I’m sure many of us wish we could go back in time and tell our teenage-self a thing or two about life. Be it big or small, the advice we’d share would certainly make things that little bit easier for them.
Don’t over pluck your eyebrows, appreciate your parents more, drink less Diet Coke, blend your concealer, don’t leave your homework until Sunday night, stop wearing knee high socks, stop wasting so much money on chicken fillet rolls at lunchtime.
The list goes on and on.
However, there is one nugget of advice that I wish I could have told my 16-year-old self.
Everyone isn’t going to like you and that is okay.
When I was growing up being popular was the be all and end all of life. I used to beat myself up for not being in the popular group and for being ‘less cool’ than my peers. I used to feel like I was worth less than others because I wasn’t viewed as ‘popular’. I genuinely let my social status in school determine whether I was valuable or not.
Did I have a caring and wonderful group of friends in school? Yes, thankfully! But the pressure to be popular often blinded me from seeing just how lucky I was.
I used to wonder why that one girl in my science class didn’t like me or why I wasn’t part of the clique in my German class. I’d panic about what others thought of me, like any insecure teenager would, and let it overshadow the fact that I was loved. And that is far greater than being popular.
One of the best things you can do is accept this fact and realise that the world isn’t going to end if you’re not adored by the 7.7 billion on this planet.
People may dislike your personality or how honest you are. Others simply won’t click with you or find you too shy, too loud, too bold, too timid. Whatever the reason is, don’t let it blind you from the fact that you are loved. Many won't like you for no reason whatsoever. And that's just part of life.
Those who don’t like you are simply not your people.
We can get so wrapped up in wanting to be adored by everyone that we fail to acknowledge those who already love us.
I wish I could travel back to my secondary school days and tell myself that the friends who sat next to you in history class, the ones who shared curry chips with you, the ones who danced in the kitchen with you and encouraged you to talk to the boy you fancied in fourth year were the ones that mattered, and still do.
What piece of advice would you give your teenage self?