1. Friends come and go
We spend a long time thinking the friends we have are the only friend we will ever have, it's a common high school mentality. When I left for a different college, I made a whole new group of friends, then when I left to get a job, I found even more friends, pushing out the ones who weren't going to be there for the long term. The longer you know someone, the more time they have to change and sometimes this isn't for the better. New experiences shape and mould every single person and after major life events, some people will never be the same again. This is okay because it gives you the opportunity to find those who truly care.
I had it drummed into me from a young age that I would leave high school, do my A Levels then go off to university to do a degree. Then the real world happened and I realised I wasn't ready to move out to go to school and I seriously did not want to continue with the education system after my time in college (I even cut that short). With all the training programs and apprenticeship opportunities available to young people nowadays, it's possible to get a leg up on the career ladder before graduates and have more job experience than those who have gone to university. Yes, a degree looks and sounds brilliant during job applications, but isn't relevant work experience more important?
I had my heart set on being a historian during high school. I always got the best grades, it interested me and I thought it was my calling. How wrong was I? After starting college and taking up history at a more advanced level, I completely lost interest. I was covering subjects I had already looked at and the teachers were boring, I felt like it was a complete waste of time and over a period of months I lost my passion for the subject. I wish I had taken business studies to get myself a bit more experience in the field I never even knew existed (social media for business) so I could have spent less time unemployed. But, as they say, everything happens for a reason.
I used to strive to be the best. Who am I kidding, I still do, but when I was 15, this meant I had to get the best grades and after I was promised an A* in English Language that somehow changed into an A during the marking process, I was gutted. I fought and fought for a better grade, as did my English teacher who invited the exam board in for various meetings, but the grade never got changed. It stayed with me throughout college and I thought it would hinder a lot of opportunities for me, I wasn't actually as good as I had expected. However, when I entered the world of work, I found out grades in high school didn't matter and that B in maths hasn't got me very far. I don't remember half of what to do and I've never applied half of the equations to be every day life.
5. Your family are everything, stop pushing them away
I am very close to my mum, she's been there for me through everything and always respecting my ideas and understands why I act the way I do. She is my rock, but for years I pushed her away, like most stroppy teenagers. As I grew up I realised I only have one family and after a major bust up with my extended family last year, I grew even closer to my immediate family. You lose friends, you lose lovers, but you will never lose your family and I think that is the most important lesson I have learnt over the past 4 years.
Do you have any lessons you want to teach your younger self? Let me know in the comments!