16 things that I would tell my 16 year old self

16 things that I would tell my 16 year old self

Dear 16 year old Leah, there are many many things that I wish I could tell you, many warnings to stay away from toxic people and to study harder at school but sadly I can't teleport back to the past, so instead here is the next best thing. A compilation of 16 things that I would tell my 16 year old self.


The first and most important thing that I would tell you is that it is OKAY to be yourself, you have spent a number of years trying to 'fit in' with societal norms and almost losing yourself in the process. I want you to truly embrace and celebrate who you are because everyone loves the weird, hilarious and goofy Leah, and its about bloody time that you do too.  

2. Study harder

I would like to inform the very naive 16 year old  Leah that you will probably stay friends with about 5 people from your secondary school (3 of which you are still best friends with now!) so don't spend too much time trying to impress the people who don't matter by messing around and getting in trouble. I mean yeah, you had a hilarious time at school but your grades could have been alot better if you actually revised for your exams, so please spend time studying rather than just going out.

3. Feelings are temporary

This goes without saying that feelings aren't permanent, but I guess when you're 16 years old you feel the weight of the world on your shoulders and everything gets magnified to be a bigger problem then it actually is. I would tell myself that feelings are temporary and to stop worrying about things that don't matter. Worrying about things that you have no control over is stupid because there is nothing that you can do to change it. Leah, just deal with the situation head on with grace and decorum

4. Boys aren't the be all and end all

Boys, boys boys....

Well 16 y/o Leah all I can really say about this one is that there is SOOO many boys out there and you are way too young to even be worrying/thinking about boys. Just enjoy your time with your friends because there will be a time when you will be stressing about boys, but now is not that time. Enough of this 'boy' talk for at least 2-3 years please.

5. Everything happens for a reason

People come in and out of your life for a reason, that being friendships, relationships or even family so don't think into it too much. Everything in life is a lesson and a chance to learn and grow as an individual so grasp every opportunity by its reins and don't look back. 

6. Your parents are ALWAYS right

I know that you're probably going through that 'moody' teenager phase right now where you hate everyone and anyone, but please, please listen to your parents because they're always right. That flaky friend who has been treating you like shit for months?? Your mum called it. Not achieving your full potential because you did no revision but still expected an A* ?? Your dad called it. See what I mean! The sooner that you actually listen to your parents the better.

7. Self-loving is not a crime

It has taken me a while to realise this as for some reason, society frowns upon the idea of promoting self-love but for you I think it is really important for you to look after yourself. You need to have more 'me' time and by that I mean run a long, hot bath. Throw a face mask on and put your favourite chick-flick on TV. I really want you to see what I see, even though it may be difficult for you at this time, you need to realise your worth and what you deserve. 

8. Stop wishing your life away

I know you're often guilty of saying to your friends 'I can't wait until I am 18 so I can buy alcohol and get into nightclubs without having to use a fake ID'. But LISTEN....please, do not wish your life away because when you are 80 you will look back and wish to be young again. Trust me when I say this because I actually know that growing old is not all that its cracked up to be and soon enough you will want to be younger again. Especially when you go to university and have 100 more responsibilities than you did before. 

9. Bad things happen in life and that's okay

Life isn't always gucci and yes things do go wrong from time to time but its how you deal with it that really determines the outcome of the situation. Sit down, relax and take a chill pill. Everything will be okay in the end.

10. Write more

You're actually so bad at this but I want you to write more, keep a journal if you can. There is so much for you to write about that I want you to keep track of what happens so you can look back at it in the future. Writing will also help with the career that you want to pursue so go for it! Hey, maybe even one day you will publish a memoir. 

11. Keep the afro! 

I am writing to the past Leah in a bid that you will keep your afro, I know at this age it is so much hassle to have to manage and yeah maybe not everyone rates you with curly hair but you wouldn't be you without it. I even think your afro brings out the biggest part of your personality so please please please for gods sake do not start texturising your hair as you will later regret it!!

12.  Read more

At this age you deem it 'nerdy' to read books, its not nerdy at all. In fact people who read books are highly intelligent and generally cool people, you will later learn this. 

13. Not everyone you meet has good intentions

You are generally speaking, a pretty optimistic person and you tend to take people at face value and see the good in the majority. This isn't particularly a bad thing but you will discover that people lie, they're deceitful and some of your 'friends' really aren't your friends. Keep your cards close to your heart and don't let everybody in, remain an ice queen and life will serve you well!

14. Crying doesn't make you look weak!

This is actually a huge one for you as you rarely cry, like ever. You've been through alot and yet you still come out the other end beaming, you need to cut yourself some slack and actually acknowledge just how strong you truly are. Leah.. crying doesn't make you look weak what so ever, sometimes we all need to cry just to release our emotions. Bottling everything up like you usually do just makes everything 10x worse. 

15. Confidence over arrogance everyday

Confidence is something that will develop in you, in the coming years through different circumstances. Although it is intrinsically innate, confidence means to you walking down the street with no makeup and sweat pants on or rolling out of bed and going straight to uni, and not caring what anybody thinks about you. You will have this eureka moment where you just don't care and it is honestly the best feeling ever.

16.  Rest well knowing that the best is yet to come

Please revel in the fact that the best is yet to come, even as you are writing this; you are completely unaware of whats in store for you and that is extremely exciting. So sit down, chill and see what life has in store for you.

Love from, your 20 year old slightly more mature, slightly smarter, slightly weirder self

Leah xxx


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