I have spent a decade and nine years on this earth. What exactly have I achieved?
I have met a few people that find it hard to believe that I am only nineteen, they always say that I speak older than my age. I guess you could say that’s the first thing I have achieved; a higher level of understanding and thinking.
I have also met people who are older than me that do not take me seriously just because of my age. They do not even take the time out to listen to me or engage in conversations with me because they have already made their mind up that I cannot relate to what they can relate to. But I do not budge because it’s their loss.
In no significant order, I will go on to the next thing that I have achieved. This next achievement is one that I never thought I would achieve. I got a slot on the Dean’s List! When I was in high school, I was not the smartest student but it is really funny how things turned out. This is why I tell people not to give up on anything they have their mind on, because everything will come together in the end. Hard work always pays off!
Since we are on the topic of education, another achievement I have acquired are two honorable mentions. Not one, TWO! Can you imagine, because it is still a surprise to me? I was just very thankful that I got recognized, and I still am because these are the little things that make me happy and my family members proud of me.
Did you know I was an athlete in high school? If you didn’t, well you know now. During my athletic career in high school, I won an award for ‘Queen of the track’. I guess I was that good, lol. No but seriously, running was the one thing that made me really happy. There was this annual competition that took place in Olasore International School, in Nigeria, where different secondary schools would come together to compete in different track and field events and you know Atlantic Hall (my secondary school) always took first place! Honestly, I miss those days. If I was asked to go back on the track, I would not think twice about saying yes!
I think I started getting noticed from running track. Anytime we had invitational relays, people would always (not always) ask, “you’re Madeline right?”. It felt really good to be noticed for something like that because it was, and still is, something that I love doing, but I still was not a hundred percent satisfied with myself at that point because my main point of success was supposed to be in my education. Fast forward to university and I am being recognized in terms of my academics.
I use my educational journey to help those who were like me in high school. I think in most of the ‘Talk Time’s‘ on my Youtube channel (Madeline’s Avenue), I would mention how I went from not being academically sound to being on the Dean’s List. That is not the only thing I talk about, but the thing is that whatever I talk about, I do it boldly and I stand by what I say and a lot of people are afraid to do that, trust me. So sometimes, I get messages from people, saying that they love how bold I am and I inspire them to be better. When I get messages like that, it warms my heart because I have barely gone anywhere in life but people look up to me. I am truly blessed because if I can inspire people at such a young age, then what would I be doing in my twenties, or my thirties! So I see this as an achievement, being an inspiration to people.
While we’re on the topic of inspiration, I’d like to talk about the means that I use to inspire people. My Youtube Channel. I started Madeline’s Avenue (my youtube channel) in August 2016 and I did not know what I was going to do on my channel, I was very clueless. But as time wen’t on, I figured it out and I am very happy that I started my channel. To be honest, to start a channel is very easy, but to be consistent is very hard, especially when you are not getting the amount of support you need. Although I am not happy about where I am now with my channel, I am happy about the amount of impact it has made in some people’s lives. So starting my youtube channel is definitely an achievement.
Apart from starting my youtube channel, another thing that I am really happy I achieved is starting my own blog! It is really difficult to run a blog because I am a full-time student and I need to be consistent with the content I create. I almost gave up at a point but I am really happy I did not. This is something I always say to myself, “If it was easy, everyone would do it!” I am always up for a challenge, hence why I keep on pushing myself to be better each day.
Now you know that I like to push myself beyond my “limits”, I created a game! Like dude, come on, a game! For those of you who do not know, I am majoring in Computer Science. Last semester, our main project for the class was to create a game. Not only did I create this game, but I also got to present it at the research and internship symposium.
Up till this day, I still get goosebumps!
Enough about education for a minute, let’s look at other things asides that. I am the point in my life where I can say that I have gained independence; I got a job, I pay some of my bills, I travel by myself, I make food for myself and all that good stuff! I honestly am proud of how far I have come in just nineteen years. Gaining your independence is not easy because all the responsibilities are now on you.
Although I love my parents very much and I know that they are supposed to take care of me, I find it very hard to ask them for things because I believe that there should be a point whereby I stop asking them for things and start depending on myself. I did not think that point would come as soon as this but I am very happy I am getting mature at a young age.
For those of you who follow me on snapchat (madeline_ben), you know that I go to the gym almost everyday. This is a lifestyle I have been working towards for a very long time. To achieve a healthy lifestyle is very difficult but the only way you can do it is if you start. I am very happy that I started and even more proud of how far I have come. A lot of people think that exercising has to do with changing how your body looks but it, in fact, helps you feel good mentally and I am happy that I have achieved this.
Let’s slide back to athletics for a moment. It is already clear that I would go back on the track if I had the opportunity to and the reason for this is the feeling I got from it. Apart from the awards I have received, the numerous gold, silver, and bronze medals received from competitions in my high school, and the competitions I have participated in, other than the ones held in my school, I have also participated in athletic competitions outside of the country and that is a huge achievement for me! Although I did not get gold, I was more proud of myself for being apart of such an experience! Olympics 2020 maybe? lol
Although I have not been blogging for the longest time (only two years), I feel like I have achieved a lot in such a small time like having deals with some clothing brands, collaborating with other creatives, and that leads me to two other things I have achieved.
If you have not heard of Zoba Martin, you’re about to hear of her now. Zoba Martin is a Nigerian Fashion Designer that is based in Toronto. Her designs are phenomenal and I was really honored to do a bridal shoot for her. This achievement is something I have been looking forward to, modeling for different clothing brands. This is the reason why I started my blog in the first place, to be able to wear clothing pieces from different clothing brands, take pictures like a model and post about them. Maybe I will get a deal from a modeling company soon?
Fashion Week in Toronto is an experience you do not want to miss! From student designer competitions to High Fashion Designer Showcases and more! I am really happy to have achieved walking on a red carpet and sitting front row at fashion week before turning 20! Hopefully I will start walking on the runway before 25.
I got featured on a website guys!!! Amara Iheji is a blogger who searches for new creatives everyday and I got featured under the ‘Young Talented Africans‘ column on her blog (read here). I was very honored when she reached out to me because it only shows that I am being noticed and all my hard work is not in vain.
I wrote an article! Disclaimer: I do not like writing or reading, only when I am passionate about the subject, so when I was asked to write an article, on anything I am passionate about, I was very happy. I wrote an article for MyNesi.net. It’s the little things like this that I’m grateful for because it goes to show that bigger things are coming.
What a lot of you don’t know is that I am a business woman but we’ll save this for another day! This business venture is something I have been working on since I was 17. It is still in the works but I’m very happy that I have started working on this and I cannot wait to share it with you all!
Number eighteen on my list is something that I dreamed of but never thought I would achieve. I was always that kid that was failing in class (like I have mentioned a few times), but I was also that kid who thought of the day I would impress my parents so that they would know that all the investments they made were not in vain. Lo and behold the day came when I received an email regarding an academic scholarship. I honestly was in shock but not surprised because after sixteen years, I was regarded as someone who was academically sound.
Eighteen achievements down, one more to go! This last achievement is what made the other eighteen possible. My relationship with God has grown stronger over the years and it is only because of Him that I was able to achieve all these things.
I want to leave you all with this: God’s time is the best. Work hard and let Him do His part.
19 years down, here’s to 19 and more! 🥂
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