Unlike most eighteen-year-olds, Malala Yousafzai still has two more years of schooling to complete before heading to college. But then again, Yousafzai has always stood out from her contemporaries. Her activism began at age eleven, when she wrote a blog for the BBC on the tribulations of being a young girl wanting an education in northern Pakistan. After being almost fatally shot by the Taliban while on her way home from school in 2012, Yousafzai was catapulted to global fame and became a leading advocate for human rights and girls’ education around the world.
In 2013, her sixteenth birthday was spent giving a rousing speech at the United Nations—her first public speech since the attack—and from then, July 12 was officially declared Malala Day. A few months later, her memoir, I Am Malala, would go on to become an international best seller. In 2014, at the age of seventeen, she would become the youngest-ever Nobel Peace Prize Laureate.
Having achieved so much at such a young age might have anyone else resting on their laurels, but of course, this birthday marks only the beginning of a new phase in Yousafzai’s life. She already has her eye on Oxford University for her continued education, and she has no plans of stopping her activism, either. At a speech at the Oslo Summit on Education for Development a few days before her eighteenth birthday, Malala spoke about what it means for her to become an adult. “There is something that I have learnt from being a child that I will not leave behind and I will take on into this new life of adulthood. And that is to dream: In fact, to dream big, to aim higher, without limit.”
Malala Yousafzai inspires us at The Life Chest to persevere and work hard to follow our dreams. She teaches us to not let anything stop us or come in our way from accomplishing our dreams and hopes for ourselves. Malala’s story is a great reminder of never giving up and having the sky as your limit for your dreams.