Twelve years ago, aged 11, I was on the verge of the awkward stage of my teenage years. I can’t say that I look back on those times with the fondest of memories, but rather as more of a transition between the unhindered innocence of childhood and into my teens, a period I would probably rather block out.
I usually focus on looking forward, and in another 12 years I’ll be 35. The best thing I can say to future me is that I hope you’re happy and still chasing your dreams. For now, let’s take a look backwards with 11 things I wish I could tell my 11 year old self!
1) Things won’t work out how you expect
Right now you have a few ideas about what the future might hold, but don’t hold on to them too tightly. You won’t like it, but things change, and there’s not much you can do about it. Take a deep breath and just go with the flow. Letting go of those concrete plans could leave an opening for something incredible to happen.
2) It will get better
I’ll be honest with you, there’s some pretty dark times ahead. The next four years at high school will be ones you would rather just forget about. The highs are there, but they’re going to be overshadowed by the lows. Just remember that you will get through it, and I promise things will get better!
3) Ask for help
When things get rough you’ll be tempted to lock it all inside and try to fight the battle alone. Please don’t! It’s not cowardly or weak to ask for help. That could be confiding in a friend, speaking to your family, or sometimes even a professional. Nobody knows it at the time but, in a few years, you’ll start an ongoing battle with mental health that only gets better when you talk about it.