To My 16 Year Old Self

While I am only 20 now, an awful lot can happen in 4 years. Maybe I’ll come back and do a second one a few more years into the future, maybe a decade, but for now, there are things I wish my past self knew.


At 16 and just finishing secondary school for study leave, it most definitely seemed like we knew exactly where we were going with our life.

We were far from wrong.

There were certain exams we could’ve studied more on. Instead, we were too busy wondering what was even the point in doing a subject we in no way wanted to do. Looking back I wish I found study methods that would’ve worked, and actually helped me learn, instead of just waiting to get my exams over and done with and hoping on some form of miracle.

College was most likely the biggest shock, but if there was one piece of advice I could give to you now: study something you’re interested in, even if you don’t plan on doing it as a career. I say this because you would still be learning, growing your hobby while you work on other things, allowing yourself to be able to study what you want the next year.
As a teenager the college education is free, so get as much as you can from it.

The fact we didn’t complete college will be a huge confidence drop, but I promise you, your passion to learn will remain. Look around online, find courses, articles, anything which interests you and continue to learn. It’s there, sometimes you just have to look for it.

You will meet some incredible people over the next few years, but you’ll also end up with an incredible small social group, and sometimes that’s okay, work on you and work on your skills, and hopefully, it’ll all start to improve (maybe I can answer that in a future letter)

Your career goals will change, which will be a big surprise, but you’ll still be happy with the choice.
People grow, things change, so it’s only natural for you to change as well.

Speaking of change, your hair: so many colours look good on you, and there’s still so many we want to try. Maybe one day we’ll want to stick with a colour for more than 2 years but hey, where’s the fun in that?

One of my last few things is something a bit more personal: Your religion.
Your beliefs are still there, and your practice is still valid. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with wanting to stay private with it. There will be times you fall in and out of wanting to study it and that is perfectly fine. Don’t feel bad. Do what you gotta do. It’ll always be there when you’re ready to pick it back up.

While it might not seem like it for you, hell it still doesn’t fully seem like it now. But everything will start to fall into place. It’s gonna take time, but we’ll get there. Just don’t be afraid to keep moving away from that comfort zone. Baby steps, they work magic too!

While this letter feels like me bombarding myself with life lessons I wish I knew at the time, it’s reminded me that sometimes we need to experience something to truly learn from it. Who knows what I’ll learn and experience within the next four years?

Until next time,
Surviving Millennial.

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