1. Not everyone is going to love you. Let’s face it, you’re never going to be everyone’s cup of tea; you will be too loud, too quiet, too hard or too soft. As we get older, we understand this and realise that actually, it’s okay, because we can’t please everybody.
2. Mum & Dad can’t always save the day. When you are 16, your problems are never your own. Mummy and daddy will be there to get you out of the silly teenage mess you’ve made and then you can go ahead and repeat the same mistakes over and over again until that one horrifying day when they simply don’t want to know. Now you’re screwed, you have to grow up, and that’s no fun.
3. Friendships will change. Your high school Siamese twin suddenly wants to remove you from their hip and you realise you have nothing in common with them anymore. You’re undergoing so many personal changes that there’s bound to be some casualties along the way. Don’t worry though. You’ll end up with the ones that matter. If someone’s no longer in your life, it’s for a reason.
4. Your heart will be broken. It will hurt, vodka helps. Your fairytale outlook on love changes at this point and you now understand that you aren’t Cinderella (although you have great shoes) and Prince Charming can’t turn a pumpkin into a carriage. You still know you deserve a happy ending though, but there’s no rainbows without a little rain.
5. You will break someones heart too. You’ll feel terrible. You know how it feels and you don’t want someone to go through the same pain you did. You can’t beat yourself up though, the only reassurance you have is that you know they won’t hurt forever, because time heals.
5. 19p Smartprice noodles aren’t so bad. When you go to University and spend your last remaining £10 on a bottle of cheap vodka, you learn to appreciate the ‘value’ range in the supermarket. Then you go home at weekend and eat the contents of your mums fridge in 0.34 seconds.
6. You will make a lot of mistakes. From being disgracefully drunk and vomiting outside a nightclub, to choosing the right career path. Mistakes are going to be made, learn from them and it’s okay to make them.
7. Your boss will treat you badly. At one point, you will work for somebody who makes you feel insignificant, like nothing you ever do is ever good enough and you will hate your job. Then you’ll leave. Then you will get another job, because life is too short to put up with that shit.
8. You will be passionate. As you become more self-aware, you will develop passion for things you once never deemed important. You will realise what you love and what you hate and act upon these emotions.
9. Money becomes important. Your wages are no longer spent in River Island, you have car insurance to pay for. It’s sad but it makes you appreciate your money more and you become less likely to blow it on a £250 handbag.
10. You don’t trust everyone. Little naive you suddenly starts to question people’s behaviour and takes a moment to reflect on the idea that not everybody is nice. People can be cruel and you limit those who you put your trust into.
11. You watch the news. And care. The news suddenly becomes more interesting and you find you no longer flick over to channel 4 to watch The Simpsons. You feel anger towards certain things that happen in today’s society, you have opinions on current affairs and you become a lot less ignorant to the way the world works.
12. You can’t always eat pizza for breakfast. Health becomes an issue and you now understand that a bad diet and lifestyle will not do you any favours in the long run. You feel guilty when you eat badly or miss a gym session because, let’s face it, nobody wants clogged arteries and diabetes.
13. You want to be successful. You can’t work in Ibiza as a shot girl when you’re 50, nobody wants to see that. You know that if you want the finer things in life you will have to work for it, nothing comes for free.
14. You can’t buy the best things in life. As you experience intense feelings and emotions you begin to see that the value of material goods are rather worthless. You would pay a thousand pounds to re-experience those butterflies you got in your stomach when your partner said ‘I love you’ or the excitement you felt when you got the job you’ve always dreamed of. Money can’t buy those feelings.
15. Family is everything. Your mum is no longer just there to make your tea and your dad is no longer just your taxi driver. They are the people who brought you into the world and they deserve to be treated well, you lose a bit of your inner ‘Kevin’ from Kevin and Perry and stop saying ‘It’s not fair’ 150 times a day.
16. Age is a number. The age of others becomes rather irrelevant and you value people based on their opinions rather than their age, race, gender or stereotype. You will build connections with people ‘Teenage you’ would have mocked and you realise how immature you were.
18. It’s never going to be easy, but who wants easy? It becomes clear that there really is no such thing as a free lunch (but that’s okay, you have 19p noodles, remember!) and people aren’t always willing to give out a helping hand. You have to work hard, face a few hurdles and make a few blunders in order to get by and become a well rounded person.