Ten things you wish you could tell your 16 year old self
Being a teenager is hard work.
Whether you were rocking blue mascara in your hair, pulling food from your brace or contemplating if that boy really ‘likes you’ or ‘likes you, likes you’, we’re not sure we’d suffer being 16 again.
Here are some home truths we wish we could share with our 16-year-old self.
Cutting your own hair is not a good idea
No, it doesn’t matter that you watched the hairdresser shape and chop your locks in the salon for hours. You’re not a trained stylist and you will end up with a wonky fringe or explosion of back-combed knots. What’s worse is your mum will attempt to ‘fix it’. The chances of walking away with a bowl cut were doubling every minute you sat still.
It’s OK to still be a kid
Disney fan? Check. Owner of a crazy amount of stuffed animals? Check. Know the importance of keeping a balloon off the ground? There’s a million reasons it’s ok to still be a kid. Before long you’re going to be paying bills, worrying about deadlines and trying to figure it all out. Enjoy the fact that you have one responsibility – to do what your parents tell you. And let’s be honest, you’ll probably get that wrong half the time anyway.
He is NOT your one true love
Yes, he’s got dreamy eyes, he notices you as ‘a woman’ and he might even have splashed out on cinema tickets. But here’s the catch. It’s rare this boy will be your first true love. He’s more likely your first lust. And you will look across the bar every Christmas fearing how much skin he’s actually seen. Just try to keep the cry face under wraps when he dumps you for the girl who could never live up to what you guys had. Eugh.
No, everyone is not doing it
That girl who used to just be confident? Now she’s 'sophisticated' thanks to a quickie in the sheets. Your first time is going to be traumatic enough without convincing yourself the whole world is having sex and you’re the awkward by-stander. Don’t listen to the hype. And don’t blame the childhood teddy on your bed. He’s a gem, and he won’t dump you for wanting to play scrabble rather than scramble under the sheets. Why is life so complicated?!
You might regret that piercing/tattoo
You thought a belly bar was the height of glamour. Nobody warned you that you’d spend the next six months cleaning the infection. Those Chinese letters you wanted on your upper arm? Suddenly a lot less hip when you have to explain to everybody what it says while insisting ‘they have a meaning’. Meaning being that you thought it was the ultimate cool thing to do. Pop that money back in the piggy bank for a rainy day, or you know, ‘til sense kicks in.
That childhood friend is pretty much worth her weight in gold
She’s been your friend since the days of awkward braces and frizzy hair. Blue eyeshadow was most likely smeared across your eyelids and training bras were the ultimate in lingerie chic. These girls are the reason you’ll get through the tension of being refused at the door with a fake ID, and her parents won’t question why you’re ringing at 11pm roaring crying (They know better than to ask if you’re ok). This one is definitely a keeper.
Take more pictures
You know that time you wore the palazzo pants? Or when Spice Girls runners and combat jeans were the epitome of style?! There’s a reason you take lots and lots of photos. This will be the perfect bribery for years to come. Besides, style evolution is a real thing. You deserve to laugh back at some of your ‘outfit choices’. (By outfit, we of course mean the absolute shambles of mix-matched clothes you wore as a staple uniform.)
Step away from the tweezers
Someone, somewhere in the 90s thought super skinny eyebrows would be a trend. Do yourself a favour and step away from the tweezers, or risk looking super surprised in every photo for the next ten years. Also, you’re going to have ultimate brow envy when Cara Delevingne steps onto the scene. Don’t say we didn’t warn you.
The Leaving Cert isn’t everything
You’re going to spend two years stressing over points, subjects, mocks, and a CAO form. Just take a step back and realise it’s not the end of the world. Most people don’t know what they want to do until they get to college, and when you get there you’ll meet some of the greatest friends and a second family who will see you through the next four years. Everyone has their own path, and just because you don’t land 625 points it doesn’t mean you won’t be pretty happy in life.
Your parents actually do know best
It might be hard to believe they’re not plotting against you, and you’re still not over the fact you’re banned from going to the local disco, but looking back you’ll realise there was a reason to their madness. No, it might not have left you the most popular kid in school, but they’ve definitely made it up to you with the countless lifts home, ‘lends’ of a fiver and home-cooked dinners.
And that dress you were forbidden to wear will make you blush with mortification in another year or two – be grateful you were frogmarched back up those stairs.
Take it from us. There’s no big mystery. They just happen to love you.