10 Things I Wish I Could Tell My 14-Year-Old Self

10 Things I Wish I Could Tell My 14-Year-Old Self ©iStock/SrdjanPav

Most people’s teenage years are full of angst, confusing emotions, and trying to figure out who you are, and 14 is a particularly rough age because you’re just starting high school and getting a little bit more independence. When I was 14, I was painfully shy and way too concerned about what people thought of me. It took me years to get over those things, and I’ve learned a lot since then. I don’t know if my 14-year-old self would have listened, but there are a few things I know now that I wish I could tell her anyway.

  1. No one is scrutinizing everything you do. If you do or say something slightly embarrassing, it’s not the end of the world. Everyone else is way too concerned with themselves to laugh all night long about how you tripped when you were walking up the stairs last Monday.
  2. You aren’t fat. Like a true teenage girl, I was obsessed with my weight and how I looked. To be clear, I was perfectly average. I wish I’d spent less time hating everything I saw in the mirror and just accepted myself how I was.
  3. Your parents’ divorce has nothing to do with you. My parents got divorced when I was five. But I didn’t realize how much they truly disliked each other until I was a teenager. I let it become my problem even though it wasn’t at all. I had two parents that cared about me and I could see and spend time with whenever I wanted, but instead of appreciating that, I dwelled on the fact that they weren’t together, which frankly, doesn’t matter one bit.
  4. You’ll have plenty of time to date. Some of my classmates were already dating in grade seven and eight, and once we got to high school, relationship status became even more important to a lot of them. Not that I did any dating anyway, but I’d probably tell myself not to worry about it, because it would happen eventually.
  5. Popularity in high school means nothing. When you’re 14, it seems like your status in high school is going to determine your social life until the end of time. Fortunately, that’s not the case at all. Some of the best friends I have, I made in college, so just because you aren’t exactly popular in high school doesn’t mean you’re doomed forever.
  6. You won’t always feel like this. Like a lot of teenagers, I went through a sullen, depressed phase. It felt back then like it would never get better. So it would have been nice to know that I would eventually be happy and excited about the future and high school wasn’t, in fact, “the best years of my life”.
  7. Get more involved. Because of my insecurities and fear of drawing attention to myself, I never really participated in extracurricular activities. But joining a club or two probably would have helped get me out of my comfort zone and do a lot for my confidence. Let’s be honest though, if 29-year-old me told 14-year-old me that, she probably wouldn’t have listened.
  8. Having a few close friends is a lot better than having a bunch of acquaintances. I had a few close friends in high school that I’d known since we were kids. I’m still close with those friends now. Most of the acquaintances I made in high school are just pointless Facebook friends I never talk to now. I’d probably tell my 14-year-old self not to worry about the quantity of friends I had, but rather the quality.
  9. Your step-parents aren’t the devil incarnate. It couldn’t have been easy to be a step parent to two teenage girls, but of course I didn’t really care about that. When I look back I think maybe I could have cut my step-parents a little slack. Maybe.
  10. Guys aren’t that scary. I was already shy in general when I was 14, but it was a lot worse if guys were around. It was if I thought they were some kind of alien species or something. All I really had to do was be myself and talk to them just like anyone else. It would have been nice to know that back then.
By day, Courtney is a digital marketing copywriter living in Toronto, Canada. By night, she's a freelance lifestyle writer who, in addition to Bolde.com, contributes regularly to AmongMen.ca, IN Magazine, and SheBlogs Canada. Want to chat about relationships, Stephen King or your favorite true crime podcast/documentary/book? She's on Twitter @courtooo.