(clockwise from top left – 17, 18, 19, 17)
Found some old photos before phone cameras were good and I discovered what an eyebrow pencil was. I miss my long hair!
Don’t feel pressured to have a boyfriend because everyone else does – it’s not worth it.
Just because everyone else has a boyfriend doesn’t mean you need one too. Remember that saying your Gran used to always say, ‘if your best friend jumps off a bridge, would you jump too?’ I know it’s a bit awkward with everyone standing around in couples at the skatepark while you skate about, but honestly, it’s not worth the hassle. Just stay single and don’t worry about it.
Don’t worry about the people bullying you, things turn out pretty good in the end – trust me.
I know it seems like the bullying and name calling and just about everything else going on feels like the end of the world. I know you spend most of your days hiding in the girls toilets during classes where you sit next to your bullies. I know you spend days skipping school altogether because you’ve saved up your lunch money and decided to ride around on buses all day just to get away from people. I get it.
School is important, so don’t let these small minded people change your future just because they’re petty and shallow enough to think it’s funny to bully someone. Concentrate on your art and computing. Trust me, it might take you another ten years to figure out what you want to do, but it’ll come eventually. Keep your head up, shoulders back and realise they’re just not worth the time or tears.
Don’t worry so much about exam results – you won’t know what you want to do until ten years on.
Don’t sweat not having any ‘good’ qualifications from high school. Sometimes life moves at it’s own pace. I know everyone has taught you that the rules are primary school – high school – university – job, but honestly, don’t even listen. Do it how you want, because you won’t even know what you want to do with your life until a decade later anyway.
Don’t worry so much about your looks – outer beauty doesn’t mean everything.
Keep being a tomboy. Keep growing your hair. Don’t listen to your friends when they tell you to wear foundation because everyone else in the group is because you’re too pale and stand out in photos. Keep being you. I know you’ll probably go through phases of dying your hair all different colours, changing up your looks like a chameleon, I get it, it’s all part of finding out who you are. But trust me, when you do get that boost of confidence, it’ll make you feel a million times better.
Plus, all the superficial people who tried to get you to come shopping so they could put you in embarrassing clothes and laugh at the fact that you don’t have boobs are long gone from your life anyway, so don’t worry.
Don’t worry about keeping friendships from school – most of them are pretty shitty now anyway.
Don’t worry about falling out with her. Don’t worry about being left out friend groups for sleepovers and nights out to the cinema. I know it seems super lonely a lot of the time, but you’ll end up with the best group of friends ever. Friends for so long that you’ve forgotten just how many nights in and nights out you’ve had. Amazing friends that you’d consider as close as family. It’s tough being alienated, I know, but it’ll make you so much more picky when it comes to having friends in the future.
Bonus tip – Please, whatever you do, don’t get bored and get your hair cut super short at the hairdressers when you’re 16…
That was a hard style to grow out. Should’ve listened to my mum.
If you could back and talk to your younger self, what would you tell yourself?