Tuesday 16 February 2016

Okay, so this post is already sounding a bit too deep for me, considering I'm still 21 and only have one grey hair. I stumbled across my MySpace yesterday (along with a bunch of photos of myself when I thought wearing shocking purple tights was acceptable) and it got me thinking about the past and all that nostalgic shit. Not only is this a post about advice I'd give my 16-17 year old self (those were the wild years) but things I'd like my younger sister and all you other contoured teens to keep in mind.

1. Be your own person 

If it's a Friday night and you don't want to wear heels but all your friends are, don't. You'll be the one standing at the end of the night (literally) whilst your friends are sat on the floor or walking home barefoot and stepping on dog poop. Jokes aside, you've heard this a thousand times, but you don't always have to follow the crowd or not do something you enjoy just because it's "different" to what everyone else is doing.Want to start a Youtube channel? do it Want to start a band? go ahead. People are going to talk whether you're doing well or your life sucks. 

2. Be happy being single 

I have friends who have been in 6 year relationships and are still going strong, and I have friends who always felt they had to be attached to a guy in their teenage years because they didn't want to be alone, or because having a boyfriend was "the norm". Matter of the fact is those are the ones who look back and think "I wish I didn't spend so much time with X boyfriend and spent more time going to SLOPs on the beach with my friends and drinking WKDs" I know at 16 it feels like if you don't find someone now you never will, but I'm now 21, and still single (after a handful of unsuccessful relationships). Seriously though, use the time to have fun with your friends because in 10 years time you'll all be married and only be seeing each other once a month -weeps-

3. Enjoy school

I know GCSE's and A-Levels can seem like the most stressful time of your life, but looking back I actually miss colour-coding my notes and revising with my friends in the library whilst gossiping about all our latest drama. Once you get to university the real fun does begin, but studying and
referencing just isn't as enjoyable as playing games in Psychology or messing around in the common room. If you skip uni and go straight to work, then you have even more reason to treasure these years.

4. Spend time with your family

I know they annoy you, and you can't wait for the day you can lie in your filthy room without having to hear someone nagging you to clean it up. Truth is you don't really know how long your grandparents have left (sorry it just got really dark really quickly) so spend time with them on weekends, take them to a cafe, knit a scarf - and for your parents, don't just make them your personal maids and make time for them, you'll miss them when you're abroad and sick in bed with no one to care for you. 

5. Don't rush to grow up 

If you start with the hard stuff when you're 16, you'll run out of things to mix your vodka with by the time you're in your 20s, I'm currently on black current squash. More so, don't feel left out or embarrassed if you aren't drinking to everything when playing Never Have I Ever - you'll have plenty of time to "drink your own urine". Also your skin is probably okay as it is, put down the bloody contouring brush.  

6. Branch out of your friendship group 

You may have the best #squad on the planet, but it's nice to go out with different people and enjoy different conversations. Nicole and I would go out by ourselves on Friday's and probably make 5 different friends every night out because we'd just go and speak to whoever - no matter how "popular" or "loserish" they were. Although we probably could have benefited from not talking to a few weirdos here and there. Don't underestimate the power of online friends - making friends over twitter means you have people to fangirl over new albums with and you'll have somewhere to stay when you want to visit their cities. 

7. You have time. 

To travel, get down, party, but not to see One Direction in concert, that ship has sailed. I'd always try and fit everything into one year, although I'm glad I took the risk to go see Lana Del Rey in Madrid 2 weeks before my exams considering she still hasn't come back to Europe 4 years later. Honestly, you have your whole life to explore the world, and this is something I'm still trying to come to terms with because I'm not satisfied staying put in the same place for more than 2 months. 

8. Save money

I spent my last year of school working part time at a betting company to have some extra cash for uni, of which I saved a grand total of £0.00. Instead I spent it all on holidays and concert tickets, so at least I spent it well. It's always a good idea to start a savings account early, even if you're just putting £50 aside a month, it will go a long way when you want to do something spontaneous. 

9. Learn to be independent

Know how to use the washing machine, take trips by yourself, and if you're left home alone for two weeks (throw as many house parties as you can) make sure you know how to cook proper meals and not live off Weight Watchers chicken korma ready meals - it will all go a long way when you're thrown into the adult world. 

10. Appreciate the power of "No" and your opinion is what matters most 

This still stands today, everyone thinks they know what's best for you, but the truth is only you do. Don't do everything your teachers, friends, family, partners or society tells you to do, because it's only going to affect your future and nobody else's. There was definitely some criticism surrounding my choice to study Events Management at University with comments like "you're too smart to be a party planner" - (FYI IT'S A LOT MORE THAN THAT) to think I once wanted to be a dentist. Luckily my parents have always been very supportive of my choices in life. I also made a few decisions that not everyone was pleased about, but looking back I still would have done the same thing as it's got me to where I am now. Oh and most importantly, don't do drugs kids. 

What would you go back and tell your teenage self if you could?


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