What Would You Tell Your 16 Year Old Self?

What Would You Tell Your 16 Year Old Self_It’s GCSE Results day here in the UK and I’m hours away from finding out if my middle son has smashed it or followed in his mum’s footsteps!!

I remember when my eldest son collected his exam results a few years ago (he did incredibly well – much better than his mother!). As I sat in my car outside the school gates, waiting for him to come out, I felt physically sick.  I was transported back to my own results day and I experienced all the same sensations I had back then; sweaty palms, butterflies and headache.
I’m here again and I’ve already started preparing my best scenario speeches.  The ‘OMG A’s I’m so proud of you,’ and the ‘let’s draw a line and take a moment to think through our next step.’
This got me thinking about what I would tell my 16 year old self, about exams, life, and growing up, if I could borrow Michael J Fox’s Delorean, and pop back to 1988.  This is what I came up with:-

  1. Suck it up! You really should have been revising instead of reading those ‘Sweet Dream’ books.
  2. They’re going to make you re-sit your maths exam – that’s an extra year of night school and you’ll still never use Pythagoras Theorem.
  3. Boys come and go – the heartbreak ends and the sun comes up again.
  4. Enjoy being skinny, it doesn’t last!
  5. Make lots of wrong decisions because you’ll learn so much.  Regret nothing.
  6. College is great so enjoy yourself but watch out for student nights’ (Southern Comfort is not as nice second time around!)
  7. Learn a foreign language.
  8. Stay true to who you are and never let anyone tell you what to think.
  9. Things might get really bad for a while but stay strong and life will deliver amazing opportunities.
  10. Never give up on your dreams.
  11. Cherish your family.
  12. Embrace the changes in technology as they arrive – you’re going to LOVE social media!
  13. An 18-30 Ibiza holiday is okay once, but travel as far and wide as you can because the world is an amazing place.
  14. Johnny Depp will always be gorgeous.
  15. Fear is just false evidence appearing real.  Don’t let it control you.
  16. Your love of pizza isn’t just a teen thing.
  17. You’ve got the gift of the gab for a reason – use what you say to help others.
  18. Be a leader, not a sheep.
  19. Chocolate cures EVERYTHING.
  20. Dream It, Live It, Become It.

I’d love to hear what you would tell your 16 year old self, let me know in the comments below.
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  1. Number 6… I’ve never been able to drink it agsin after a particularly drunken night!
    And 14 – yes! Just yes! (Mu brother worked with Johnny Depp on Willy Wonka… jealous? Me? Never!
    Great advice though!!!
    Good luck to your son!!! Xxx

  2. What a great post! I got 9 GCSEs but I remember comparing myself to my friends and being disappointed that I didn’t get as high grades as they did. I worked my socks off at my GCSEs and it was a very stressful time in my life as I’d lost my dad a few years’ previously. I guess I’d say to my 16 year old self to be proud of my achievements, and to trust that everything will work out 🙂

    1. Oh, I love your comment so much! Yes, be proud of your achievements, they are unique to your life journey. I know in my heart that I didn’t work hard at school (it pretty much baffled me most of the time!) but I know I’ve worked hard ever since and I’m proud of that. x

    1. OMG, yes to this, Carol. It seems so important at the tender age of 16 but things change, employers look for experience over qualifications, and don’t get me started on the student debt from Uni life!!

  3. I love thinking about this, what I’d tell myself, or what I’d do differently… but I do hesitate as any change (or influence) I have over the past would surely change me now, right? And like you said, “no regrets” 🙂 Plus, I know I was/am stubborn and probably wouldn’t listen to a word older me had to say! Haha.
    If I DID do it though, I’d definitely try to teach myself not to have regrets; to take a few more risks. My life was pretty sheltered until Uni, through fear of causing problems, and even since then I’ve never been very confident outside my comfort zone!

  4. I’d tell her to work harder at her A’ Levels. I’d also warn her that the second year at university would be grim for so many reasons, but that the final year would be a hoot. I might also tell her not to worry so much about not dressing in the latest fashions, since the 70s really was the decade that taste and fashion forgot.

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