24 things I’d tell my 14-year-old self.
On the 6th March, I turned 24. Which is a wild age to type, as I still feel about 19. 24 makes me feel very much like I’m cosily in my 20s and, somehow, ten years on from my early teens.
- Leave your eyebrows alone. Seriously. Step away from the nail scissors. You won’t believe this now, but in a few years people will be applying products to their eyebrows to make them fuller not thinner, and you’ll miss these ‘slugs’.
- Listen to your doctor about moisturiser. I know you’re skin is super oily anyway, and idea of adding more liquid to it is horrendous, but your GP is a skin specialist and knows what he’s talking about.
- Don’t eat caramel when you have your braces on. You will already have to spend tons of time at the dentist, don’t force yourself to be there more. Plus brace glue tastes grim.
- Don’t be disappointed when things don’t go exactly the way you planned. From the age of 13 you will have a carefully planned forward view of your life, and things won’t go exactly the way you wanted. But I promise it’ll all be worth it.
- You will find a boy who likes you. More than one. Stop worrying so much about none of the boys you know ‘liking’ you, when you know deep down you don’t really care for them. Good(ish) things come for those who wait.
- Don’t worry about being cool. There’s nothing wrong with reading the Brontes and then some chicklit, or blasting Taylor Swift. People who judge people on the things they enjoy are boring
- Likewise, never be afraid to be passionate about the things you love. Theatre, literature, dance, fashion. These things don’t stop you being able to have opinions about politics or the Big Issues; they make you a rounded person, and never feel you need to hide this for fear that people will judge you.
- Wear the bright colour. Or short skirt. Or lipstick. You can wear all these clothes you look longingly at before buying another pair of jeans. No one will judge you.
- You are not too fat to wear shorts. Seriously.
- Try to worry less. I know telling you to stop worrying completely is daft, because that will never happen. But try and relax more; you’ll do fine in the exam/the trip out with you friends will be fine/things really will be okay.
- Be honest about how you feel. Tell your friends when they’ve upset you. Tell the people you date how you feel about them. Tell people when you’re not okay.
- There will be a day when you can speak in front of people and not want to curl up in a ball. You will be in a debate society where you’ll be in the final of a competition. You will get a job where presenting is at least a monthly occurrence.
- The people you’re best friends with now won’t always be your best friends. In some cases, you’ll lose touch with them completely. And whilst that will hurt (horribly), you will find others; and all of them will teach you so much.
- Trust yourself. There will be a point soon when you change your mind about your best laid plans, and you will face a lot of confusion from people around you for this decision. But stick to it; it will send you to a wonderful university where you will meet great people, study a subject you love and set you on a path to find the career that might just be your thing.
- Step away from the Dream Matte Mousse. I know everyone is wearing it, but it does not suit your skin tone, and draws more attention to your skin. Likewise, stealing Mum’s No.7 tinted moisturiser.
- MySpace will stop being a thing soon. This is a devastating blow to the hours you’ve spent on the HTML/profile song choice. You will never stop missing those MySpace bulletin quizzes. But maybe stop being so open in your blog posts, people will misunderstand them (sadly).
- Your parents have your best interests at heart. They might drive you completely crazy, but they really only care about you. Maybe give them a bit of a break.
- The ending of Gossip Girl will be very disappointing.
- Be a little kinder than you have to. To be fair, you do already try hard to be good to people, but keep this up. There is nothing wrong with being kind, and people will always remember you for this.
- Don’t stop writing. In your diary, in various blogs, in word documents.
- You will never get better at the bleep test. Sorry. Fortunately, though, your PE teachers will stop caring about lessons so much when you hit GCSE years, and you’ll be able to spend your lessons ‘running’ around the field.
- You will never be able to drink tequila.
- Never stop standing up for what you believe in. Your opinions matter, and don’t let anyone make you feel like you don’t.
- The best is yet to come. Things are going to be a bit difficult for a few years, but I promise, there are so many exciting things to come that I really don’t want to spoil for you, that will make all your hard work so very worth it.