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A Comprehensive Guide to the Lessons My Mom Taught Me

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Northeastern chapter.

As Women’s History Month drew to a close, I felt compelled to acknowledge a woman who has been a constant source of inspiration for me throughout my life. My mother has always been not only my best friend but also a pillar of support whenever I have needed it. While we officially celebrated women’s achievements last month, I found myself continuously celebrating my mother’s influence, grateful to have been guided by such a resilient and dedicated woman. In tribute to her, I would like to share seven lessons she felt could benefit anyone.

  1. “When you are young, be selfish, think about yourself, about your future, choose you, put yourself first in any romantic relationship.” 

Being selfish does not always naturally seem like the best option. We are taught it is better to be selfless than selfish, but that is not necessarily always the case. Prioritizing oneself, particularly in romantic relationships, underscores the importance of personal growth. You can develop a strong sense of identity and independence by advocating for self-focus and putting your needs first. This approach fosters the development of healthy boundaries and empowers you to make decisions that align with your aspirations and values, outcomes that do not typically come to mind when we hear the word “selfish.”

  1. “Not to be cliche, but you are stronger and braver than you think.” 

My mother has constantly reminded me of my strength and bravery. Even if one does not recognize these traits within themself, there will always be an individual who recognizes and admires them. It is essential to remind yourself that you are stronger and braver than you believe yourself to be because this mindset promotes a sense of empowerment when navigating particular challenges. This fresh perception will lead to a shift in perspective, which, I can attest, makes you feel more confident when facing things you may be scared of. 

  1. “Time really does fly. Don’t waste it.” 

This one speaks for itself. Time is always moving; things are always happening. My mother always told me not to overly focus on one thing because I might miss all of the other things happening around me. She also suggests it is essential to take risks — you are given this life, and you should take advantage of it. Rather than living in fear of taking the risk, live in fear of what you may miss if you don’t. 

  1. “People will prove themselves to you not with their words but always with their actions.” 

One of the things I always heard growing up was, “actions speak louder than words.” It is probably one of the most important lessons I learned, as it is the key to navigating relationships. Whether it is friendships, romantic relationships or even family relationships, you need to remember that what someone says is not enough. What someone does demonstrates an individual’s integrity, accountability and authenticity. Actions will ultimately display the character and intentions of an individual. 

  1. “Very few things in life are a big deal; do not sweat the small stuff, and most of what happens is the ‘small stuff.’”

As a very anxious person, I always stress out about things. Yet, whenever my mother tells me this, it reminds me that things could be way worse than they are. It is a great way to put things into perspective and feel gratitude. Things that seem so big and overwhelming are not always that sigificant in the grand scheme.

  1. “Gratitude is the most powerful mindset anyone can have. If you come from a place of gratitude, everything else will fall into place.” 

This overlaps with the previous point. Gratitude truly is the most powerful mindset anyone can have. When you are grateful for what is in front of you, you can better acknowledge and appreciate the abundance in your life, regardless of the circumstances. Embracing gratitude as a mindset empowers individuals to find joy and contentment in the present rather than fixating on what is missing or lacking. For me, it makes me feel a sense of fulfillment and abundance that I do not acknowledge when instead thinking about what I do not have.

  1. “People will only treat you the way you allow them to.” 

This is also one of the biggest lessons my mother reiterated to me growing up. You need to set boundaries in order to ensure that people will respect you in the way you deserve. This way of thinking allows you to take control of your relationships and enable you to advocate for yourself. I know I have had to set boundaries to receive the respect I deserve because those individuals could have taken advantage of me if I had not. Everyone needs to establish these means by which they are respected, and in doing so, the relationship between the two parties will be better in the long run. 

Overall, my mother has made sure to engrave various lessons I can use and apply throughout my life. The ones mentioned are only a glimpse of what she has taught me, and they show my mom’s dedication to ensuring my success. The person I am today is because of her. Her unconditional love and endless knowledge have shaped me into the woman I am today, and it is something I can never fully repay her for. This Women’s History Month, and for all to come, I will honor a remarkable woman who has served as my ultimate role model. My mother epitomizes selflessness and strength, embodying everything I aspire to be and more.

Paola Ovies

Northeastern '27

Paola Ovies is a first-year political science and economics major with a concentration in law and legal studies. She decided to pursue political science when she discovered her passion for all things law-related. She felt it would be only right to pair it with economics following her strong interest in corporate/business law. Apart from school, Paola enjoys taking trips to Trader Joes and shopping around the city. Since she grew up in Miami and then Cape Cod, she loves to watch sunsets any chance she gets. She also loves anything fashion-related, whether it means planning outfits or discussing current trends. Paola also loves to travel any chance she gets, and since Spanish is her first language, she especially loves Madrid.