Dear 16-year-old self,
It may have only been 3 years ago, but there’s a lot I’ve learnt. I’m not exactly sure if where I am now is what you’ll have expected or not. Either way, you’ve got a lot to look forward to and a fair bit of uninvited sh*t coming your way, to put it simply. So I thought I’d give you a few bits of advice, from one me to another.
Speak up for what you believe in and don’t let people change your own views or how you view yourself. Being yourself is always enough, and anyone who makes you feel otherwise is not worth your time – friends who make you doubt yourself are not your friends.
Remember: grades aren’t everything
While you will get some damn good results, they do not define who you are as person. They do not show one ounce of your character; they do not say that your friends can count on you for anything, or that you are any less of a hardworking, conscientious person. So if they aren’t what you want them to be, do not be disappointed. There are many ways of being smart.
It’s OK to drift
I know it’s scary to not know what you want to do, but remember that everything happens for a reason. If it is meant to be, it will be. You have a habit of learning things the hard way, but you will always come out the other side as a better person and everything will fall into place. The world is a scary place… but it’s not as scary as you think it might be.
People will let you down
Even the people most important to you in your life will let you down. It’s okay to be mad, it’s okay to be sad, it’s okay to be disappointed. But take pride in the fact that you are not the friend they feel as though they can’t talk to out of fear of making you annoyed or angry. Be upset but be forgiving – it takes time, but the result is worth it because, at the end of the day, you can’t live without those people.
…and on a lighter note
Enjoy the music; it doesn’t get better than the 2000s. Don’t buy so much make up – you won’t use it all. You’ll cry at a lot more things and, knowing you (us?), that will probably never change. Gavin and Stacey still hasn’t made a comeback, but there is a Mamma Mia 2 coming out, so every cloud.
But most importantly, be YOU, the best version of YOU, and stay true to YOU, even in the face of criticism. Because not everyone will support you, and that is just fine.
All the love,
“You gain strength, courage and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You must to do the things you think you cannot do.” – Eleanor Roosevelt
Written by Megan Horn