Hello, 15-year-old me.

What I would tell my 15-year-old self.

15 was a terrible age for me.Suffering from anxiety and depression, I never seemed to be happy. Every little thing set me off. I left school in the 10th grade and continued my education online. At the time that seemed like the best decision, but today I am not so sure. I am thankful for having the opportunity to do so, and very proud of myself for getting my degree. If I could go back in time and have just one conversation with my 15-year-old self, these are some of the things I would tell her.

1) You failed that test last week, but it doesn’t matter. Please don’t get all worked up because the teachers make you feel that by failing one test you are a failure at life. There will be other tests, in fact, your final grades aren’t comprised of only your test grades. Study what you did wrong and learn from it. I promise you that you will graduate and no college will care that you failed it. It’s done, move on.

2) Please stop caring about what other people think. So what that guy made fun of your t-shirt, you like it, you should own it. I will admit that you still care a little about what people think, but it is less about your appearance and more about how well you are doing in life. I can promise you that after high school no one will remember what you were wearing, or who you dated, but rather what kind of person you were. I know for a fact that you were an awesome person and people definitely remembered that most of all.

3) So what if people are making fun of you for liking that boy over there. You know what? You are 21 and you still like him but are still scared to reach out to him. This goes hand in hand with not caring about people’s opinions because I can promise you that he is a great guy and you would be happy with him. He has a girlfriend now and you are happy that he is happy, but you are also secretly waiting for them to break up so you can make your move (it only took you 11 years).

4) When looking at Universities, consider taking a year off to travel and work. Education is never a bad thing, but I would have liked to have travelled a bit before I went. I’m almost done my degree now and I will travel afterwards, but I feel like I would have had a better sense of what I wanted to study and who I wanted to be if I had gone before University.

5) The friends you have in high school are not the friends you’ll have for life. Your best friend at 15 is still you friend now, but you don’t see her often. Your best friend at 21 is someone you met after high school and someone you have so much more in common with. Don’t be scared to let people go, if they leave it’s because they weren’t meant to be in your life forever.

6)Life is short, too short to hold grudges and too short to worry about the brownie you just ate. It is also too short not to exercise regularly and make sure you are in good health. Indulges every once in a while, but also take care of yourself.

You will turn out to be a great person, and these are a lesson I wished I had of learnt earlier in life. But I like who I turned out to be and life is full of lessons. I’m sure I’ll come back to my 21-year-old self when I’m 30 and tell her some lessons I learnt along the way. Don’t forget to be kind, it’s you best trait, don’t be ashamed of it.

A picture I took when I was 15, I had just gotten my first camera.