Now that I’m 21 and
all wise and knowing slightly more knowledgeable – although admittedly still trying to figure life out – I think it’s about time I talk about what I would have told my 16 year old self.
While 5 years doesn’t seem like a very long time ago to most, to me it feels like a LIFETIME ago. I can’t even imagine some of the things I used to say – much less the monstrosities that I called outfits. And don’t even get me started on my hair.
That being said, I’ve learned a lot in the past 5 years, but there are still things I wish I would’ve known back then that I didn’t realize until this past year. If I could go back and have a little chat with my former 16 year old self, these are the topics I would cover.
1. Be single for awhile for crying out loud.
I mean honestly, you don’t need a guy in your life to be happy. You need to be alone and learn who you are because, trust me, you’ll end up having a really hard time down the road if you keep dating all these guys – that you don’t really like all that much anyways. You need time to discover what you like without someone else influencing your decisions.
2. Your dad is pretty smart, ask him for advice.
Over the past year, I’ve discovered that parents are actually useful for something other than giving you rules and feeding you. They are truthfully pretty darn smart and have a lot of knowledge about life because, well, they’ve lived it. So swallow your pride and ask your dad for advice – he’ll be beyond happy to help and he’s a really smart dude.
3. Have more fun you old lady in a young person’s body!
Go out. Get drunk with some friends. Get in a little trouble. Sure, it’s great that you enjoy reading and crocheting, but you’re 16, not 60. You need to go have a little bit more fun so you have some crazy ass stories to tell your 16 year old kid some day.
4. Take a few more art classes – you’ll hate school much less.
You’re an artistic person. And although you haven’t realized it yet, you need creativity in your life to be happy. Sure, science is fun and you’re good at it, but take some art classes and you’ll realize that school isn’t as terrible as it seems when you’ve got that outlet throughout the day.
5. Don’t let anyone persuade your decisions about the future.
Even though you’re young and the future is far away, you’ve got the right idea on what you want to do. Don’t let anyone convince you that you’re wrong. Sometimes it’s better to just go with your gut.
6. Spend more time with your little sisters.
Because someday you’re going to wake up and realize that they’re not so little anymore and you’ll have missed the opportunity to help shape them into great young ladies. I’m not saying that’s your responsibility, I’m just saying they look up to you. So give them something to look at.
7. And your mom.
She’s not always going to be a few rooms away, you know. Your mom needs you just as much as you’ve always needed her growing up. And even though you’re this rebellious teenager that’s hell bent on getting her way about everything, tell your mom you love her and spend one evening a week just hanging out with her.
8. Don’t work so much – you don’t actually need the money that bad.
You have your whole life to work. Sure, having a part time job for some extra cash is great, but don’t work your teenager years away. Play more sports. Hang out with more people. Work can wait.
9. Call your mom and tell her when you’ll be gone all night – she worries.
She might get mad if you’re not coming home, but she’ll be up all night worrying if you don’t call her at all. Tell her you’ll be out all night. It’ll give her peace of mind and she won’t be lying awake in bed all night waiting to hear that car door slam and your feet pattering up to bed.
10. Hold on to the friends that were there for you through the tough times – you never know when you’ll need them again.
They say the friends you make in high school will be with you forever, but that’s just not true. You’ll lose a few friends and it’ll suck, but you should make sure to hold onto the ones that were there for you when things got tough. Those are the people you’ll need in your life again.
While I know time travel hasn’t been invented yet and I can’t ACTUALLY tell my 16 year old self these things, maybe other 16 year olds can relate and head my warnings.