Things I Needed to Know at Sixteen

I recently stumbled across a post by another blogger that was basically a letter of advice to her own teenage self.  I loved this idea so much that I’m stealing it for my own blog.  I don’t know if this is a major no-no in the blogging community, as I’m fairly new here, but they do say imitation is the highest form of flattery.  So you’re welcome!

Here is a list of things I wish I could go back in time and say to the sixteen year old version of me, even though I was so brainless and immature back then that I probably wouldn’t have heeded advice from myself.

Little Ms. Clueless

Little Ms. Clueless

  1. Boys suck.  You have better things to do than chase around some idiot boy who DEFINITELY thinks of only one thing when he’s with you.  Stop dedicating every sappy Celine Dion song you hear to this seventeen-year-old asswipe– because he’s probably working out the muscles in his right hand over a stack of old Playboys he found in his basement while you’re home crying into your Discman that you are his lady, and he is your man, and whenever he reaches for you, you’ll do all that you can.  Um, GAG.
  2. Stop complaining about having big boobs.  It makes other girls want to smack you.  Not every girl is blessed with a perky set of 34D’s, you know.  Someday they’ll be nothing more than a saggy nuisance that gives you bad posture and backaches, so enjoy them now while you can.
  3. Drinking is kind of fun; hangovers are kind of not.  One is almost always followed by the other.  Remember this the first time you force down a gross-tasting swig of cheap, corner-store beer because that asswipe from #1 told you it was a good idea.
  4. Every time you feel embarrassed by something, just be grateful that there is no such thing as a camera phone in 1998.  Otherwise, pictures from the time you sat in a puddle of chocolate milk (think about it…) might have found their way to the internet by now. Oh, the internet?  It’s like America Online times a thousand—and it will eventually replace reality.
  5. Soak up every single note and lyric of 90’s music; music will never be this awesome again.  Someday you’ll publicly karaoke the shit out of some Juicy by the Notorious B.I.G. and you will thank me.
  6. You are beautiful.  No, seriously, you are.  You don’t seem to think so, which is so absurd I could barf, but you really are.  Your insecurity is the ugliest thing about you.
  7. Try to find some friends who make you feel amazing, ones who are real and honest and who truly understand you, and then hold onto those friendships as long as you can.  You probably won’t ever hear from the rest of your friends again after high school.  Well, not until this thing called Facebook comes along and makes you realize most of those other people are either crazy or really, really dumb.  Or both.
  8. Sweaters and bell-bottom jeans ARE sexy; so keep right on wearing them every day.  Luckily, you belong to a generation that neither applauds nor respects women who walk around with their private parts hanging out of their itsy bitsy clothing.
  9. Figure out what you want to be when you grow up.  You think you still have so much time to decide, but you’re on the cusp of adulthood and you need to have dreams RIGHT NOW.
  10. Don’t be discouraged by jaded adults who never got to be what they wanted when they grew up.  They’ll say bullshit things like “you won’t make money doing this,” or “there is so much competition in that.”  They failed because either something got in the way or they just didn’t try hard enough.  They’re a bunch of ignorant assholes, and their failure shouldn’t obstruct your success.
  11. There is no such thing as “good sex” for a teenage girl.  It’s risky, it usually hurts, it won’t make your boyfriend like you more, and you won’t even really be sure why you agreed to do it in the first place.  Sounds old-fashioned, but you need to wait until you are ready.  Here’s a hint, you’ll be neither ready nor dating a person who actually deserves you for a VERY long time.
  12. Study more.  Good grades will help you get into a good college, which will help you get a good job, which will help you buy all the Tommy Hilfiger, Nautica, and Polo Sport bags you could ever want.  Not that those will be the craze for too much longer—soon you will meet your very first Coach bag and it will be love at first sight.  Speaking of which, you might also want to work on toning down that pricey obsession with bags and purses now, or it won’t be long before you start dropping several paychecks at a time on something that merely hangs off your shoulder and holds keys and tampons.
  13. But seriously, study a lot.  Being smart is A LOT cooler than you think. Hell, it’s even sexy.  Like really, really, extremely sexy.  If you have to quit your afterschool job selling cookies at the mall (which is currently funding your bag obsession) to study more, then do it.   One day, you might even become the type of person who watches Jeopardy every night and gets a lot of right answers.  Oh, and you might have a great job too.
  14. Get closer with your family.  You share both a home and a bloodline with these people.  Sure, it’s important that you voice your concern over who spends the most time in the bathroom every morning or who ate the last toaster waffle, but that shouldn’t be the ONLY thing you ever talk about with them.   After all, no one ever says “I wish I had never been so close with my parents when I was growing up.”
  15. Be yourself.  In the words of the great Dr. Seuss: “Today you are you, that is truer than true.  There is no one alive who is youer than you.”  You need to be who you are and stop giving a shit what other people think.  Those people don’t care about you, and they never will.

Sorry for going all afterschool special for a while there (do they still make those???), but the teenage me REALLY needed to get a clue.

Spoiler alert: She did, eventually.  But it took a long damn time.

I guess maybe I’ll save this list for when Little D is 16.  Although I’m not sure that bell bottom jeans will be back in style by then.

3 thoughts on “Things I Needed to Know at Sixteen

  1. Whenever I think back to some crazy/embarrassing story from my teenage/college years I am eternally grateful there was no such thing as Facebook or camera phones. Those poor kids today. And I can’t even imagine what it will be like 10, 20 years from now.

    And I totally agree with number 10. It took me awhile to figure this out, but I’m glad I did.

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