It occurred to me the other day that it has been over 7 years since I left school. SEVEN YEARS!
Like many, I’m sure, I absolutely hated school. Whilst I achieved good grades and always had friends, I was always very unhappy and couldn’t wait to leave to go to college for sixth form. Looking back, there were a number of things that made me feel unhappy: from external factors, to simply how I felt about myself. In hindsight, these are some things I wish I had done as a teenager…
- I wish I had been less anxious. I spent my teenage years feeling incredibly stressed. Granted, some aspects needed some attention and focus, but I wish I had approached these stressors with a calmer attitude. Every little thing felt like the end of the world and I would feel easily panicked or upset. I felt anxious every day, which meant that by the time an exam approached, or I fell out with a friend, the level of anxiety was hard to cope with. I wish I had talked about what was bothering me – with both my friends and parents, and realised that I had no reason to worry about 80-95% of what was concerning me. Perhaps it’s easy to say this now, but I wish I took each day at a time, and was able to put things into perspective. Worrying achieves nothing, after all!
2. I wish I had not followed the crowd. Through school, most people spent every waking moment trying to be ‘cool’. From hair styles, to fashions, to where to hang out at weekends, everything centred around trying to be ‘cool’, rather than what made you happy. I wish I had had the confidence to wear the clothes that suited me, rather than blindly following trends. In fact, that’s it – I wish I hadn’t blindly followed others in general. Everyone is different, enjoys different things, and you know what? That’s what is really cool.
3. I wished I had paid more attention in Spanish lessons! Whilst I have always loved the Spanish language, I took my Spanish lessons (in fact, most lessons) for granted. I somehow achieved an A grade at GCSE, but to be honest I didn’t feel it was deserved. I wish I had paid more attention and studied harder – not for a grade, but for myself. Other than reading restaurant menus and describing my bedroom, my Spanish is incredibly limited, and I’m currently contemplating taking an evening course to learn more of the beautiful language.
4. I wish I had stepped off the scales. As a teen, I became completely obsessed with weighing myself and scrutinising my every body part in the mirror. I have always been my harshest critic, but I was never kind to myself or my body. I believed that being a particular weight would make me both beautiful and happy – which couldn’t have been further from the truth. I now exercise for fun and to relieve tension, eat nutritious foods which make my body ‘happy’ and make my skin glow, and leave my set of scales to gather dust. It’s utterly refreshing, and I’ve never felt so body-confident.
5. I wish I had discovered meditation. I first discovered meditation when I moved out of my family home at the age of 18. A lot was going on in my personal life, and I discovered the art of meditation and the wonders of Buddhism as a coping method. I just wish I hadn’t previously cast it aside, labelling it ‘a waste of time’. I spent days researching both topics, attended classes and reading books to learn as much as I could. To this day, I regularly meditate and keep key Buddhist ideologies close to my heart, and I truly believe this has helped me to become a calmer, kinder and more mindful person. I’m hardly perfect, but I’m happy.
Dress – Maysson Pleated Shoulder Fitted Dress
I love the classic style and smart yet pretty style of this beautiful dress. The bold shade is perfect for brightening up my otherwise fairly monochrome wardrobe, and it’s even office-appropriate!
Necklace – Anna Lou of London Monogram Locket
This gorgeous gold plated locket is personalised with my initials and mirrors the classic style of the Maysson dress. It’s great for special occasions, but might just become a regular accessory of mine as it goes with pretty much everything.
Shoes – ASOS
Is there anything you wish you had or hadn’t done as a teenager? Is there anything you would tell your younger self if you could?