Back in April I wrote myself a letter that it seems worth re-visiting as Legal and General are currently running a campaign about advice you’d give your younger self.
If you missed it then, this is what I wrote:
You’re only just 13 and yet you think you know it all already don’t you?
At least you’ve given up those dreams of being a pop star and settled for something more realistic like a fashion designer but, whatever career path you choose, you are going to have to work hard in these last years at school.
Don’t let the bullies win and make you want to hide at home; don’t kiss the wrong boys because you’re scared the right ones won’t ask; do your homework when you get it, because my dear, daydreaming hours away isn’t going to get you the exam results you need.
It’s important to have other interests and friends but think twice before you choose…knowing all the words off by heart to that Madonna song isn’t going to get you far. She may be a “Lucky Star” but I’m afraid you’re not. If you’re serious about your art then practice practice practice!
Mum & Dad may be too busy to tell you but whatever you succeed at they will be proud. But, it’s a scary world out there when you’re growing up and will be too easy to take the lazy option. You’ll regret it if you do.
Work hard. Choose friends carefully. Don’t feel you need a boyfriend because all the other girls have one. As time goes on you’ll find that not everyone is as honest as you are and you may find yourself getting taken advantage of. Don’t be afraid to be alone. It’s ok, I promise.
Collect photos and stories from Nanna, Grandad & Nannie. They’ll be gone too soon and you’ll be left with a million things you want to remember.
Please don’t push away nice people just because they’re not ‘cool’, you’re going to be one of those uncool nice people one day and feel rejected just like they may be feeling now. Learn to build bridges, and not the ones that awful Mr Hancock talks about in Maths, it’s a useful skill.
Try and save some of your pocket money and not spend it all on records…one day you’re going to want nice clothes and however great you think you look only wearing black, I’m afraid vitamin D isn’t our friend and you will always be pale. Save up for some colour…you’ll come to love it, really you will!
In a few years time Dad may start nagging you to learn to drive…give it a go, don’t be stubborn and not do it in some bizarre cutting off your nose to spite your face act of rebellion. It won’t be easy but you can do it and you will love the independence it brings so much you could save yourself a world of heartache.
Be brave, laugh more, live more, learn more…pay attention more!
One final thing, stop bringing stray cats home, you’ll soon realise dogs are much better.
All my love,
So, to recap, the best advice I’d give myself is still to learn more, laugh more, take more photos, and, for goodness’ sake, embrace colour! I think the only thing I’d add is don’t get addicted to chocolate but I very much doubt I would’ve listened!
You can check out #youngerself on your social media timelines to see more of us give advice to our younger selves but what would you go back and tell yourself?