Wouldn’t it be eye-opening to have a new and different perspective of the world that we’re living in straight from someone who’s actually walking through it right now? Brendan Meyers brings on 15-year-old Jessica McNeil. A former cheerleader, Jessica also loves to draw, paint, and edit videos. Today, she talks about the difficulty of trying to fit into a group and the focus on social media, and shares the modern teenager’s perspective of the current world.
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Life As A 15 Year Old With Jessica McNeil
A New Perspective
This is QuickTime Friday. Every single Friday, what we do is have something short and sweet unfiltered and we dive right in. Sometimes it’s a topic, sometimes I have a guest that welcomes in a very interesting story or an interesting point of view on subjects. We are brought to you by Jessica McNeil all the way from California. I met her a long time ago. I am very close friends with her entire family and I thought it’s important that we see different perspectives on the CreateU Experience. Why not bring someone that is in high school onto the show and let’s chat a little bit? What grade are you in?
I’m in tenth grade, a sophomore.
As a sophomore, I want to dive in. First of all, you’ve been a cheerleader. What are some other things that you engaged in through your childhood like middle school and in high school? What are some things that you’ve been doing?
I consistently draw and paint a lot.
You’d say you’re very artistic. Also, you edit videos.
I still sometimes do edits.
When I think of someone that’s in high school or middle school, I think of someone that is very creative. How many people around you are extremely creative as well or are they not?
I have some friends that edit, but I don’t know a lot of people that draw a lot. They edit and use the programs like After Effects and Premiere.
You’re in tenth grade. Tell us about high school. How do people act? Do you feel people are stuck in their ways? Do you feel like everyone’s always open to new things? Tell us a little bit about your experience.
High school is okay. I feel like everyone has their groups for sure. They’re setting their ways. If you try to become friends with them, it’s sometimes a little difficult.
As someone in tenth grade, what are the things that you’re thinking about on the day-to-day? Are you thinking more so about boys, “That boy is cute,” or are you thinking more along like, “What college do I want to go to?” Are you thinking, “What type of photos should I post on Instagram?” Tell me about that.
You described it perfectly. That’s my brain every single day, except for now. They’re like, “Are they staring at me? I’m not wearing something that’s wrong?”
That’s definitely something that happens when we’re younger. Because nobody cares about how you look, it’s just about themselves. If anyone’s judging you, in a sense, they’re judging themselves and they’re getting off all their stress. That’s something to keep in mind as you go through high school. When you look at your friends and what they’re doing, is it focused heavily on social media? Is that the talk around school all the time? It’s like, “Did you see this meme? Did you see this hashtag?” Is that what’s going on?
For sure, 1,000%. That’s all my friends and I talk about.
Do you care about the government at all?
We don’t talk about that unless we’re in history. My history teacher’s pretty cool.
Does he even talk about the government talks about social media?
He actually does talk about a lot of social things to get everyone’s attention.
What are your thoughts on social media? Do you think it’s good? Do you think it’s bad for your generation, 10th, 11th, 9th grade, all the kids that are around you, the young adults, the teenagers?
I don’t think it’s beneficial for anybody because in my personal experience, it is a way to compare yourself to everybody. It lowers your self-confidence and stuff, but also I’m a hypocrite because I’m on everything.
You’re also creative. I see this consistently with the younger individuals. The confidence lowers, but the creativity is inflamed. The opportunities that you guys have to post something that you enjoy, maybe you put a sentence out there or a funny meme and everyone is laughing at it. You have opportunities all the time to take your creativity to the next level. In what ways do you feel like it affects not your confidence, but everyone’s confidence?
I like to follow this girl. She’s stunning and everyone loves her, so I’ll go through her comments and be like, “I wish that was me.”
You look at these people and you think that they’re almost perfect.
Pretty much, they’re above everybody else.Social media isn’t beneficial for anybody because it makes you compare yourself to everybody. Click To Tweet
Why do you feel that way? Why do you think that?
People treat them like that. You’re inclined to feel like that.
I hate to tell you that every single person on social media that you see that’s killing it, having the best life possible, the majority of them are having a lot of struggles in their life and they’re going through a lot. They don’t express a lot of it because why express it to anybody else if everyone’s given me confirmation like, “I am good enough. I am strong enough, I am heard and all these different things.” Second of all, they’re not as rich as you may think they are. The cars that they’re driving or the cities that they’re in, they’re usually using other people’s stuff and it’s not a great life for the future for them.
Anything that you’re developing, being in high school, you want to focus on long-term. What are you going to create long-term? Editing for instance. It’s going to get you so far in life. Being someone that can create anything with your hands, any art, that can take you so far in your life. You can do interior design. You can do so many cool things. When you think of ten years from now, where could you see yourself, “What am I going to be when I’m a little bit older?”
I feel like I want to be a vet of some sort or helping animals somehow, but I genuinely don’t feel like I’m interested in that. When my dad was talking about how he went to film school, I was like, “That’s not school. That sounds like fun.” That changed my perspective about it because why would I be doing something for the rest of my life if I don’t find it?
Are you going to go to film school?
Possibly, maybe for editing or directing.
Wouldn’t you go to film school?
The film school that I want to go to is expensive and difficult to get into.
If you went to an expensive film school or less expensive film school, what’s the difference?
There isn’t none.
It’s experienced and you’re going through it. What’s the one thing that holds you back from editing all the time, producing content and taking that next step for yourself?
I don’t know. School and stuff, that gets in the way. You got to do your homework. I honestly should be trying to create as much as I can.
What holds you back from creating?
People’s opinions, the fear of it not being how I want it to be. I’m a perfectionist.
You’re not alone. Pretty much everyone around us is a perfectionist. They’re always wanting to be perfect. They want it to be right. A lot of fifteen-year-olds, they don’t believe that they can do X, Y, and Z even though they’re good at it. It’s becoming more and more of insecurities and lack of confidence. That’s only pushing you further behind and pushing you and steering you off course. You are extremely creative. I believe the generation that you’re in is extremely creative. You’re extremely creative, but you’re insecure in posting this or posting that on social media because you see what everyone else is doing. HSpeaker 1: 09:29 Right? But how do you think you become so great at something?The fear of people’s opinions can sometimes hold you back from doing what you want. Click To Tweet
It’s by practicing.
You fail. You might be bad. You’re not bad. If you saw bad, you would know if you should never edit, if you can’t sync it with music and all that stuff. The first step is believing that, “I can do this and I will do this.” Your brother says something on another show. He said you have to say five times every single day, “I can and I will.” Saying things like this will allow you to be great at whatever you want to do. Film school, what do you think about it?
Honestly, that’s definitely a consideration.
This is a success. We’re at a consideration. Before it was like, “It’s too expensive.” What other things would you like to do?
People always tell me like, “It’s not a real job.” I would love to paint or do something creative, artistically.
Do you know how much money you can make as a painter?
I know but people are just like, “That’s not a real job.”
Yes, because they think that you’re painting a house. You’re creating art. Art is so valuable and you know why? Because it’s an expression. If you have such incredible expression, imagine what you’re going to be able to do when you get older. You keep on expressing on paper and through your edits and everything. Imagine where you’re going to be in 5 or 10 years. You will never think where you’re going to be. The possibilities are endless. What’s one thing that you can tell everyone that’s reading that’s fifteen years old? Maybe something that they’re going through. What’s one piece of advice that you can give them in their life?
If they’re going through something, try to help them. If they seem like they don’t want your help, they probably are saying that because they don’t understand.
What you’re saying is no matter what that person is saying, if they’re 13, 14, 15, 16 years old, whatever age and they’re going through something, be there for them and support them and keep on to them. That’s incredible and powerful stuff. A lot of people we bypass because if you tell me like, “I’m good,” you’re generally not good. There’s stuff going on in everyone’s life and it’s not easy being a fifteen-year-old girl in a social media world with society all over the place and all these different diets, like veganism. Thanks for sharing. Honestly, I love bringing someone on like yourself that can give us deep perspective of the world.
You’re in high school and you’re doing this. There’s no fake this or that. You’re going and walking through it and it’s pretty interesting when you compare it to my generation or someone that’s 40, 50, 60, 70 years old and what they went through because it’s all similar. Certain things become a little bit suppressed and then other things become more inflamed out there and wild. Keep being creative. Keep taking these steps. I can’t wait to see you in film school kicking butt, taking it to the next level. Thanks for coming on. Where can they find you? You want people to go check out your Instagram or no?
What’s your Instagram?
Thanks for coming on and make sure you follow her because she is very artistic and she’s going to post more artistic stuff. Remember, you have the possibility to ignite your breakthrough and bring your vision to life. All you got to do is say, “I can and I will.” Take one step, then take the next. You might get knocked off course, knocked off the path. Take those baby steps and you can achieve. Trust yourself. Jessica, thanks for being here. We’ll see you next time.