I will turn 20 in November of this year, so here’s a reflection on a few things I learned over the last decade (because let’s be real, puberty usually starts before thirteen).
1) Literally nobody cares if you have a few spots except you.
As someone who had acne from the age of ten to the ripe old age of seventeen (and still gets stubborn spots on a regular basis), I feel like I’m in a justified position to make this statement. I didn’t even start wearing the smallest bit of makeup until I was seventeen, and absolutely no-one ever thought my acne was as bad as I did. If someone does call you out for having acne, they aren’t worth even a second of your time.
2) You won’t talk to most of your school year ever again once you’ve left school.
You’ve probably heard it before, you may have shrugged it off, but it is 100% true. Without that daily contact, and being forced to sit next to that person or across from this person, you’ll find that while you could make good conversation, they aren’t actually close friends. They won’t contact you, and you won’t think to contact them. I left my sixth form nine months ago and talk to only two of my old school friends on a regular basis (out of 180 students in my year).
3) It’s okay that you won’t talk to most of these people ever again once you’ve left school.
I’ve got to admit, sometimes this prospect was one of the few things keeping me sane while I was at school. But I know for a lot of other people it scares them because then you’re faced with the prospect of having to make new friends all over again, and the like. So here’s me saying: believe me, there are way more people out there who you’ll come into contact with each and every day, and wherever you end up, you will stumble upon people to have a good time with.
4) Despite what teachers tell you, school does not prepare you for life, and often makes significantly little sense.
Let’s glance at the curriculum for a second here – does school teach you how to budget finances? Nope. How to cope with job hunting? Nope. How to forge a career out of the thing you like best? Nope. How about the simple things, like how to choose the correct bank account, or look into the right insurance for your car? Not even close!
School does provide you with vital skills like reading and writing, and you’ll probably leave with the most basic mental maths skills (because nobody apart from maths degree students remembers pythagoras’s theorem and all that jazz once they’ve left, let’s be real). But overall, school gives you little to no preparation for surviving in the real world. Just bear that in mind.
5) Being selfish is good on occasion.
An incredibly important thing to note: you cannot live your life for anybody else. You cannot always bend to somebody else’s will. If you’d rather stay at home and get some work done, whatever that work may be, instead of going out with people again – you do that. If you want to find out something, ask. Research. Find out. Do things that benefit you.
6) If you’re trying to do something, people probably admire you far more than they judge you.
This is true for a multitude of things. If you’re scared to tell people you’re doing something different, remember that they’ll probably admire your effort and action more than they’ll judge you for doing what the rest of them aren’t. Alternatively, if you’re overweight (or gangly and skinny, it works both ways) and scared to go on a run or to a gym for fear of being judged for your size, know that if people notice you at all, they’re probably admiring that you’re making the effort to be healthier, not hating on your size.
If you’ve learned anything from your teenage years, lemme know in the comments!