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Tuesday, 10 March 2015

Teenage Life Lessons.

Tuesday 10th March 2015 - it's official, I am no longer a terrible teen. From 7am onwards I'm now what's called a 'Young Adult'. Eek. I can no longer blame any stupid decisions on my age, I can't get away with being grumpy all the time, and I suppose I can't really rebel against anything anymore. Not that even happened in the first place. Twenty - it feels like a big one, way bigger than the minuscule step from eighteen to nineteen. No, this is yet another leap of faith into the big wide world... or my enclosed university environment. But nonetheless it feels like a big deal!
Reflecting on my teenage years is both cringey and time-consuming. I'm sure I'm not alone when I say that they've been a crazy six years. I feel like my teenagehood has been an assault course for life - I've learnt a lot of things the hard way. Equally, I know I'm a better person for it. Now that I'm at the ripe old age of twenty, I thought it'd be suitable to share the valuable lessons I learnt as a teen.


You don't need to tell me what a cliché this is, trust me I know. But it's one that rings painfully true in many shapes and forms. Leaving university was the scariest and biggest decision I've ever had to make. I was unhappy from pretty much the moment I got there and spent six months not doing anything about it. Mostly because I was too scared to. With any big life decision, dropping out was a big hassle which resulted in a never-ending battle with Student Finance England. Looking back on it, it would have been easier to stay. I could have powered through and got the degree. But I was so unhappy there. I chose the difficult route but it's also been the best decision of my life. It meant I got to move home, decompress, figure out a plan, work in retail, and go back to a university I actually wanted to attend. I'm a strong believer in doing what makes you happy because otherwise, what's the point? It was terrifying dropping out on university and not having a life plan ahead - but there was also something quite liberating about it. For the first time in my life I had control over what happened next and it was my decision to go back to university. One year on and everything has worked out for me, luckily. Strangely enough, leaving university is something I'm incredibly proud of - it was my decision through and through and I know it was the right thing for me. I've learnt not to be afraid of the unknown because it's yours for the taking. 


 I'm so lucky to have some truly wonderful girl friends in my life. They've been there through all the ups and downs and have never failed to be there for me when I've needed it most. And of course, I've offered the same support. Because there's nothing quite like female friendship. Some of my friends who I've known my whole life are like sisters to me. They know me so well and are never afraid to call me up on my nonsense - and that's all you really need, right? Girls that are willing to sit with you through the tears, laugh at the silliness, and gossip over overpriced lattés. These girls are my backbone. 


This one is still a work in progress for me. I've always been a cautious person, it's just my nature. Sometimes I have to remind myself that hey, I'm young and I should be saying 'yes' to things and branching out. Now that I'm half way through my first year, I've noticed that I'm a lot more comfortable with putting myself out there and turned into a bit of a social butterfly... well compared with my previous university experience where Netflix was my BFF (not that there's anything wrong with some Netflix loving). Although lazy nights in are much needed some times, I generally believe that you're more likely to remember the nights you spent out with friends making memories than the time you fell asleep in front of your laptop - guilty as charged.
I jumped into the big scary blogging world last year and haven't looked back. Although I had a Tumblr for years when I was going through my angsty teen phase, I had wanted to start over for a while. But the internet is a massive, loud, and consuming abyss of voices as it is, I didn't know how I was going to possibly add to that. It's intimidating from an outsider's perspective. But I desperately wanted the creative outlet and plucked up the courage to dive in and I'm so glad I did. Everybody has to start somewhere and looking back on my first posts is extremely cringey/hilarious. But I love watching this space grow and I'm always happiest when I'm blogging. Again, I'm so happy I had the courage to sign up to Blogger last June because LydiaLulu has given me confidence in my writing ability and introduced me to the wonderful online world of beauty bloggers.


Without putting too much pressure on myself, my teenage years taught me to try and be the best person I can. Whether that translates to school work, checking up on that friend who's having a hard time, or texting your Grandma to see how she is. I feel like in the world of social media it's very easy to get wrapped up in ourselves. I've ranted written about Facebook before and I still try to avoid it as much as possible. The unhappiest I've probably ever been is when I became so caught up in my own head, remembering that there is life beyond your issues is what sometimes gets you to see clearly. Generally speaking, I'm happiest when I feel like I'm being the best daughter/sister/friend/student I can possibly be. Of course I'll never be perfect, no one is, but just showing the people that you love how much you care and pushing yourself academically is my recipe for success.


Eurgh, if only I could go back in time and tell myself that. I'm a chronic overthinker, always have been, always will be, but in my experience everything does have a way of working itself out. Or at least I have a tendency to adapt to the new circumstances. I wish I could reclaim the hours I spent stressing over exams or, even worse, hating on myself. The teenage years are an awkward time and while the rest of my friends shot up and were waif thin, I was consistently short and retained the childhood puppy fat I didn't lose till I was eighteen. It makes me sad to think back on my painfully low self-esteem and all the time I effectively wasted worrying about my appearance. If I could give my teenage self one piece of it would be to relax a little and be more confident in my abilities - because it's all worked out in the end.

So I'm no longer a teen. I won't lie, I was a little sad when the clock struck midnight. It feels like the end of an era. On the other hand, I couldn't wait to be a 'proper' adult. I'm twenty now, anything feels possible. So long teens, hello twenties...

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