4 Things I Wish I Knew When I Was 15.

I try to live my life with no regrets. As much as we all make mistakes, there’s no point in dwelling on the past because what’s done is done and all you can do is move forward. 

However, from time to time my thought process takes me back to the past. I start to think about memories, moments, accomplishments, failures and lessons learnt, which makes me wonder how thing’s would be and what life would be like, if things were different.

Your life is unique. Bespoke. Individual. So different people venture on different journeys through life, some a lot easier than others, some a lot harder. I use to beat myself up watching friends pass through life with ease (the sheltered kind), not a worry in the world and their idea of ‘a disaster’ would be a rip in their favourite jeans. A part of me would be angry at this and I’d want to shake their head into next week to try and make them understand people in the world are really struggling with their life, trying to build bridges in their own journey. But as I grew older, smarter and more experienced, I realised that I shouldn’t be beating myself up because of another persons perception of life and it’s okay that everyone’s brought up in a unique environment, which influences every aspect of their personality. 

Over the years I’ve learnt so many life lessons, I couldn’t even begin to list them all. I really wanted to write this post, because I know out there some teenagers may be having a really rough time. With school, college, relationships, family… what ever the problem is… and hopefully my top ‘4 things I wish I knew’ can give even 1 person a dose of guidance that I wish I had. 

I WISH I KNEW… that grades aren’t everything.

I totally get why teachers/lecturers/mentors push you hard in school. Making out that your grades are the be all and end all. I get it, they want you to do well… and hit their grade targets Ofsted set them. But what they fail to mention is that if you don’t do well, there are SO many different paths other than University. When I was in school, the big U word was very daunting. We were made to believe that ‘if you want to be successful, you must go to University’ or ‘If you don’t go to University, you will always have a low paid job’. This is so wrong. I know so many successful people who didn’t go to higher education. I’ve worked on a Marketing Internship at a local college and saw so many young people heading off into different careers through apprenticeships, works experience, placements, schemes. You name it. The current world has so many different paths you can take out of school, so if University really isn’t for you, my advice is don’t feel you have to go… carry on doing what you enjoy and build your career from that. 

I WISH I KNEW… that love at 15, isn’t love.

When you meet someone at 15, who you… kinda like. Your feelings are all over the place. It’s an experience you’ve never had before and when that person feels the same, it almost seems magical. But when you’re 15 and thing’s start to go wrong, it feels like the world is falling on top of you. Love is a powerful thing, in so many wonderful, exciting ways… but can also be pretty shitty. Trust me, I’ve been on both sides. But when you’re a teenage and that one person has broken your heart after you were ‘going out’ for 5 months, you need to realise that one day, another person is going to come along and you’ll feel something completly different. Something stronger and bolder than you felt before! Enjoy the freedom while you’re young and enjoy meeting different people with different interests, hobbies, ambitions. 

I WISH I KNEW… that savings, actually are important.

We all had that one friend that from a young age use to have a saving account, or you’d be having the money conversation and that one friend would say, “well I don’t have much in my account but I have savings in another account”. These simple comments completely slipped my mind, and when I was young… I LOVED to spend. Like seriously, loved to spend. Don’t get me wrong, I still do love to shop, but savings back then were a grown up thing in my mind. Nah, silly Gianni. These are the friends that are now moving into their own home with their boyfriend, moving away to different parts of the country. Silly old me never saved. My one piece of advice is put a small amount away each month in a bank account you cant access easily, like an ISA and just watch! Money will build up slowly ready for when it’s time to be used. It’s something I wish I did!

I WISH I KNEW… how important it was to embrace education.

Education was a funny one for me. I LOVED school, hated college, LOVED university. But during my time at school and University, it was rare I took part in any extra curricular activities, societies or events. Don’t get me wrong, you’d probably find me in our local bar on a Tuesday and Friday night, but none of the ‘special events’ you see advertised around the students union. I really wish I took part in more of these, just for experience and to learn something new. I highly recommend anyone going off to uni this year, to check out the events board in your SU and get yourself signed up to something. Even if it’s something that takes you out of your comfort zone slightly, try to learn another language, learn to play hockey… or even join the wine tasting society. Now out of education and in a full time job, I actually miss it!

My life’s on the UP! I wouldn’t wish anything away from my experience up to now and certainly have no regrets, but like I said at the beginning I’m curious to how things would have turned out.. Your teens are the years to make mistakes and learn from them, make friends, lose friends. But keep in mind that life has only just begun, so something that may seem life changing now, is only a small bump in the road. 

xx

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