I recently wrote a post about body confidence and first and foremost would just like to say thank you for all the support and kind words. It was incredibly heart-warming and so lovely to hear all the nice words which you all had to say. It made writing that difficult post, somewhat easier. Thank you! Anyway, whilst thinking about that part of my childhood, I began thinking about things that I wish I had known or things that I would now go back and tell my younger self. Therefore, today I am going to share with you all some advice I wish I would have known being a teenager in school and hopefully some of you will be able to relate or it might even help some of you!
- Popularity doesn’t matter – I feel like most us all struggle with this. For whatever reason, there is a part of us that wants to ‘fit in’ or be ‘popular’ and liked. Yet now I know that doesn’t even matter. I wasn’t popular in school and I wasn’t someone that everyone liked and got along with or wanted to be friends with. At the time, it really upset me and hurt me. I wanted to people to like me, for obvious reasons, but I wanted to be accepted and for people to be friends with me. I never really wanted to ‘popular’ but I did want to be liked and have friends. No matter how many friends you have or how popular you, after school is over it really doesn’t matter. To be honest I am glad I only had a few friends because I had people who loved me for who I was and that’s all that really matters. I just wish I had not spent so long worrying about what people thought about me or how I looked or craving someone’s approval. Definitely not worth it!
- Boys will be boys – It’s not worth stressing over guys. You will look back in however many years to come and wondered why you worried or tried to get someone to like you or notice you. There are plenty of people out there and school is only a small part of your life. The chances of things lasting are quite slim. I mean don’t get me wrong, I think it is wonderful and beautiful for those few couples which last and make it all the way. I just wish I hadn’t spent so many nights getting so upset over this one guy, crying and trying to make him notice me and put lots of effort in, only for him to not even realising. I suppose looking back now it’s quite funny how one person could make you feel. Luckily, I didn’t have many crushes in school. I only really liked this one boy and it did really hurt but you get stronger and you never know who is out there. Just save the tears and the heartache, there will be someone who loves you for who you and notices your potential and worth and when you find that, it will be an amazing feeling. “One day someone will love you for everything that you are and those parts of that you don’t like, will in fact be there favourite parts.”
- It’s important to love and respect your own body – I spoke a lot about this in my post on body confidence, so if you want to read in depth about that you can here. Otherwise, cutting to the chase, looking back, I wish I would have recognised that I was beautiful the way I was and I should have respected my body a little more. I should have been proud of my differences and loved who I was more than what I did.
- School doesn’t last forever – I feel like this is those of us who struggled in school, found it challenging and struggled with acceptance. During school I know I worried that this was going to be my life for the rest of my life and I was always going to bullied and not accepted or made fun of. In all honesty, it was awful thinking and feeling that sad. I didn’t think it was going to ever end, but it does. Everyone graduates and leaves and goes on to different things, and those people who made the challenging school days somewhat more painful disappear and that part of your life is over with. School does end and things do get better, you do find people who love you and respect you and accepts you for who you are. Just hold on in there. It’s funny though because I remember been so sad when it all ended and I had graduated. It was sad, because a huge part of my life had ended. I had just spent 7 years going to the same place and then everything changed. I perhaps should have just appreciated school a little more and reflected on the positive times, because believe it or not I did some great things and had achieved some great things which I never thought I was capable of!
- You don’t have to do what everyone else is – It’s okay to be different and have you own interests. You don’t have to do what everyone else is doing. I missed out on a lot in school for reasons which I will not go into here so I guess I sort of realised this. Although, I was never confident in having my own hobbies and interests or liking a different genre of music. I now know it is okay to be different and not follow what everyone else is doing. People respect you more for being true to who you are doing what you love and not just doing something because everyone else is doing it.
- You don’t need a relationship to feel ‘complete’ – Just because you are single, which I was for pretty much all the time when I was in school. I dated one boy when I was 14 for about 2 months and then didn’t start dating until I was in sixth form. Not been in a relationship is more than okay! It doesn’t make you lonely or unattractive or anything like that. I use to think that without someone I couldn’t be okay and I wouldn’t be okay, because at that point I guess I thought I loved them but all it did for me was turn me into a stronger person. I now don’t depend on anyone, because I know nothing lasts forever and I am okay being by myself. I no longer need someone to make me feel complete. I am my own person and I live my life the way I want, not the way someone else makes me live. In school, I should have realised that more, even with friends. I was way too nice, wore my heart on my sleeve, very naïve and thought everyone nice. That quite frankly is most not the case. Not everyone is as nice as you and you don’t need to have lots of friends or a relationship to complete. I was fine just with myself and being who I was.
- It’s not the end of the world – When in school, if anything went wrong, that was it, to me, the world was apparently going to end. If I got a spot, someone didn’t like me, I got dumped I thought the world would end. Just like if I got a bad grade occasionally on a paper, or me and friends fell out, when you are school you think everything is the end of the world and it isn’t. Everyone has bad days, everyone make mistakes and it’s okay to be sad. Things happen but it doesn’t mean your world is coming to an end. God I remember the nights being so upset about that guy not liking me, talking to my friends and feeling like everything was going to end but it doesn’t. Whatever it is that you are going through, which to be honest in school could be a whole mixture of things, and everything at that moment in your life seems to make you think the world will end, I promise will eventually pass and the next day will come and the day after that. You will get through it, you will make it, you will survive it. You will eventually move on and get on with your life, just the way you should be doing!
I hope you enjoyed this post and hearing some of the advice that I would have given to the younger me! Let me know if you can relate to any of these or what advice you would give your younger self! Also, I really enjoyed writing this, so let me know if you would like a part two! I hope you all have a fantastic day. Much love,