I live my life with the belief that everything happens for a reason. I believe in destiny and karma. I know I’ve been through shit times in my life but I can’t really say I regret them because it made me who I am today. We all look back on life and wish we could do some things differently; it’s only human. No matter how zen you are about fate, there will still be at least one thing that makes you cringe enough to wish it never happened – like that time you cut your own fringe for example.
If I could go back in time and give my 16-year-old self some advice, here’s what I’d say (not that my 16 year old self would listen).
Don’t choose your college course based on what your mate chooses
You might not like school very much and you might be convinced that you’re going to fail your exams but I can guarantee that if you choose your college course based on what your mate chooses because she’s going to fail her exams too, you’ll hate college just as much as school. If you put the graft in with revision and do actually knuckle down NOW instead of reading this article eyes emoji* and getting ahead of yourself with prom plans, then at least if you do fail then you can hand on heart say to your Mum and Dad that you did try your best.
Knowing the perfect Instagram filters to use on your selfies IS a valuable life lesson but alas, it won’t land you your dream job even if you do plan on being the next Cara Delavigne. You won’t get your dream handed to you on a plate…You get what you work for in this day and age, so always have a back up plan in case your dream takes longer than you realised. Many of the models you look up to will have an education under their belt.
Get a job
When you leave school, make sure you get a part time job even if you plan on going to college. You get about three months of doing sweet FA when you finish your exams and you’ll get used to late nights and sleeping in ’til teatime. The novelty of being free from school will soon wear off and you’ll become bored of being bored. You can still make a CV and apply for jobs even if you have no work experience or exam results yet. #LifeHack – they don’t actually give a fuck about GCSE results when you’re applying for weekend work at places like New Look and River Island. Confidence and enthusiasm is key to blagging your first job, when they ask you ‘what attracted you to this role?’ tell them it’s because you love their brand and can’t think of a better company to work with…they love that shit.
You don’t want to be the one left out when your mates can afford holidays and driving lessons. Have fun and enjoy your time being young and stupid, but don’t blow your entire wage as soon as you get it and be skint for the rest of the month. You’re about to enter a world of opportunities so prepare for it and save up when you’re not quite old enough to drive or go out drinking so that when you do turn 17 and 18, you can afford to take road trips to McDonalds at 3am and go to foam parties tanked up on Blue WKDs. Learning how to save up will stop you getting into debt because when you turn 18, you’ll be introduced to the devil that is your credit rating. #LifeHack – DON’T GET A CREDIT CARD. JUST DON’T. The debt hangover isn’t worth that pair of overpriced shoes you can’t even wear because they don’t match anything, hurt like fuck and make you walk like you’ve shit yourself.
Learn how to apply make up and always take it off before you sleep
You’ll go out to parties or try and sneak into bars and clubs by giving the bouncer the wrong date of birth and you’ll certainly end up on photos looking like a complete show because you think glittery white eye-shadow compliments the shade of foundation you like to wear that’s three shades darker than your skin tone.
Learning how to apply makeup properly will get you far. When you’re old enough to get three-day hangovers, a good face of makeup will hide a multitude of sins. Equally, taking off your makeup properly and not with baby wipes that burn like a bitch, will keep your skin in good condition so that when you get these three day hangovers, your skin doesn’t look like a Primark bag that got caught in the rain.
You fucking hate doing P.E. at school so you’ve not exercised since you were young enough to play out on your bike and not get bullied for being a geek. A time will come when you’ll be introduced to alcohol and kebabs, so your slim and supple body will turn into jelly and lumps, which means you’ll fight to fit your flab into your jeans without them giving you an extra shelf over the front…and back.
Save yourself from saying, “Diet starts Monday”, then crying on the River Island changing room floor when the jeans won’t go past your thunder thighs and live a good lifestyle while you are young because it will save you a lot of tears and frustration in the future.
You are allowed to have everything you love, but have it in moderation. Save the chocolate/ice-cream/pizza binges for when you’re due on and when you’re heartbroken, they are the only genuine excuses that you have to pig out because being due on and being heartbroken isn’t permanent, unlike that belly you can’t get rid of when you’re 25. You’re seen as an adult when you leave school so you are old enough to say, “fuck off” to the bleep test and choose a bit of Zumba with your mates instead. Being young makes you a walking hormone so try the gym too, loads of fitties.
Fall in love with the good guy
A time will come when you’ll end up really liking someone that you get to know, you might start going out with him but every time he upsets you, you’ll go running to the lad at work that you’re really close with because he listens to all of your problems. This lad at work listening to all of your problems is probably the lad you should choose, instead of the gobshite you’ll keep on chasing. Think long term, the guy who keeps fucking you over isn’t going to be the guy that you want your kids with.
When you get dumped, don’t turn into a psycho
You insist on going for the gobshites, so when you get dumped, don’t let him get under your skin so much that you turn into a psycho. By psycho, I mean a girl that keeps texting him constantly asking to sort things out and telling him you miss him, one that turns up in the bars that he goes to just so you can show him what he’s missing out on, don’t stalk him on Facebook then “accidentally” add any girls that you see he’s been talking to and definitely don’t shag any of his mates. You’ll get screwed over and yes, it will hurt, but you’ll get through it. See this guy as your practise run for when you finally meet your Prince Charming because one day, it will happen. If he dumps you, delete everything that will allow you to drunk text him at 4 A.M every weekend.
Keep your obvious heartbreak off Facebook and Twitter, you’re only hurting yourself more and giving nosey twats the chance to have a good snigger behind your back. It’s hard to stop yourself from telling your followers how much you hate men now, so if you must…post some quotes on Instagram.
Make this guy see you as the girl he will never forget, not the one he wants to get a restraining order out on. You’re better than that.
Take advice from your Elders
You’re 16 and don’t give a fuck what your 25 year old Sister has to say to you. You think that you’re being lectured all of the time, when really, it’s advice that will take you far in life because I guarantee that when you are her age, you wish you’d have listened to her.
Take her advice but have fun along the way, you’re not a teenager for long and the memories you make will be what you can cherish forever, but cringe and laugh at with your mates in equal measures.
If I have one piece of advice for anyone that looks back and wishes things turned out differently, it would be this; never regret something that once made you smile.
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