1 – Those DIY blonde highlights are really not a good look. Nor are those massive chavvy earrings that sit on your shoulders and make your neck hurt when you sleep with them in after a night on the WKD’s. The lashings of mascara to make your eyes look like spider legs doesn’t look as great as you think and that neon orange fake tan makes you look incredibly stupid, especially those massive tide marks along your jaw. Sort it out.
2 – Choose quality over quantity when it comes to clothes, especially staples like jeans and coats. Primark leggings are £3 a pair and there’s a reason for this, everyone can see your My Little Pony pants through them and it’s not a pretty sight. Make sure you have a set of well-fitting black trousers and a smart shirt for job interviews (and funerals) that are from anywhere but Matalan.
3 – Don’t be so honest, the truth rarely sets you free. Surviving the various minefields of life requires 75% honesty and 25% bullshit, be good at the latter and you’ll go far.
4 – Cherish your time with loves ones because as cliché as it sounds, they really won’t be around forever and when the time comes you’ll regret not doing all the things you said you would do.
5 – Don’t fret over college and university. Only a few lucky ones know what they’re calling is at such a tender age and whilst a degree can take you places, it’s not the end of the world if you don’t have one. Your drive, personality and ambition will see you through just fine and you’ll meet a lot of people who spent a shitload of money on a degree that has no relation to their career.
6 – A broken heart can be healed, although it does get worse every time and it’ll happen quite a few times and yes some men can be complete shit but there are really good men out there, try not to push them away out of spite.
7 – Your mum is your best friend and she really does know best. You will have earth shattering arguments and refuse to listen to her but it’s true what they say and she really does have your best interests at heart and no one will ever love you as much as she does.
8 – Always listen to your gut instinct, especially when it comes to people. Right from the word go you’ll meet some people and something will just be off and you can’t quite put your finger on it, this is your gut instinct kicking in telling you they’re bad news. Listen to it, it’s never wrong.
9 – START A SAVINGS ACCOUNT and make reasonable monthly deposits. The time will come when you’ll want to fly the nest and have your own slice of mortgage hell and houses are bloody expensive but if you start saving now you’ll have something to put down and get on the property ladder rather than throwing your money into a black hole by renting. Oh, and house shares suck a thousand fat ones.
10 – Don’t sweat what other people think of you. If someone doesn’t like you (and makes it obvious) don’t let their negative vibes rub off on you and just forget about them. Don’t bring yourself down to their level, be polite, be professional if the occasion calls for it but whatever you do don’t bring yourself down to their level. You’re so much more than that.
11 – Stand up for yourself and don’t let anyone take the piss. In school you detested bullying and always stood up for the quiet kid who couldn’t defend themselves but what about when you’re the one at the hands of a bully? You’ll encounter bullies in various forms, especially in the workplace and you’re perfectly within your rights to go above them and nip it in the bud and to not take any shit.
12 – Stop drinking so much alcohol. You’ll literally piss your pay packet up the wall and all it does is make you gain weight, lose a day or two, do stupid shit you’ll regret and skint you out. Know your limits, throwing up into a pint glass and rinsing your mouth out to then go back and drink more is not big or clever, it’s just a waste of money and pretty disgusting.
13 – Let it go. Don’t hold grudges, people aren’t perfect and neither are you. Being angry at the world is stressful and damaging and these emotions will eat you alive if you continue to feed them. Try not to hate, everyone is fighting their own battle you have no idea about.
14 – Never feel like you’re not good enough for anyone, or anything. Some you win, some you lose and that’s just how it goes.
15 – Learn how to cook and educate yourself about nutrition and how your body works. Cooking is a life skill and the sooner you know what you’re doing the better you’ll be for when you fly the nest. You only have one body, look after it and stop filling it with crap.
16 – Travel the world and broaden your horizons whilst you’re young and financially carefree. Whilst you don’t have rent to pay travel as much as you can! The world truly is your oyster, work a season here, a season there and a season way over there. You’ll meet amazing people and things you never thought you were capable of. The real world can teach you things you’ll never learn in a classroom.
17 – LEARN TO DRIVE. Do it now whilst your young and have a disposable income, driving lessons (and time to do them) are bloody expensive and it’s another skill that will come in very handy.
18 – Stop doubting yourself and comparing yourself to others, you make mistakes like everyone else and you’re far from perfect but you really are fucking awesome.