A letter to my 16 year old self

Last year, I wrote a letter to my 13 year old self which you can find here but lately I have been reflecting on the past couple of years as I'm about to turn 19 and there are so many things that have changed in the past 3ish years, I have decided to write a letter to my 16 year old self. I hope that if you are currently around this age that you will find it helpful and perhaps not make the same mistakes I did...
Ok so you're in year 11 now and all you can think about is leaving the school you're at now but stop and think for a second. Is that really what you want or are you just trying to prove a point to the teachers? You may think this is the best decision now but you don't realise that come September, you are at a new school with no friends and it doesn't do wonders for your confidence. You might think this is a journey of self discovery but really consider whether it's going to make you miserable or not. Make a pros and cons list, you're good at those now. 

It's nearly time for your GCSEs but please stop worrying about them so much. Everyone knows you're going to do ok because of how hard you've worked but you need to stop panicking because it isn't good for your health and now that you've finished compulsory education, nobody bothers to ask for your GCSE grades. Just focus on appreciating your friends and spending time with them because once you move to a different school, you're in for an incredibly lonely two years. You don't know that yet though, you're convinced you'll be happier. 

Don't listen to the teachers and their predicted grades, they are only going to make you incredibly stressed. You don't know this now but as the years go on, you become increasingly more self determined and stop caring about the labels they force upon you. That goes for the people you don't get on with so well too, ignore what they are saying on askfm, it's 2017 now and I'm certain the site doesn't exist anymore. Recently, a new similar site has been created though but you've stayed away from it - it's surprising how much a person can mature when they have no choice to. You're no longer called an "emo" or an "attention seeker" so carry on talking about mental health, break the stigma and don't feel suppressed by people telling you to stop or the rumours making you feel like what you're doing is stupid. You're much more successful now; you have this blog, you've continued with your art and you're actually doing things. You didn't let them stop you from achieving.

Don't be a pushover though. You know that you and your friends actually have very little in common but don't let this take over you and make you into somebody you're not in order to fit in. You wouldn't be where you are today if you pretended to be someone else. Right now, losing your friends feels like the worst thing in the world but you get over that eventually. You're very independent now, it's quite refreshing really.

Try and get out a bit more. Don't worry, 18 year old you still spends far too much time at home but you need to go out because it makes you feel suffocated staying at home all of the time. Maybe if you went out, you would have more friends now. Who knows?  But, more importantly just do what makes you feel comfortable. At this point, you're spending about 10 hours a day doing Art coursework because your teacher has told you you're going to fail but don't worry, you actually come out with an A. You're still in the process of putting yourself first but you're going to get there eventually. It's a long, hard process of realising that you're important but you feel much better for it now. If you need to take time out of lessons then do, your health is more important. Yes, there are rumours about your constant meltdowns but ignore them, you haven't spoke to those people in years now anyway. Just do you.

Now, you're about to go through another big change in life with moving to university in September. Your anxiety towards results day is worse now than what you're currently experiencing but you're handling it much better, you're feeling generally better and you're still with your boyfriend. It's been 4 years nearly. Well done, you got through some of the hardest parts of your life.

What would you say to your younger self if you had the chance?

Lauryn

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