What I Would Tell My 13-year-old Self

Isn’t hindsight a wonderful thing? They say that your teenage years are the best years of your life but there can be a lot of challenges as you start to realise who you are in addition to dealing with raging hormones. I remember being the kid that felt like she didn’t really fit in and was different from everyone else but this all changed when I moved schools for sixth form and met my best friends. I was often too scared to try things (for a few reasons). I often think about what I would change if I could go back in time knowing what I know now so here is what I wish I could tell my 13-year-old self.

First of all, do not take everything so seriously. Between the ages of 12 and 14, I used to get so angry with everyone for the most stupid reasons so I would tell myself to chill out and laugh things off. I’d tell myself to not take myself too seriously as well because no your teenage years go so quickly so enjoy them while you can. Fashion was awful back in 2009 so no one looked cool, especially not you!

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I wouldn’t say that I had acne but I did get a lot of spots, especially when I had a full fringe. I would tell my 13-year-old self to invest in some proper skincare and actually use it because it would help A LOT and make me feel less self-conscious. Although I didn’t wear makeup, skincare is still important. I think the reason that I didn’t really do skincare was that I didn’t know much about it so I would tell myself to research skincare and actually do something about my spots rather than hoping they would just go away.

When you’re 13, you’re sort of transitioning from believing everything that you hear to forming your own opinions about the world. I lived in a small town with a lot of gossiping so I wasn’t the most accepting person and was very opinionated so I would tell my younger self to be more accepting and to listen to other people more. Everyone has one issue or another, so be more understanding and encouraging rather than putting other people down. If someone had a different opinion than I, then I wouldn’t like it and I would have something to say about it so I would definitely tell myself to chill out and accept that not everyone will have the same opinion as me but that’s what makes the world go round.

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This one is important and something that I still struggle with today. I remember that I used to get called ugly a lot at school so for the longest time I truly hated my face. I hated everything about how I looked and I remember that I used to just cry for hours and hours wishing that I could look like someone else. I imagine that a lot of teenagers have this problem and self-acceptance does come with age. I mean I still have days when I am not happy with how I look but they are few and far between. I also used to think I was so fat, I distinctly remember drawing lines on my legs to show where I’d want to cut the fat off and I look back at photos now and think how ridiculous I was. I wish I could have seen have accepted myself and worried a lot less about what others thought of me. I would also advise myself to wear high waisted jeans and short because although I didn’t like them, they are a lot more flattering and suit my body shape a lot more.

As a teenager, I was often scared to try things so I would definitely tell my teenage self to say yes to more things (especially if they scared me) and to experiment more. When you are a teenager, you have a lot more opportunities to try new things and it is the best time to make silly mistakes. I would tell myself to go to that party, kiss those boys, and be yourself.

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Finally, I would tell my 13-year-old to be myself. This is something that I still struggle with and I should probably seek professional help for this one but I used to find it so hard to be myself around other people. I constantly felt like I was the weird one and like I didn’t really fit. I was also so shy so I would tell myself that I am fine the way that I am (I am a bit weird but who isn’t?) and I should embrace how I am and if someone doesn’t like how I am then I don’t need them in my life. I would tell myself not to worry about the future because I am just fine, I think I turned out alright in the end.

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What would you tell your 13-year-old self? I hope you enjoyed these cringey photos.


21 thoughts on “What I Would Tell My 13-year-old Self

  1. I loved the messages you sent your 13 year old self, I think reflection is such a great idea, it helps you see how much you have grown. I think I would tell me 13 year old self that her mind is one of the only things that it all hers, she has the right to feel and think whatever she likes and to embrace that with self love.

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  2. I love that kind of post! I had thought of writing one too! It is great that you learn lessons along the way and find out things you would have love to know but not knowing made you grow up

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  3. When I was 13, this was a great time. But I also love to be 35 now and has two healthy kids of 12 and 10 years. When you are 13 you see the world different as when you are older. But my age is only a number. I feel like 20 and sometimes I am just like a 18 years old gilr in some situations. I and think I look like a young girl sometimes… 🙂

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  4. Hindsight is definitely 20/20! It’s cool that you could reflect on what you would tell yourself at age 13. I guess that saying “youth is wasted on the young” is appropriate. We don’t realize how awesome being young is until we’re not young anymore!

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  5. Oh yes the teenager years… 😛 Honestly, I am very happy to be over them. I am an introvert so organised school activities annoyed the living hell out of me.

    If I could advise my younger self, I’d force her to sit down and study Chemistry so that she could go on to study Biology at uni. I doubt that I shall ever forgive myself for giving up upon that out of laziness/cowardice (?).

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  6. Yeah, at 13, kids around you can be mean and say things just to say it just because. Sad when it hurts your feelings. I had a few days like this. I want to write a post like this. So interesting to look back over your life.

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  7. Well, I think the 90% of the things you mention are UNIVERSAL! LOL like everybody goes through that kind of phases. Teens take things too seriously? Well, I’ll say only this: Shakespeare’s “Romeo and Juliet” tells the story of two 14 year-olds that end up killing themselves. So, if you survived your teens, you ok, LOL.

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  8. I love the message about being yourself, something we realise so late in the life. I can relate to so many of your points, age and life lessons play a vital role in what we do and become later in the life.

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  9. I feel like I totally can relate… especially in the way that I saw myself when I was thirteen or fourteen or whatever… I’m sure that really does happen with most teens, just like you said, but I should have enjoyed my life and my friends much more than I actually did, all because of self confidence issues…

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  10. There are so many things I would tell my 13 year old self, but I think the many thing I would say is that, “It’s not worth it”, I did a lot of stupid things fr other people and to feel excepted, and frankly not one of them was worth it.

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  11. I would tell my 13-year-old self to do just enjoy life as she never did before. But am amazing now at my age for all the things I did. Never did I expected that I can do better than before.

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  12. Realizing that major construction is going on inside the pre-frontal cortex of the teenage brain does not excuse inappropriate or irresponsible behavior from the teen. But understanding the teenage brain is crucial to figuring out how to interact with it. For the teenager, this time in his or her life can be a creative and emotional roller coaster ride with plenty of thrills and chills (and maybe some spills), but for parents it can be just nerve-wracking and terrifying. Healthy communication and effective discipline are what a teenager needs to help navigate this important time, especially since the brain is not yet necessarily ready or able to face all of the inevitable challenges, without support. Each interaction with a teenager will affect development of his or her brain, helping the teen make connections in the pre-frontal cortex. During this time of heavy construction, the teenage brain needs focused and intentional support and teaching to help form and solidify these hopefully healthy connections. Parents can benefit from the understanding that there’s much work that can be done while the teenage brain in still under construction and with proper perspective and effort, a teenager can learn to be less impulsive and egocentric, and make better and more responsible decisions. As parents decide how to more effectively communicate with the developing teenage brain, it’s vital to also consider who a child actually is, and what kind of parenting styles the child is exposed to. Most of us are the result of an even dose of nature and nurture, and understanding the nature of who a child is, and how his or her surroundings have impacted that child, can help parents formulate more effective techniques when facing challenging situations during the teenage years. The nature of a teenager is a complex and fascinating combination of temperament, stage of development, personality, maturity level, and social connection. In addition, parents need to consider the teenager’s emotional health (self esteem) and relational health (to what degree have the teen’s closest relationships positively impacted his or her development).

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