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5 Oct

Dear Teenage Self…

On the eve of my 27th birthday, as I sit in bed sipping a Mimosa, minus the Champagne… okay, it’s a large glass of orange juice with ice but let me at least pretend to set a slightly more glamorous scene… I wonder how on earth I’ve made it this far. If you’d have told seventeen-year-old Sophie that ten years on she’d be perpetually single, renting a flat (not living in a five-bed mansion with a banker) and still sleeping with her childhood teddies, she’d have most definitely told you to F off.  

All my life, my parents have told me you never really feel ‘grown up’. I thought it might be when I went off to uni, graduated, got my first proper job, moved out of the family home, started making my own dentist appointments, etc. Fast forward to being in my late (eek) twenties and way into the ‘overs’ category on the X-Factor (come on Simon, 25 and over is NOT old?!) I can’t say I feel any more ready to grow up. Despite this, what I can confidently say is that I’ve learnt a hell of a lot of lessons whilst trying, some the hard way.  

So, what would I tell teenage Sophie, if she was sat next to me right now (probably drinking a vodka ReBull rather than a sensible glass of orange)? First of all, I’d tell her to tone down the spray tan and blend out her eyeshadow. Then, I’d move on to these pearls of wisdom…  

Stop saying yes to everything. This one took me a long time to realise, but once I did, life became a whole lot sweeter. If you don’t want to do something, don’t do it! It’s really that simple and trust me, the FOMO is always worse than the actual missing out.  

 

But do say yes sometimes, even when it’s scary. Okay, backtracking a little with this one, but I cannot tell you how many times I stopped myself from doing something because I was too scared. Scared my boyfriend would dump me if I did that year abroad, scared of applying for that job in case I got rejected, you get the picture. If you want to do something, go for it. YOLO (sorry).  

 

You won’t even remember his name in ten years’ time. In fact, you probably won’t remember it in ten weeks’ time. Your first heartbreak will never be fun, but trust me, you will look back one day and wonder what on earth you were thinking. If you’re anything like me, this one will unfortunately apply to more than one human. Here’s hoping in another ten years’ time I’ll know exactly why those f*ckboys didn’t work out.  

You will never be too cool to hang out with your parentsOr grandparents, aunties, uncles, caregivers etc. Ever. Treasure every minute you have with them. Honestly, there’s no better day out than a trip to IKEA with my mum.  

 

Stop comparing yourself to others. To be honest, I’m still working on it, but if we could keep drilling this one into the heads of every teenage girl we know, the world might be a slightly happier place. Although the way you look might seem like the most important part of you right now, it’s actually the least. Be kind, study hard and have fun. Oh, and I’ll let you in on a secret – the girls you see on Instagram don’t even look like that, really.  

 

Isn’t hindsight a wonderful thing…  

Sophie Charlesworth
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