“Sweet 15” is a series of posts written by past participants of the Distinguished Young Women/Junior Miss program reflecting on their 15-year-old selves. Get ready for some wise, witty and seasoned advice from women of all ages and backgrounds. They have gained perspective on their teenage years from diverse life experiences and will share with you through this fun new series!
By Jesika Harmon
America’s Junior Miss 2000
I just turned 30 this year. Upon finding my first grey hair I looked at myself in the mirror and thought, “Gee, I’m not THAT old am I?” So maybe being 30 is not THAT old, but compared to where I was when I was fifteen, I can say I have learned a thing or two.
Picturing my crush coming down the hall, walking towards me, if only someone would have whispered, “Smile and say hi…” Or when I looked at my homework and before I decided to put it off someone would have said, “Don’t procrastinate, cause the bad habit only carries on into college and beyond if you don’t kick it now!” Or when as a freshman I made the soccer team with very little soccer experience, and after a season of playing only a little chose to take a break in the off season someone would have said, “You’ll be happier next season if you take the time to practice more now…” And upon getting the assigned book in my English class that was over 300 pages, if someone would have said, “You just might like it so READ IT!”
And then I realize, oh wait, my parents DID tell me those things! Maybe they weren’t there to whisper into my ear right in the moment, but they were there. So honestly, even knowing that any teenager reading this might tune out completely just by reading the words, parent and listen in the same paragraph, I have to admit I wish I would have listened more to my parents! And while learning from your own mistakes works, I learned later in life, that it is WAY easier to learn from someone else’s mistakes if you can. You save yourself a lot of pain that way! And though it may be hard to believe because some parents seem far removed from “now day” they HAVE been where we are. So to my 15 year old Jesika I say, they really do know what they are talking about!
Jesika Henderson Harmon is originally from St. George, Utah. She graduated with honors from Brigham Young University with a degree is English and Dance. She currently resides in Mesa, Arizona with her most amazing husband, Robbie, and is mother to the most wonderful three children, Bree (5), Gabe (3) and McKay (1). Besides spending her time with them, she volunteers as the Director of the Distinguished Young Women of Arizona State Program, teaches dance, and works with the youth in her church. She loves to dance, run, swim, hike, do yard work, and cook healthy food. Jesika was named America’s Junior Miss 2000 following the completion of the 43rd America’s Junior Miss National Finals, now known as Distinguished Young Women.