They say that hindsight is 20/20. I’m not going to sit here and pretend that in my mere twenty three years I have the secret to life figured out, but I certainly have learned a hell of a lot between my teen years and now. A surprising revelation, considering that back then I, along with every other teen, thought I knew it all.
Our teen years are some of both the best and the worst developmental times we experience as humans. We survive high school, our first loves, and acne. I remember wishing I had someone who really understood me and could give me advice. Looking back, I was probably being somewhat of an overzealous drama queen, but if by some magical chance I could go back in time and speak to my younger self, here’s five things I’d tell her.
- Being interested in different things to your friends is okay.
You are going to be introduced to the world of punk and hardcore music and it is going to absolutely engulf you. Your friends will find it frightening and for the most part won’t be willing to attend live music gigs with you, but you’ll find other people to go with and they’ll end up being some of the best friends you’ve ever had.
- Your parents actually do know best.
I know it seems like mum and dad are just out to get you and stop you from doing whatever you want (how dare they look out for you!), but they genuinely do have your best interests at heart. This applies to almost all things- friends, boys, parties, and piercings. While you’re growing older, so are they. They’re the only ones who will always have your back no matter what, so don’t forget to let them know you love them.
- It does not matter that you don’t have a boyfriend.
It sucks that you’re the only one in your friendship group who doesn’t get a bunch of roses sent to school on Valentine’s Day, but it 100% does not matter. You have bigger things to focus on, like your education. Boys may seem important now, but the things you accomplish on your own will give you a feeling of satisfaction and worth that no flowers can compare to.
- Stay focused and work really, really hard.
School and education can sometimes take a backseat to socialising and teachers can get really annoying when they’re chasing you up for assignments, but you are going to get a rude awakening once you’re out in the real world. University professors and magazine editors will not hunt you down for your latest paper. Find your self motivation and never lose sight of your goals. You’ll begin to accomplish things you never thought possible one by one and it’ll be the best feeling you’ve ever known.
- You will be okay.
That assignment you’re stressing about will be handed up on time. Keep working at it, you’ll actually get a really good grade. That boy you spend your nights crying over will eventually no longer have that affect on you. In the long run you two actually end up being quite good friends, and in the process of it all you learn not to compromise your worth for people who can’t recognise it. Your future holds so many amazing things, as long as you’re willing to go out there and grab them. Nobody is going to hand your dream life to you, so work hard for it. It’ll come.
To my dear, younger self: always stay motivated. It’s okay to break down and sometimes you’ll feel like giving up, but never lose sight of your dreams and goals. Stay busy building your own kingdom instead of searching for a king, he’ll come along eventually. Most of all, don’t forget to let your loved ones know how appreciative you are of their support and kindness. Without it, you wouldn’t be half the woman you are going to grow up to be.