This is a post I wrote a while back but I feel as though it is still incredibly accurate. The Christmas I was sixteen, I got a book from my Dad called ‘Letters to My Sixteen Year Old Self”. In it were tips and pieces of advice from singers, actors, journalists, writers and others for their teenage selves.
Reading through it, it’s quick to notice that the people we consider to be in the public eye were once teenagers struggling through the same problems that you did, to know that some of the most successful people out there also felt a bit unattractive, inadequate, stressed out or unpopular at times. At the time, it was a sobering and reassuring thought.
Now that I’m twenty-two, and have thankfully passed through that awkward phase of my life, or so I think, I’ve decided to do something similar, twenty pieces of advice for my sixteen year old self.
- Don’t stress too much about class tests. No one comes looking for your result when you’re 22. If they do, they’re a bit deranged and avoid if possible.
- Not getting exactly what you want when you go to college is not the end of the world. You will not get the university course you want. And you will cry but then you’ll be okay with it. You’ll be happy you never got it.
- Please please please put the cakey foundation away!
- The boys you hang out with may be the first friends of the opposite sex you have ever had but they won’t be the last.
- Keep writing. Okay so, some of your stuff is terrible but some of it is pretty good (let’s not get cocky about it)
- Read some more! Books can help you prepare for life. You never know when you may be fighting other kids in an arena a hundred years from now (probably not likely to happen but really, you can learn a lot about people from the characters you read).
- Don’t you dare put yourself down to the point of no confidence just because you think that everyone else knows what they are doing but you. Let me tell you, no one has their life one hundred percent together. No one has all the knowledge to get them through life without mistakes. We are all in the same small, cardboard boat that feels like it’s sinking. Learn from other people and they will learn from you
- Spend more time with your family.
- Try not to have sleepless nights about not achieving your goals. You’re still only sixteen and still in school. You have plenty of chances in college to do that!
- Let’s face it, you’re a bit of an accessory junkie. There’s nothing that fancy about jewellery from Penney’s hanging from every possible limb. Less is more.
- Don’t take life so seriously. You want to be looking back on this period of life and laughing, not lamenting over why you didn’t take more chances.
- Cherish the holidays you go on. You’ve been to some of your favourite places in the world with the people who love you. Enjoy them. At twenty, there’s no such thing as a free holiday!
- Eat a bit healthier. You love chocolate but chocolate doesn’t love you. But gorging at Christmas is totally fine!
- Worry less about what people think. You’re only a fleeting thought in their infinite and busy minds. People are too concerned with themselves to pay any great attention to you. No one is going to spend hours sitting at home mulling over how your hair was not quite right.
- Learn how to drive! The world will seem so much more accessible.
- Forget about cliques. By the time you’re an adult, there is no such thing as the ‘popular group’. Everyone is an individual, no one is seen as less than the other. Relish it.
- Don’t believe everything you think! Thoughts are not facts. Laugh at the crazy ones a bit more.
- Explore your style because it will change every few months! You will find that what you once thought was bland, was beautiful all along.
- Keep your innocence about your weight. It is so unique for your age
- Things will get better. They always get better.
Have you got any advice for your sixteen year old self?