Until they invent time travel there’s no way I can go back and slap my younger self for any bad decisions I made. I can write a letter to my future self a la Kim Kardashian, but there’s no guarantee that I’ll actually look at it in a few years time, in fact I can guarantee that it’ll absolutely get lost in a pile of paper or a stack of emails. I’ve been thinking hard lately about all the advice I’d give my younger self, I think I’d be a cool older sister figure that would grab my younger self by the shoulders and shake, firmly. So here’s all the advice I’d give to my younger self based on where I am today.
#1 Savour it
You may think that school is boring and prefer faking sick to get days off, but actually once it’s over you’re going to miss hanging out with your friends and all the drama and gossip that comes with it. Balance your learning with fun and you’ll have memories to reflect on when you become old and bitter, and don’t forget to keep drawing stupid diagrams with your best friend and getting in trouble for laughing.
#2 Adults don’t always know best
They’re just trying to help, so listen to their advice and be courteous but don’t spend days fretting over it. Adults know what worked for them, they want the best for you and they don’t want you to screw up, and a lot of the time the things you’re doing (eating McDonald’s every Wednesday) look irresponsible. They want to guide you, but they don’t know it all. You’ll find your own path if you work hard enough and have the dedication to do it.
#3 Tidy your room!
Man, you get sick of hearing those words. But really, can you please tidy your room? You don’t need to throw your clothes on the floor when you’re done with them, just put them back in the wardrobe you savage. If you keep on top of it you won’t have to feel embarrassed when people come over and the next time you tidy up it wont take 1 hour or more.
#4 Stop changing your hair
You were so edgy with your black and pink hair, then so cool with your brown hair extensions, every week you rock up with a different hair colour and people have started calling you ‘that weirdo with five colours in her hair’ as a joke. It can look good if pulled off well, and trust me, pastel hair colour is on trend in the future, but doing it over the sink every week just doesn’t look cool, and while we’re here, stop cutting your fringe too.
#5 Do some chores
You’ve got away with doing nothing so far, but maybe you should start doing things not because you’ve been asked but because you want to. In future, you’ll be the master of your own chores, which sucks way more than helping out around the house every so often, pick something you don’t mind doing and go into it wholeheartedly.
#6 Stay weird
You’re always going to be weird and funny, it’s the one thing people notice about you. Tell people that you have Giant African Land Snails as pets and don’t apologise for enjoying dipping chips into your chocolate trifle, you’re a born comedian, just go with it.
#7 Don’t ever wear those fishnet tights again.
No wonder everybody in the supermarket stared at you. Those fishnets, although super cool in the mirror, actually look really weird on you and look even worse when modelled in the frozen food aisle of Asda. I think it was probably a bad choice to wear them, but hey, what do I know about fashion?
#8 Keep the spark alive
Keep reading and writing and stop second guessing yourself, you don’t know what your career will be yet but as long as you enjoy it why the hell not. While I’m on the subject of sparks, stop using Sparknotes at school, your teachers aren’t stupid, they can tell you plagiarised.
#9 Embrace those dates
Did you really record a video of yourself crying for an ex boyfriend? Did you really do that? Don’t do that. It may seem like your one true love has ditched you right now, but actually it’s not true. Stop wasting so much time thinking about boys and instead do something fun!
#10 Thank those that inspire you
There are so many people you never get a chance to thank, so start with the teachers that helped put you on the right path. I know you feel angry and annoyed at people around you a lot of the time, that’s normal, but realise that there are people all around you who want you to do well. Thank them for their efforts to put up with you, even when you’re being an ass.
#11 Be kinder to yourself
You struggle with this one well into the future, but if you start being kind to yourself now maybe you won’t end up self-critical and with low self-esteem. You look great, you don’t know what I’d give to have my 16 year old body again, so don’t worry. Look at yourself in the mirror and be kinder, you might find it improves your outlook on others too if you stop hating yourself so much. It’s normal for girls to pull themselves apart, but embrace what makes you unique, nobody cares whether you have a flabby stomach or cellulite on your bum. Seriously, nobody cares, and you only get more as you get older anyway!
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