Thought I would mix things up a little with this post, since I have been reflecting on the past recently- I know doing this is torture but it just has to be done. I know I am only 18 but I feel I have changed dramatically since I was 14 years old and during this change I have learnt a few things. Some of these things I was always told throughout growing up and refused to believe, but some of these things I wish I was told so I could make the change in my lifestyle sooner. I know I am only just (technically) an adult and I will gain so much life experience over the years to come, but now I’ve just started university thus moved out and gained so many new friendships. This change in my life has allowed me to reflect on my younger self, things I regret and things I have learnt from so I thought I would share a few.
Cut people out!!
I know this sounds horrible, but I am not referring to everyone, just the people that don’t deserve your time. I have learnt the harsh way that if a friendship appears to be one sided, then say goodbye. If you are putting more into the friendship than you are receiving then its not worth your time, obviously people go through things in life which means they can’t always put as much time into the friendship but if its an ongoing thing, whats the point?
This doesn’t just refer to the amount of time people put in, friends are supposed to support you, bring you joy and come on a journey with you. If you feel a friendship isn’t providing them things then why stay in it? If your friends are making you more unhappy then they are happy then are they really friends?
I have recently reflected on past friendships and realised they weren’t friendships at all. I have realised some friendships aren’t worth my time, some just caused more drama then they are worth. I think its down to the person to evaluate whether the friendship is worth their time, some friendships are built on different grounds. But I do think its worth thinking about because I cannot imagine my life and how unhappy I would be if i didn’t cut certain people out. Likewise, if a friendship is ending because you have both drifted, let it end. Don’t force a friendship, it’ll most likely make things worse and could end in a argument which isn’t needed.
I’m not talking about new years resolutions, because nobody sticks to them. I’m talking about setting yourself goals, the typical ones for people in their teens are passing exams and getting into uni. However, they don’t have to be massive they can be as small as reading a book. The feeling of reaching these goals is one of the most satisfying feelings I have ever experienced.
However, if you do decide that you want to set yourself big goals then go for it! Opening UCAS and seeing I actually go into the university of my choice was surreal. I think setting yourself big life goals is an amazing thing to do as it gives you something to work for. I come from a town where people tend to get stuck in the same routines working the summer seasons and going out drinking. I knew I didn’t want that, my home town is great but I wanted to see the world, I wanted to live in a city, so I made it my goal to go to university.
Having aspirations has helped me achieve so many things, and most importantly happiness.
Don’t be afraid to be yourself!
As you can probably tell from my previous posts, I’m into a more alternative music scene (I am not going to deny that I will happily rock out to a bit of Kanye though). I grew up listening to Rancid and when I entered secondary school all I wanted to do was fit in so I stopped myself from listening to what I wanted. I remember listening to the top 40 and my dad hating every minute of it-my house was a constant battle of the charts and Sick of it all, I now feel very sorry for the rest of my family. Then b.o.b released that wonderful album, which introduced Hayley Williams and Rivers Cuomo back into my life. I remember not feeling guilty for listening to them songs and showing Paramore to people as they liked Aeroplanes-I look back on this and just want to shout at myself, I can’t believe I thought denying myself of this music would make people like me. Luckily I never went back, I started listening to what I liked again and my dad was happy. Sure I had to deal with people calling me ’emo’ but I was comfortable in myself again, personally if someone can’t accept a certain side of you then are they worth your time?
Your mother is always right!
Okay, maybe not always. But most of the time, my mum always pushed me to do things-like revise for exams. Now the idea of going against my mums back to do things seems pointless, for example when I was 16 I nearly went and got a few tattoos (illegally) despite my mum suggesting I don’t-I am so glad I didn’t as I 100% don’t want any of the tattoos I did back then. As I said my mum pushed me to revise when all I wanted to do was go out with my friends, I now realise her pushing me was the of the best things that has happened. I remember not believing in myself and going to apply for an easier university to get into, but my mum told me if I worked hard I could get in which I did. I have realised that if I talk to my mum about phonetics or a band like Blakfish she will have no idea, but when it comes to important life decisions my mum has a pretty good idea!
You will grow out of that phase- you know the one that makes you say “Its not a phase mum!!”
As I’ve been reflecting on my 14 year old self, I have been reminiscing through photos. Which brings me to my final tip of advice. Coloured hair is nice but don’t dye your hair permanently red. It will take forever to come out! Be prepared for bright orange hair. Also, if you manage to finally get the red out of your hair, avoid going every colour in the rainbow in under 2 months. Your hair will most likely fall out! (and you will want to destroy every photo of your teen years)
(I am cringing so much at these photos-but I felt they had to be shared. I honestly can’t say I’ve fully grown out of my wild hair days, but I like to think my fashion sense has increased slightly)
Thanks for reading, Sydney x