Recently, I have found myself sitting and thinking about my teenage years, specifically that time between 15 to 17-years-old. I was thinking about how much has changed since then, how much I have changed since then. I feel as though if my 16-year-old self could see myself now, at 21, she wouldn’t even believe what she was seeing. Last year, I watched a video from TeenVogue where Emilia Clarke is giving advice to her younger self, and I recently rediscovered the video/letter and it inspired me to write a letter of my own. I have also seen other posts similar that I have also taken inspiration from, so credit goes to those people as well for the idea.
You’re in your first year of sixth form, probably stressing and worrying about the exams that feel like your whole life right now, and pondering over where you want to go after A Levels are over. Well, those exams in Year 12 aren’t everything, you will get the opportunity to resit next year if you need to – and you will resit, but that’s okay because second time around, you will come out with grades that are much much better. And the future, just take each day as it comes and know that the journey you are on, the paths that you will inevitably be taking… they are the right ones for you – even if they don’t seem it right now.
I know you are struggling right now and using a lot of energy trying to hide behind a fake smile and pretending everything is okay. If there is one thing I will say, it’s talk to people, I know you aren’t doing that but in time you will and you will see that it’s the beginning to a more positive mindset. The road there will not be easy and you will stumble along the way and feel like the world is against you. The pain you are feeling, the loneliness and numbness, it won’t last forever, there is a light at the end of the tunnel for you. Depression and anxiety will not define who you are, you ARE strong enough and you will come out smiling. Believe me, I’m here now, smiling!
These next few years, you will find out who your true friends are, the good ones will always be there, you know who they are! Losing certain people may feel like the end of the world at the time but trust me, you will feel all the better removing the negative energy from your life. You will face some situations that you think you cannot overcome but guess what? You have overcome them and soon, you won’t even be thinking about them. You will trust people who you shouldn’t and they will make you think they are your friend when really, they’re only being manipulative… you do not need these people so don’t waste your tears on them!
Inevitably, you’re going to be stressing out about getting into uni and you end up only giving yourself one option, which was probably idiotic at the time. However, this leads to the path you are now on and you will be surprised how far you have come, even though it seems so far from what you wanted at the time. Girl, you’re killing it right now! The road to this will be tough and for a while you will be in a place you do not want to be and feel at your lowest, but everything will be okay in the end. It may be a dark time for you but you will come out of it wiser and more determined to achieve everything you want.
Relationships… I know there are times you worry that you won’t meet the right person or nobody will like you for you. But in fact, you will. They may not turn out to be right for you but that minor bump in the road will lead you to someone who is wonderful, funny and has a very kind heart… he’s a keeper 😉 He will stand by you through a lot of shit and make you feel incredibly happy, you only have to wait two more years!
I understand confidence and self-belief is a major issue, but you will see how much potential you have and others will see it too. It takes time but the anxiety will not defeat or define who you are, even if it does feel like that right now. You will be able to stand up and talk in front of people, and you will have the ability to speak up and meet new people who are on your level. It will take a little time and work from you, but your confidence will grow and you’ll grow and develop alongside it.
On a final note… I know there are days where you feel like the world will end, days where you don’t see that light at the end of the tunnel and you just want to give up. Keep going, because that light, it IS there and you are going towards it, one step at a time. The people you love, never take them for granted because they are the ones who will be standing by you through everything. KEEP READING! Your love of writing will grow and you’ll need to keep practising, reading lots of books will help that. The job interviews that make you feel sick to your stomach won’t be as bad as you think, you’ll learn to say YES and take every opportunity you can, even if it terrifies you, and you will learn that life is way too short to worry and stress about the little things. Stay true to yourself and stick to the path you are on, great things are coming your way.
Seize the day, girl, make your life extraordinary!