Ah! Being 16; remember what that was like BEFORE you were a grown-up? Sure you do. You’re not a fossil even though you feel like one. Here are 16 precious things I’m sure we’d all love to tell our younger, inexperienced selves before reality hit in a big, big way. *Dramatic Sigh*
1. Love Your Body
Your body is going to change and it’s probably never going to be as great as it was at 16. So just enjoy that lithe agility you lucky teenager, you. Same goes for your skin. Its a fact that you will never be / look younger than you are today! So enjoy it. While you are at it – start a healthy exercise routine.
At this point in your life you will find weight easier to manage / shift / lose. You probably eat all you want and feel genetically blessed as it does not turn to fat. We hate to break it to you – its your age. When you get to your late 20s and 30s – it wont be this easy. So exercise and build up lean muscle now!
Oh yeah, wear sunscreen. Like its your religion! (Thank us 15 years later!)
2. Take The Worse Thing You Have Done. Know That You Shall Top That.
Yeah, whatever it is that you think is the worse thing you ever did at 16; you’re going to do much worse. Guaranteed. (Unless you were a juvenile delinquent in which case I hope you checked into rehab and sorted your life out.) So don’t you fret, life goes on and you learn on the way! Mistakes are the best teachers (just don’t make them over and over again)
3. Don’t Sweat The Small Stuff
Really. Your grades, your crush, your friends, the neighbours, your teachers, your dreams, your desires…EVERYTHING is going to change. So whatever is it that’s got your goat, just let it go. Relax. The only thing that you are achieving by stressing is premature greying. And that’s something you don’t want, for even though you haven’t given it any thought, salon appointments are crazy expensive.
4. Your Favourite Actor Will Change
I know you think it’s true love; deep and all-consuming, I wanna marry this guy kind of love. But it’s not. Also there will be new ‘best actors’ with all the awards, hits and women. And then you will be ‘in love’ again. This time with someone whose only talent is NOT spreading his arms and saying ‘I love You’ on screen.
5. Learn All You Can
Don’t stop taking that jazz ballet class just because you are unsure where you will use it. Same with Spanish and Oil Painting. You don’t always need to ‘use’ something. Learning these skills will help with your semester abroad and will also help make you an awesome all rounder of a person. Something you just won’t understand at 16.
6. Don’t Hate On Your Parents
More often than not, you feel like they don’t understand you. So you don’t hate them but you clearly don’t see things their way. Well give it ten years, and you will be thanking them for the amazing, kind, beautiful people they are. That’s if you are lucky and still living with them. Otherwise be prepared to miss God’s greatest gifts to you: your parents.
7. Don’t Wear That Hideous Hat Everywhere You Go
I know you think it’s gorgeous (it’s not) and it’s so on trend (ugh, really?). But you will see pictures and you will cringe. It’s okay, happens to the best of us.
8. Learn To Cook
Ordering food is hardly a skill that will help you in the years to come. Cooking on the other hand is your one-stop trick to survival. Don’t bring up Maggi, it doesn’t count.
9. Don’t waste time on jealousy
To quote The Sunscreen Song, ‘Sometimes you’re ahead, sometimes you’re behind. The race is long, but in the end it’s only with yourself.’ Truer words were never spoken. Err, sung. Keep comparison shopping aside and never ever entertain a frenemy.
10. Don’t Sleep So Much and Hang Out Doing Nothing at Coffee Shops
Sleep patterns are a bitch to break. Life is happening while you are under your comforter. Wake up! And once you wake up, don’t just head to the coffee shop to “hang”. Hanging is wasting time!
11. Don’t Obsess Over Your Future Wedding
Stop dreaming of your wedding as if it were the only thing to look forward to in life. There are going to be many firsts before that. Graduation, post grad, first job, first pay cheque, first career high…the list is endless. Besides, weddings are not how KJo makes them look. I mean they could be, but it will cost you/dad an arm/leg or both to celebrate like they do in the movies. So think about not thinking about it too much.
12. Your Broken Heart Will Mend
No doubt there will be many sad songs, umpteen tears and endless tubs of ice cream before you feel better. But whichever little chit of a boy broke your heart wasn’t ‘the one’. Don’t worry because the real deal will show up in your life. Probably at a time you are least expecting him to. And it will be legen…waitforit…dary. Really wait for it though.
13. Read. A Lot.
No one spells out this thumbrule, but the most intelligent and interesting people you meet in your life will be the most well-read ones. Besides, no one ever stops talking about classics. So take time to read. Read them all. You will know the plots of all the films your future self will see. And then you will feel bloody darn smug.
14. Don’t Believe Everything You Hear
Dear younger self, please don’t? People are stupid, they talk rubbish and they feel compelled to say things. Out loud. Ridiculous, inane things that almost always have nothing to do with you. So just learn to ignore. The sooner you learn this fine art of ignorance, the sooner you will be on your way to happiness.
15. Don’t Settle
Ugh! The absolute worst thing you can do in life is settling for less. Don’t settle. Never settle. Please chase every dream with equal fervour. Passion is underrated. To achieve absolutely anything, you need passion to fuel your endeavours. Even if you end up dreaming too big, it’s still better than settling.
16. Somethings Are Inevitable
Some really bad decisions await you. You will make them and you will regret it too. And then you will laugh at them so hard a few years later, that you will almost pee in your pants. You won’t remember some of the best nights of your life because as much as you think drinking is wrong, you will be so wasted on all that wine.
You will act crazy well past the age you think it’s normal to. But you will learn along the way that one can’t really control everything. So you will laugh, you will cry, you will enjoy that very bumpy ride and then you will read about it many years later with a ridiculous grin on your face that hasn’t changed one bit since you were 16. And that’s perfectly okay!