind

See your mind as that beautiful room you need to keep watch over. Watching porn, and all other sexually inciting movies is like putting garbage in your well decorated room. Not only do these movies pollute the mind, they ignite a desire to carry out the actions of these negativity.  In that same vein, vulgarity, bad language, violence, are dirt that can make the room of your mind smelly.

5. Choose your friends wisely

Show me your friend, I will not only tell you who you are, I will show you your future. As young ones, we have to be very selective when it comes to making friends. The company of friends you keep speaks a whole lot about your personality. Always pray to God to guide you in making friends that will impact you with positive and good vibes.

6. Don't ever do things because people are doing it. 

No matter the pressure laid on you to do what is bad, do not think of doing it, because such routes leads to perdition. Don't be influenced by peer pressure. Live for a purpose. Don’t be intimidated by what anybody does, rather learn and grow. Don't ever be afraid of being the last good man standing once it’s for the right cause. Don’t blend with the multitude, you are born to stand out.

7. Don’t be afraid to fail

Failure is not a bad thing. No one likes or prays to fail. But it is certain that if you must attain a high position in life, you have to pass through some life tests and examination. You win some, you fail some. If you fail in any life test, rise up and try again. If you fail an examination in school, you will retake it. The difference now is that you knew what you wrote in the first exam that made you fail and you will not repeat it. Failure empowers us, teaches us humility, strength, and perseverance. And you know what? Failure is never the end of life.

8. be excellent in all you do

At every point of choosing career, make sure it is what you love doing, so that when challenges comes, you will face it and enjoy the result that lies ahead. Have passion for any thing you do, it is what will summon the success.  When you have a vision to do something, have passion for it and your mission of your vision will be established. Be the best in everything you do, even if it’s a little thing. Always put a touch of excellence in all that you do.

9. be inquisitive 

You need to learn to ask people questions. Nobody gets killed for asking questions. 

Why must you date at 16?  

I think I should have a boyfriend. Why? 

I know young adults have boyfriends. How did you come to this conclusion? 

I feel it makes them feel good. How do you know this? 

Whatever you want to do, make sure your "why" is very strong before you dabble into that thing. This applies to everything. Are you sure you can carry your academics along with the emotional struggle of having a boyfriend? 

At your teen age, make your priorities right. Do the right thing at the right time. Don’t be like a train that loses its direction because it derailed out of track. Such a train may not get to its destination. Gratification makes people to easily run off track. So you have to delay your gratification. 

The big question now is not if you are willing to pay the price? The question is, do you fully understand the price you may be required to pay for the gratification and can you afford it? The price you may have to pay may be to wait and develop yourself on things that matter at the moment. But if you do not wait, and you are swept off by the superficial beauty in gratification, you may end up derailed. God does not want that for us, so, focus on your focus, and keep your eyes fixed above. 

10. Parents should be vigilant and caring.

Parents should always keep a vigilant eye on their children and wards in all aspect.  They should better confirm than to assume that their children does not know some things. One good way to achieve this is to bond with their children so much that they can freely talk about their struggles. It is high time parents adopt a friendship method of training their children. It doesn’t mean they won’t be firm. Neither does it mean they will lose their respect. But it goes a long way to curtail some of the heart breaking stories we hear young ones do these days.

They should also pay attention to the needs of their children and do their best to meet those needs. Also, inculcating great values into the lives of these young ones is very key.out 

Have you read the book? If yes, share your lessons with me. And if you haven't read it, i think you should. 

Written by : Adeola Oke. 

Faith Ijeoma Ezenwere

Hi there, My name is Faith Ijeoma Ezenwere. I am a Broadcast Journalist/OAP and a teen coach. I am passionate about building a community of impact driven Teens and young adults in all spheres of life. In simple terms, I help Teens/Young adults live their dreams. Welcome to my World!

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