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Youth Empowerment

Overcoming adversity and pursuing your dreams – Q&A with Lina Lecompte

Photo credit: Noah Asanias

Actress and content creator Lina Lecompte shares life lessons with advice on pursuing goals and managing stress. Lina has starred in Nickelodeon’s Monster High and Lionsgate’s feature film Bullet Proof.

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Are there any important life lessons that you wish you had known when you were younger? 

This is probably an incredibly cliché answer, but I think that it’s cliché for a reason, and that is to stop caring so much about what other people think of you. I think when I was younger, I gave other people way more power over my actions than I should have. I remember it took me forever to sign up for an acting class because I was afraid that everyone would think I was an awful actor. I wasted time that could have been spent learning and growing and becoming a better actor because I was so concerned with how other people would perceive me.

Realistically, no one even cares that much. Most people are not thinking the negative things we worry about them thinking. And if for some reason, they are, then that says more about them than it does about you. It should not stop you from living authentically as yourself, and from doing what it is that you want to do. However, I do want to say that I still struggle with this sometimes.   I think it’s hard to completely stop caring about what other people think of us. But it’s important to at least be trying to let that stuff go, and as I’ve grown older, I think I’ve gotten better at it. Especially on social media – I think when I received my first mean comment on YouTube when I was a teenager, I really let it get to me. But now, for the most part, I can let that stuff go. I do want to clarify that this doesn’t mean to stop caring about everything other people think of us. I think constructive criticism, good advice, and even the positive things people are pointing out can be helpful and should not be dismissed. But I hope you understand the point that I’m trying to make here. Let yourself be driven by your own internal motivations and not by external validation. I wish I’d known this when I was younger.   

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Can you tell us about your experience moving from Colombia to Canada?

Moving from Colombia to Canada is one of the hardest things I’ve ever done. I think nothing could have prepared me for how tough it would be to leave my home, my family and friends, my school, my way of living, and so many aspects of my culture and identity behind.

I was 10 years old, and I barely spoke English which made it really hard to adapt. I’d gone to a school in Colombia where some classes were taught in English, and I thought I’d be somewhat okay when I got here, but that was not the case. It felt like people were speaking so quickly and I could not keep up to understand. I was also so self-conscious about my accent, and many kids made fun of it. But I think one of the toughest things for me was watching my parents struggle – watching them be discriminated against, struggling with the language, missing their culture, dealing with financial difficulties, and so on. I admire them for not giving up and going through the difficult times to get us through to the other side. With a lot of perseverance, we made it work, and it all paid off.

I’m really grateful to be here and to have so many incredible opportunities, and I owe it all to my courageous parents who took a giant leap of faith. I think in many ways, that experience taught me valuable lessons that I apply to pursue my passions and my goals.

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Do you have any advice for youth wanting to develop and pursue their passions and goals?

My advice to youth wanting to develop and pursue their passions and goals would be to really go for it, to take that leap of faith even if it feels a bit daunting. To understand that it will likely come with hardship, but perseverance is everything.

You have to learn to be okay with failure and rejection, and to understand that ultimately, it’s actually a part of success. It only helps you learn and grow.

You have to put in hard work and discipline, and trust that it will pay off in the future, even if in the moment it does not feel that way. I recommend breaking your goals down into smaller steps, and step by step, you’ll be closer and closer to achieving them. You owe it to yourself to at least try and give it your all. At the end of the day, if you change your mind, that’s okay, you can always change paths, but then you won’t be left wondering if you should have just gone for it. 

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As a young content creator and actress, do you have any tips on managing stress and ensuring your mental health remains a priority?

I think we’ve all heard the familiar list of things to do to reduce stress and improve mental health – work out, get good sleep, journal, spend time outside, spend time with friends and family, engage in activities that bring you joy, it goes on. I can confirm that these things do help – ground-breaking, I know.

I can also confirm that all of this is easier said than done. It often comes down to discipline and convincing myself to do things that I know are beneficial for me in the long run. Sometimes, I have absolutely no desire to exercise or to go for a walk outside, or whatever it is that I know will be good for me. But after I’ve done so, 99% of the time, I feel better. I never regret doing the beneficial thing, and the more I do it, the easier it becomes, the more I make a habit of it.

In my opinion, self-discipline is one of the greatest forms of self-care and self-love. One tool that has really been helpful with that is my habit tracker. I first learnt about habit tracking from the bullet journaling side of YouTube, but really got into it after reading Atomic Habits by James Clear a few years ago. Essentially, I track simple habits every day such as exercising, stretching, reading, journaling, etc. If I did the habit that day, I can check it off – it’s almost like a little game. This really seems to work for my brain, helps build discipline, and pushes me to prioritize things that I know are good for me. I recommend trying it out. I personally use my bullet journal for habit tracking, but if you are more of a digital person, there are apps out there that do the same thing.

I also have to mention the importance of surrounding yourself with good people and nurturing those relationships. Human connection is so meaningful, it makes life special, and we should treat it that way. At the end of the day, different things work for different people, and as time goes on you will learn what works best for you. These are just some of the ways I personally manage stress and prioritize my mental health. And remember, there’s no shame in asking for help if you need it.  

Check out Lina Lecompte at

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