Today I am 26 years, 5 months, 12 days and at the time of writing this 13 hours and 13 minutes old. Just recently during a conversation with one of my oldest friends we started talking about how much things have changed since we were those young naïve 16 year olds growing up in the west coast of Scotland.
Our conversation got me thinking about the quote from Winnie the Pooh by A.A Milne “Rivers know this: there is no hurry. We shall get there some day” and I began to think about how this would be the first thing I would tell my younger self – take a breather, don’t be in too much of a rush to grow up. One day you will pine for the days when you didn’t need to pay bills and clean the toilets now you live with a boy.
I started to think what other little nuggets of advice I would give her, what words of wisdom I would bestow upon her. As I was coming up with what I would say to mini me I got my other Materialites involved too so here a few pieces of advice we would give our younger selves.
First of all I would tell little Hannah that the world does not end when your AMAZING scented gel pens start to run out and the fact you can’t draw ‘Bang on the Door’ inspired ‘bubble people’ will actually not prevent you from getting into University.
Very soon you will learn the hand-me-down, Adidas “popper” trousers from your big boy cousins are in fact NOT the coolest thing in your wardrobe and the kindest thing to do is burn them…
This will take longer but you will finally realise it is NOT OKAY for your pants to be seen sitting above your ridiculously low-cut Bench trousers… in fact it is not okay for your pants to be seen EVER… to be honest this is an early twenties lesson though.
Young Hannah your next big adventure will be leaving home to go to University where you’ll meet some amazing people who become lifelong friends. You’ll meet some right a*seholes too – but it will be them who actually teach you the most about yourself.
Uni will be so much fun until the end of fourth year which will be the most trying time of your life, you think, until you actually start working in the real world.
You’ll go on to have a job you love with some amazing, inspirational people that you will learn so much from. You’ll continue to love a challenge and you’ll always need ‘THE FEAR’ to drive you forward.
Also, 16 year old me, you’ll learn to live with the things you didn’t like about yourself back then. You’ll still not be completely enamoured by them but you’ll definitely learn to live with them. You’ll realise there’s more to life than how you look and what you’re wearing. You’ll find out who your true friends are and you’ll keep those you love most as close as you possibly can because they are who make you happiest.
Now here are some snippets of what my fellow Materialites would tell their 16 year old selves:
Anna would tell herself these three brilliant things:
- Normal is boring. Don’t be scared of being your weird, wacky self…..you are awesome!
- Start meditating. It will save you many, many years of being a stressed out mess.
- YOU’RE GAY…..and it’s the best thing EVER!
Danni would tell her little self:
- Dry your hair with a T-shirt, not a towel
- Rinse that beautiful fully equipped jewellery and wood workshop at Duncan of Jordanstone Art School, which you will have available to you for 4 full years, to the absolute maximum. Cause you’ll have no idea how much you’ll miss it when you graduate.
- Invent Slack. https://slack.com/
Paul would tell himself these three simple things:
- Start going to the gym
- Stop playing computer games so much
- The lottery numbers for the EuroMillions
Colette would tell not-much-younger-than-she-is-at-the-moment Colette:
- Adopt a pet earlier because it is literally the best thing ever and now I don’t know what I used to do without my wee rescue kittens!
- Go on holiday with your friends AND family – I couldn’t wait to stop going on holiday with my parents and just go with my friends but actually, both are excellent in different ways and I’d love to be able to do both every year.
- Enjoy my last year of school- I totally took it for granted that you get to see your friends all day every day in school, and uni is a total shock to the system!
Cheerful Mark would tell his younger self that there are only three certainties in life:
- Paying Taxes
- Hibs letting you down.
Both Emma and Karen would tell their younger selves to listen more to their mum because she is always right (I’d tend to agree with them both there. Emma would also tell her 16 year old self:
- You are your own worst critic
- Don’t use that red “semi” permanent hair dye from a box…. the box lies!
Hayley would tell younger Hayley that anything is possible if you REALLY want it, just work hard and be less shy! Worry less what other people think, free your mind! Also: enjoy eating two cakes every day with no impact on your waistline and NEVER mix beer and cider.
Gemma would tell wee Gemma:
- Don’t worry that you’ve not found out what you’re good at yet. One day something will click- go with it!
- Don’t change yourself for anyone but always try and better yourself
- People won’t always be kind and treat you with respect but that says more about them than it does you, always try and treat people how you’d like to be treated.
Nadine would tell her younger self to take more risks. She said “I think it’s something I have done in my life as I am pretty impulsive. But I would like to tell my 16 year old self to not worry about taking risks! I like to try things out in fear of creating a bunch of ‘should’ve, would’ve, could’ve’ scenarios. It’s scary taking risks and going into the unknown but it’s also really exciting and it’s helped me live a pretty fun life so far.”
Katie’s three messages of wisdom:
1. Keep learning Spanish, don’t drop it after 4th year as it’ll come in handy when you visit Barcelona
2. Enjoy school – I loved 5th and 6th year so much, some of my favourite years
3. Keep being different – one of my teachers wrote in my yearbook when I left school that I was different to all my friends but that that was such a good thing, so I’d tell my 16 year old self to embrace that more!
Sera would tell her younger self not to ever try to have a fringe, especially in the late 90’s before the invention of GHDs. She says “at best it will curl up and resemble an off cut of a toupe. At worst it will look like road kill on your forehead and people at your work will shout “Roland” at you for months whilst pointing and asking if you ‘have a plus 1 for that’”
Sera would also tell her 16 year old self to remember that “all those who wander are not lost.” She would advise her to go wander and explore when you can – “responsibility will come to you sooner than you think. Get lost for a bit and trust that the path that you are on is the one you’re supposed to travel” And finally she would emphasise to her that if someone ever asks you what you thought of their gig, don’t ever say “sweaty”.
And last but by no means least Big Andy would tell wee Andy:
- Soon you will see a support band called ‘Meshuggah’ who you won’t pay that much attention to, but in 20 years… they will be one of your favourite bands, so take some notes.
- In secret… patent a futuristic looking device that will be a mini computer that has a small hard drive and programmed to play digital music files. Call the device ‘iPod’.
- On 5th August 2015, play these lottery numbers: 05 – 08 – 12 – 28 – 39 – 41
What would yours be? Stop stropping, it gets you nowhere? Be nice to your best pal cause things get more difficult when alcohol and boys get involved…? Please feel free to tweet us @wearematerial with your best pearls of wisdom.