Hey guys! So here I sit at the ripe old age of 21, ready to reflect on my teenage years and hit you all with some things I wish I knew in the hope that you can, idk, learn from it? Disclaimer: I was kind of a miserable, angsty teen with un-diagnosed anxiety so if you are, by some miracle, having a good time in high school (is that even possible) then this ain't for you, move on sister. However, if you are riddled with angst and anxious thoughts then welcome to my world, kiddo. Strap in, the ride is starting.

1) It is okay, in fact it's awesome, to be like other girls

Clueless, brittany murphy, and 90s image
Teen me secretly loved rom coms, adult me openly loves them

I wasted an inordinate amount of my time age 12-16 pretending to hate things I actually liked because I thought it was 'cool' to be different and had some internalized misogyny going on. Spoilers: listening to One Direction in secret while claiming to hate them in public is totally the opposite of cool.

Just like what you like, and if people judge you for being 'basic' (or for being weird) then those people suck and don't deserve your time or energy. Also I feel like I missed out on a lot of fun by refusing to be the kind of girl who liked parties or dancing or pop music and your teenage years are definitely a time you should have some fun if possible. Don't miss out on fun stuff to seem cool, that is genuinely the opposite of cool and you'll regret it later!

2) If your friends make fun of you for things you like, get new friends

aesthetic, asian, and besties image

I also wasted my teenage years being friends with a lot of people who I shouldn't have been friends with. I had 'friends' who tore me down and made me feel awful about myself and I left school with rock bottom self esteem. If your friends don't make you feel fantastic about yourself, then you should probably try and make new friends, however scary that seems. Or maybe you'll have to wait until college, idk, that's what I did but it's a long haul and I feel like there has to be a better solution at hand.

3) Nobody hates you (probably)

mean girls, movie, and amanda seyfried image
what I thought girls in high school were like

Until I was, like, sixteen I assumed blindly that life was like a high school movie and the popular kids must hate me so I never even tried to be friends with people I thought seemed cool. But actually, when I was older, it turned out they were all really nice people and I could probably have been friends with them way sooner. And (see point above) they would probably been nicer to me than my actual freinds! Radical. Idk just be nice to people and don't assume they hate you just because you have low self esteem bb.

I also stopped talking to really nice friends because I thought I was annoying them and now I'm sad those people aren't my friends anymore so try to stay in touch with people you like, don't let anxious thoughts get in the way of your life.

4) Sometimes people suck and it is definitely easiest to avoid those people

if people don't like you, don't give them the time of day

When I was a teen I was always getting into fights with a*sholes and, like, fight the good fight for sure (in my case they were misogynists and bigots) but arguing with these people won't change their opinion. What is will do is leave you in a terrible mood so maybe sometimes just refuse to engage with them. Stopping someone from being a terrible person is not a burden you should face alone.

Also sometimes people suck for less fundamental reasons, like maybe they are just quite annoying. Just avoid those people too. If you are facing harassment though, there is no shame in telling a teacher, like I once had to get an in-school version of a restraining order against a guy who told me I was worse than Hitler (looong story) and my life was a lot better when he wasn't allowed to come near me.

5) It gets better

mental health, positive, and self love image

If you have read this far you're probably like, wow, this girl did not have a good time as a teen. And I totally didn't, I have maybe two good memories from all my teenage years (okay that's hyperbolic). However, at university I a) made good friends, b) built my self esteem back up because having good friends who are nice to you makes it much harder to hate yourself and c) was still a mess when it came to academic work but let's ignore that.