Things I want to tell my 14-year-old self…

Because ten years later, I am wiser… (apparently)

From a better place in life, here are a few things I would like the time machine to beam back to my socially-awkward, insecure teenage self…

  1. Grades don’t really matter. But study hard to learn.
    No, what marks you get today is not going to make or break your career. But what you learn will. Enjoy what you study. Eventually when you are up against the chaos of life, you will miss your structured textbooks and exams.

2. Write more often.
You may be churning out crap, but that’ll give you the practice you need. It doesn’t matter if your friends did not think it was good enough. They don’t know yet that you’ll end up being a journalist.

3. Yes, you will be a journalist.
The dream you were too afraid to tell your friends about, lest they should laugh it off… well, here you are. Be confident of yourself. You are better than you think.

4. Your mother is the real Superwoman.
There isn’t another like her. She can manage anything. It’s natural to think she doesn’t understand you, but the truth is you never took the pains to understand her. Talk to her. She is smarter than you know, and wholly responsible for every good thing about you.

5. It’s okay to be shy and awkward.
Socialising is not everyone’s cup of tea. It does no good to have 50 friends you can barely keep up with. Stick to the ones you are comfortable with, and when you want to, make a tent in your room and hide in it. It’s okay!

6. Don’t fall into the social media trap.
No. Social media is not the coolest thing out there. Your life would be much better without it. Stick to your books. There are far more interesting people in there.

7. It’s okay to not know what exactly you want from life.
Nobody does. The guy who thinks he will be an engineer is going to be a bartender. The wannabe footballer is going to be a designer. The good for nothing back-bencher is going to be a motivational speaker. The computer geek is going to be a banker (Okay, his parents already had his life chalked out for him). Just do what you love.

8. You are beautiful. 
At least to the people who matter anyway. Don’t let anyone else convince you otherwise. What the others think is none of your business. By the way, the ‘friend’ who casually said, “You’ll never be hot,” is still single — ten years later. So chill.

9. You will soon get all the attention you wanted. And didn’t want.
Some men will go the length for you. Say the right words, bring the right gifts, climb balconies, travel hundreds of kilometres, break engagements… (Okay stopping here). You’ll also have your personal stalkers :O So again, chill.

10. Accept yourself for who you are, and the right guy will come along. 
Oh yes, he will! He ll be more than the rich hottie you fantasised about. You will fall in love, and it ll be wonderful. But far more importantly, he ll love you as you are — with your muffin tops, menstrual mess and body hair.