Luckily, my teenage years are firmly in the past, but every now and then I look back on them and think about things I would have done differently or the mistakes I made or the bad judgement calls I took.
My darling sister is now walking down adolescent alley and I find myself offering advice (wanted or unwanted haha) at every opportunity.
(My lovely little sister)
If I could board a time machine and visit 16 year old Louise, there are a few things I'd tell her.
Advice To My 16 Year Old Self
1. It's OK not to be liked by every single person. Obviously, there were girls in my school that didn't like me. Throughout my entire school life this upset me. I felt like I had failed in some way. It never occured to me that nobody can please everybody and that there will always be someone who doesn't take to you. You're not a bad person, you haven't failed, the people that don't like you aren't bad people. It's just life and it's normal and it's fine. Relax.
2. GHDs will soon be invented so hang on in there. Naturally, my hair is a frizzy triangle mop. We have a love hate relationship. Throughout my teen years I had to tame my locks with a babyliss steam straightener (remember those?!) OR do that oh-so-sexy slicked back to all buggery style. Thankfully, at 17-18, GHD's came in and my hair was saved!!
3. Take the good and ignore the bad. I had a very turbulent relationship with my Father as I grew up and often our house would be a very unpleasant place to live. I would feel angry and upset about this for the majority of the time but I wish I had let a lot of those negative emotions go. I wish I had had the maturity to enjoy my Father's good moods and ignore his bad ones. If I could go back, I would take a 'that's your problem, not mine' stance.
4. Work hard at school. Although my job has little to do with the things I studied, I definitely didn't reach my full potential and it's entirely my own fault. I was far too preoccupied with socialising and messing about to do my homework or take a real interest. I'd say to teen Louise, 'Stop shillyshallying around and focus on your books, if you don't, you'll regret it when you're in your mid twenties and have no idea what the difference between hard and soft water is or struggle to work out with the price of something with 20% off!!".
5. Enjoy being young. I'm not old now but I certainly didn't appreciate my early youth whilst I was in it. I was always in a rush to do the next thing (driving lessons, dancing in bars, going to uni, having a boyfriend, moving out etc) that I don't think I stopped to relish what I was doing enough. If I were able to go back I would just enjoy a time of cinema trips with pals, long lay ins and pocket money!
The more I think about it, the more I would change (those boot cut stretchy black trousers with a pale pink angora jumper for one) but a) you have lives to lead and b) I have a feeling that you're supposed to make those mistakes in your teens to allow you to grow into adulthood.
I'll check back in ten years and let you know what I would have done better in my twenties!
What advice would you give your teenage self?
This month my Ultimate Advertiser is 21st Serendipity . If you would like to find out more about advertising on this blog, click HERE.