A letter to 16 year old me..

Hi Gemma,

Well.. if by some major miracle you are chosen by NASA in the future to go back in time and read some shitty blog, this is for you.

I fucking hated it when people would say, “Enjoy yourself, your teen years are the best of your life”, and I still don’t agree with it. The only bonus I would give is that you don’t have to pay rent, bills and be generally skint. Otherwise – no Sandra – my teen years had been full of puberty, depression and general misery.
Oh, that and sleepovers and shitty house parties where you’d steal your parents ‘purple fruit strongbow’ from the back of the cupboard and get pissed on watered down tequila. There may be some good night clubs you can get into after 18, but none will beat sitting in your friends’ parents’ pitch black bedroom at 5am, messaging some boy that you were in love with him.

Teen life was an absolute low point for my depression, and I’m sure many others can relate. I hated life, hated people, and my school attendance was below 50% (still managing to get all above Cs in GCSEs – you go mate!) As no exception to the rest of my classmates I would be constantly worrying about my GCSE grades and when it came to it – A levels. I mean honestly it was such unnecessary stress, and looking back – I did OK and I’m doing well in adult life with my grades.

What made that stress even worse was the absolute wankers I went to school with. I never got ‘bullied’, but there was the general popular gang who decided to make your life absolute hell if you were slightly different. I remember something happening in maths class one day that really wasn’t even that bad (total drama queen – guilty!) and I cried all evening. The next day was sports day which just made life even bloody worse, and I had an emotional breakdown on the school field, which was an absolute high point. It did get me out of doing the egg and spoon race though, so it was kind off worth it.

The point being that even at the young, tender age of 20, I can already see the differences in those, and the sort of people I surrounded myself with. While my friends are out there starting families and smashing university, the horrible ones are busy working in Costa and Primark with literally no ambition in life. (No offence if you work in Costa/Primark, because you’re probably not a massive wanker and you’re probably actually half decent at your job.)
I’m also at a point in life where if someone came up to me and took the piss, I would most likely tell them where to stick it. Either that or walk away and cry for a few days. But still, I’m winning and you’re not. That’s what you get for being twats all throughout your teenage years. KARMA. So Gemma, ­PLEASE don’t let it get to you as much as it did, because my God – you will come out on top and they won’t be around forever. Looking back, it all seems like so much more than it really was.

Finally, I have to mention work. My first job was in a convenience store, where I did 7am-1pm on Saturday and Sunday. Looking back at my timehop is ridiculous, because all I did was complain about the early starts. I absolutely convinced myself I would get a new job where the hours would be better and I could get up after 6.30am on a Sunday. However, I’ve decided to work in the local hospital as a career (AKA, hours literally all over the place). So that was a good one.

The only people that got me through my school experience were (cheesy) my friends. We sat in a cubby hole that we called ‘the cave’, ate, and sent out a general vibe of distaste to the rest of the school. Looking back I can definitely see why we would look like a group of unsociable bitches (and I wonder why I didn’t get on with everyone).
So viva la backpack gang. Bloody heroes.

Be happy, it does get better.

Love Gemma xx

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