Three years ago, my life was drastically different than it is today. Everything that’s happened since has influenced who I am, and though I may not have regrets, I’ve realized there’s some advice I was never given that I might have found useful.
Dear 16 Year Old Me,
1. That big lifechanging decision you’re trying to make right now? Go with your gut. Follow your intuition, it has never failed you before and it surely will not fail you now. Sometimes your heart knows things your head just can’t explain.
2. Oh, and FYI, you stop dying your hair so may as well save a few years of damage and stop dying it to save some hassle later on.
3. Right now life may seem extremely hard. Just know that you come out alive and surrounded by the people who truly care. Those who you thought cared but aren’t there for you now, they aren’t worth the stress (spoiler alert: you’re going to be more successful than those who tore you down, and it really does feel as great as it sounds)! Goodbyes can be hard, but not all goodbyes are forever, and you’ll soon see this.
4. In the next few years, you’ll meet some of the most incredible people that you’ve met so far. You’re also going to meet some of the worst. But c’est la vie! Just be nice to everyone always, or just don’t associate with them at all if doing this is too hard. They aren’t worth your breath or energy.
5. I’m tired. Sooooo tired. Not from a lack of sleep, but from seeing the beautiful world we live in turn into shades of grey. Ups turning to downs, people losing their childhood/adolescent passions. Frankly, I’m tired of seeing lives lacking a certain light. Do NOT lose your light. Hold onto it while you still have it, because it’s 10x harder as a young adult to grab it back. Trust me on this, I know it seems silly now, but try your best. The most successful people are the people who held onto the light
6. Always chew gum. It makes your breath smell nice and it prevents you from grinding your teeth. But chew sugar free gum, cavities are no fun. And don’t litter your gum, because karma comes back to haunt you.
7. Eat your veggies. They can be very tasty and they’re good for you. You will feel like a blob of mush if you don’t eat them. People will also try to tell you the skins of vegetables are good for you, but truth is they’re disgusting and you really don’t have to eat skins.
8. Read non-fiction books. It sparks creativity within you, and you’re going to have to read a ton of fiction in university so may as well find a non-fiction series to read.
9. You’re never too old for stuffed animals! Give them lots of hugs 💜
10. You’re never too old to follow your dreams. Make your world revolve around achieving your dreams and I promise the universe will move out of the way for you. Find creative ways to get motivated and get excited for the future!
11. Do more extra curricular in high school. Even if it’s not your “thing”, you can meet cool people that way and you won’t regret at least trying.
12. You’re too old for petty drama. Steer clear of it and remember you’re worth more than those petty moments.
13. Life isn’t fair. People are mean. But if you’re going to let other people’s opinion dictate who you are, and effect your self esteem – they win, you lose, game over.
14. There’s a difference between constructive criticism and just plain old criticism. Learn the difference, listen to the constructive, and to hell with the rest.
15. You don’t need everything you want. Some of your friends will have more than you, some will have less. Appreciate what you have and don’t worry. When you get handed things you don’t appreciate them when they come, which ruins the fun!
16. Understand that YOU WILL FAIL.
…from time to time. And it will be amazing. Your character will be formed through your failures, so accept it and watch yourself flourish.
17. PICK GOOD FRIENDS. If you surround yourself with pieces of crap people – people who don’t have the same goals, values, drive, or passion – they’re going to bring you down to their level. You cannot lift them up. Surround yourself with the kind of people you want to be.
18. Do what’s right, not what’s easy. Following your friends, being a sheep – that’s easy. Standing up for yourself and what you know is right – that is difficult, but I will tell you, it will make you more successful in life.
19. Be well rounded as an individual. Most of us are very proficient. We spend a lot of time doing one, or maybe two specific things. But the problem is that we focus on these things so much we forget to reach out to the world for inspiration and creativity. It’s cool you have a hobby, it’s cool you have a passion, it’s cool you have a job – but make sure you’re not isolating yourself and preventing yourself from learning about the world around us. It’s always about learning. Continually educating yourself. Knowledge is also the key to being less boring 😉
20. Consistently seek out new people. Don’t level these people as “better than you” or “lower than you”, because we are ALL JUST PEOPLE, just with different experiences to offer the world! You’ll be pleasantly surprised when you begin to talk to new people. 💛
In the end. It’s all going to work out.
me, age 20.