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