Dear 16 year old me, I’m writing to you from 20 years in the future. Things are pretty strange here. I’m writing today to give you a few bits of advice, but without any spoilers. So read on to hear what I’ve got to say.
Dear 16 Year Old Me
Life is pretty crazy right now for you. You’re about to do your GCSE’S and your Mum is in rehab. Things are overwhelming, and you’re doing the best you can to ride out the storm. You’ll be fine. Keep your head down and don’t let the fun times alcohol plays a part in make you forget just how destructive it can be.
Dear 16 year old me. Please remember you’re not alone. Right now, it feels like you’re surrounded by tons of people, yet you’re so lonely. Hardly anyone gets you. Your life is so different from everyone else’s. Don’t worry. The close friends you have now will be around for a long time to come. You’re also about to make one of your life-long friends, later this Summer.
You’ll have finished school soon, and already have a Summer job lined up. You’ll love working in the bubble bath factory. It’ll be hard graft but you’ll make some amazing friends and memories. Also, don’t worry too much about which college course to take – Academic Education really isn’t everything. You’ve got more life experience at 16 than most of your classmates will have by the time they are 36.
Trust your gut. If college feels right, stick with it. If it doesn’t, work on a plan B. You’re good at that. One of your strengths is your ability to think outside the box, and come up with alternatives other people would miss. It’s a skill that will get you out of a few jams over the years ahead.
Don’t worry too much about your career. I know you’ve got your heart set on being a social worker, but your passion and empathy may be too strong to fit in within that role. Your time (and platform) will come though. You’ll find plenty of ways to help those who need it.
Right now, you’re afraid of rejection. You’re afraid of letting people get close because you can’t stand the thought of them rejecting you down the line. You’ll soon learn who your true friends are, and who isn’t worthy of your love and time. As the years roll by, remember not to accept treatment from people that you wouldn’t give out. If someone is hurting you, step away.
You’re in for some really rough years ahead. You’ll lose so many people and your heart will break so many times, you’ll wonder if you can put it together again. But you will. You’ll dust yourself down, pick yourself up and carry on putting everyone else first. Just as you always have.
Keep Your Friends Close
You’ll make some amazing friends over the years to come. Keep them close. You’ll need them just as much (if not more) than they’ll need you. Listen to them when they tell you to slow down with the good times – they have your best interests at heart.
Enjoy your teens and early twenties. You deserve to let your hair down now, after so many years being a young carer. There’s plenty of time for being a grown up ahead. Also, make sure you go and get the pill like you keep threatening to do – And keep taking it. Even if you’re told he’s infertile. It won’t end well otherwise.
Finally, dear 16 year old me, please remember that you are only human. You’ll constantly be trying to spin too many plates for one person, and it’s ok to pass them on to other people when required. Above all else, remember that you are loved, and you only need to ask for help and people will be there. Just like you will be for them. Time and time again.
So for now… Go and enjoy what is probably going to be the best Summer of your life. You’ve earned it! X