From Our Teen Readers
Updated April 27, 2015 9:56 am

It was New Year’s Eve and time for a new look. I went up to my mom, who is a hairstylist, and asked if she would give me a pixie cut. It would be a sudden and dramatic change, and my mom voiced aloud my own internal hesitations:

“What if you don’t like it?”

“Are you sure this is what you want?”

“It’s not going to be what you expect.”

Truth be told, I didn’t know what to expect. However, I was adamant in my decision, and my mom cut my hair. I went to the bathroom while it was wet and looked at my new reflection in the mirror. It was strange; I felt exposed. I tried to style my new hair somehow by parting it and running my fingers through its short length, which I really enjoyed. I blow-dried it, did one last mirror check, and went off to my family New Year’s Eve party. My relatives thought it looked great. I thought it looked great.

Later, a relative of mine asked, “What made you want to cut your hair like this?” I got asked this question several times over from several different people. Each time, my answer was different. I would say, “New Year, new look,” “I was sick of long hair,” and “I don’t know, actually.” I didn’t mind people asking. However, I didn’t expect people to want a real reason.

Winter break was soon over, and I was pumped to show everybody my new look. Many of my friends admitted they’ve wanted to try a pixie cut, or make some other change to their look, but none of them seemed willing to really take the plunge. When I told them they should just go for it, they all had a list of reasons not to. The reasons they gave me were so common, but I have an argument against letting every single one of them hold you back if you’re considering a dramatic change. Here are a few (in no particular order):

1. “I don’t know if I can pull it off.”

This was the most common reason I heard. It makes sense to worry about this; you don’t know if you’ll like a new change, yet you’re likely stuck with it. But, according to the Internet (thanks, Internet), “pulling it off,” means to carry out actions needed to succeed at something. So, as long as you go for your change and do what you need to do, you are most definitely “pulling it off.”

2. “What will others think?”

First of all, think about who you are making a change for. Are you doing it to impress your friends? Is it to woo somebody you like? Or are you changing things up for yourself, whether it be because you’re bored, would like a confidence boost, or some other reason? If it is for yourself, do what you like. Your choices are yours and yours alone; nobody can make decisions for you. As for dealing with others, confidence is key. If you are confident, people will notice that, then see you for who you are, not just for your looks.

3. “I’ll do it later.”

Four words: Sometimes “later” becomes “never.” Every time you say you’ll do something later, that thing is not getting done when it could have. If you are determined enough, you can achieve your pursuits. Since it will happen at some point, why not now?

4. “I’ll never be brave enough to do that.”

Not with an attitude like that, you won’t. The world tries to set so many limits for you, why are you adding more for yourself? Consider this — if you constantly tell yourself you can’t, you’ll never have a reason to do anything in life. If you believe you can, like the Little Engine That Could, you will have the power to scale mountains.

So whatever you want to do, whatever changes and choices you want to make, go for it. You may be pleasantly surprised at the results.

Brittany Christensen is a left-handed artist and writer who loves anything creative: dance, art, music, movies, etc. She dreams of being a published novelist living somewhere distant with lots of rain.

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