I wrote this blog post for CLMB Official , an amazing initiative that helps young people focus on their careers, life skills, mental health and building their future – check out the rest of their work here.
I’m grateful to have had the opportunity to write for such an innovative organisation – it’s really early days but it’s already doing great things, and it’s something I wish I had as a school leaver, and even at uni. Let me know what you think!
First things first: I know you won’t want to take advice from me, because you don’t like taking advice from anyone, but just hear me out. Or at least, try and think of these as nuggets of life experience over the last nine years.
You probably don’t realise it now, but in retrospect, I can see that despite the bravery and unwavering self-confidence you had when you were 10, the last couple of years has made you feel less-than. I know that home is difficult, and I’m sorry you feel so angry and sad. I know you feel inadequate, comparing
yourself academically to your friends and questioning whether you belong in the same school as such intelligent kids. I want to reassure you that you’re not an imposter. You’re on just the right path for you, and you just have to keep going.
Also, I promise, you’re no way near as ugly as you think you are. That’s all I need to say.
I know you’re “literally in love with” F, I know. It feels like no one understands the entirety and vastness of your feelings, and it seems like he smiles and the whole world lights up. You’ll share a lot of new experiences with him and it’ll help you get over him, in a way. Next year, you’ll meet R and you’ll be in for
a rollercoaster ride – it’ll make you grow up quickly. Probably a bit too quickly, but we both know you’re old beyond your years. You’ll learn a lot about yourself too, so don’t write off the experience as completely useless…! Just you wait though, until A comes into your life – it won’t be for a while yet, but you’ll feel like you’ve been hit by a truck, in the absolute best way possible. (trust me!)
Mum is just trying to help. I know it seems like all you do is fight, but be nicer to her. She does so much that you never notice or give her credit for. As you grow older you’ll lean on her for a million things, big and small. She may seem overbearing and too strict, but (most of it) is in your best interest, I promise. It’s also a small price to pay for someone as brilliant as her, and for all she does for you. Don’t be so snappy with her – you’ll feel bad about those cutting remarks for a long time.
Your friends are wonderful. Yes, there’s bitchy squabbling sometimes, but there are a couple of girls who are ‘real ones’. Ones you don’t want to let go of. Even though boys seem far more interesting, your friends will get you like no one else does. When you move away to uni, you’ll need the girls more than ever – embrace those friendships and check up on them regularly, they’ll be so grateful for it.
Of course, you’re going to mess things up, fail at things and disappoint people who you love and who love you. But you’ll learn from it and come back stronger, even if it seems impossible at the time. You’re smashing it, trust me.
Oh, and one final thing: Your eyebrows will improve, and you’ll discover the magic of contour… I promise!