Sunday, 11 September 2016

Blogtember: A Letter To My Teenage Self

Bullies never win in the end. When I remember school, both primary and secondary, I can think of numerous times where I was bullied. I was overweight up until the age of 14 years old. So, as bullies do, they find your weakness and prey on that. I can't count the amount of times I came home from school crying and telling my mum that I wasn't going back to school. But you know what,  I did. This was probably the best decision I could have made. Those horrible bullies have made me into the strong and resilient adult that I am today - and they will always be a bully.

Believe people when the say A-Levels are harder than a degree, but also know that A-Levels don't mean everything. I did well at my GCSEs, I'm not bragging here, I'm just trying to set the context. I got 2 A*s in Science and my Dad was a Chemist, so I was in safe hands there. Naturally, I took Chemistry as an A-Level choice and I was really excited about it. Considering my GCSE results, I thought I would breeze through. Fast forward to my results mid way through AS-Level year - I got a U in chemistry. There were tears. I hated Chemistry, my class, the teacher, everything about it. It had turned from something I really enjoyed to something I hated in the space of 6 months. My parents paid for a tutor to help me get through the next two years, I feel I was his least favourite person. But I tried and I worked my arse off. Fast forward to A-Level results day, I work up at 4am and logged into UCAS to find out that I was accepted into Nottingham Trent University. That meant I had done it, I had passed Chemistry. Lots of tears here too. When I opened my results at college, there was a split second where I was disappointed. I got B (Psychology) C (Business Studies) D (Chemistry), I mean it's not AAA like some of my friends got. Then I realised, I had already got a place into my first choice university - none of this mattered anymore. Now, I sit here with a 2:1 Undergraduate Degree and a Masters Degree. Less learnt, don't sweat the small stuff - keep looking at the bigger picture.

You may think he is the love of your life, but he isn't. At the age of fourteen, I feel in love. He was my first boyfriend, and really the first boy that ever paid any attention to me. I thought he was great. We would spend every lunch break together and I would get told off for being late to form because I was kissing him in the corridor. My form tutor brought this up in one parents evening, I was mortified! Oh, young love! I was with this boy until I was 18 years old - which looking back is such a long time for my age. I chose the same university as him, I thought he was the one and only. But we grew apart and I dumped him a few weeks before I went to University (bit awkward being at the same Uni!) I wouldn't change the years I had with him, but I would go back and tell myself 'you have your whole life ahead of you, he is not the one'. He clearly wasn't the one when he had another girlfriend the week after I broke up with him!

Your hair always looked rubbish. On what planet did we ever think that a high ponytail, scraped back into a scrunchie using a nit comb, would be a good look? Also, don't forget the two strands of hair pulled down at the front to finish off the look.

You are perfect exactly the way you are, don't let anyone tell you any different. As I grew up though my teens, my body started changing and the weight I once had appeared to disappear. At the age of 18, I was probably the thinnest I have ever been (and probably ever will be). But I still wasn't happy with my body. I always remember being conscious of what I was eating, more conscious than someone for such a young age should be. Back to the relationship above, the nail in the coffin on that relationship was when he told me that he wanted me to stop eating because I needed to lose weight. He would tell me 'should you really be eating that' but I never thought anything of it - until then. It was a swift goodbye to Mr Douchbag and off he went into the sunset with his 'appropriately sized' new girlfriend. This killed me at the time, and if I wasn't as resilient, it could have lead to a seriously unhealthy relationship with food. The saddest thing was I had a really lovely figure back then, but I didn't let myself see that.

Embrace being able to drink and function like a normal person the day after. In my University days, I was going out drinking about 4 days a week. I know - how did my liver and finances cope. Let's say, I lived university to the full. But, hand on heart, I can say I never missed a lecture because I was hungover. I just didn't get hangovers. My best friend then, and still to this day, would tell me that I smelt of alcohol in 9am lectures - but I was still there and functioning. Fast forward to the age of 25, I can't even look at alcohol without getting a hangover. I missed the good old days.

What would you say to your teenage self?
Love, Kate xx


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