Advice from my younger self
I entered the dating world in high school. Back then, social media wasn't the global network it is now - I wasn't raised with Youtube makeup tutorials and millions of girls my age on Tiktok (at the risk of sounding curmudgeonly and old, Gen Z sort of lucked out in that regard). So I would turn to teen magazines for advice (and if you caught our first Instagram Live, you know how that ended up).
Confused and unsure where to turn when this advice inevitably did not work out, I took to publicly journaling my experiences on Tumblr (lol Tumblr). Turns out, people liked what I had to say. 10 years later, I'm revisiting my old advice to see how terrible it truly was (or wasn't? I think I turned out okay). Let's see what high school me had to say:
Keep a strict calendar and live by to-do lists
Still 100% recommend this. I have to-do lists for DAYS. Was I type-A before the lists, or did the lists make me type-A, I may never know.
Look good in order to feel good
I definitely still love feeling put together, but I think I've built up my confidence enough where I no longer *need* to look good to feel good. A coat of makeup can sometimes give me that boost I need, but if I'm feeling shitty some mascara isn't always gonna fix it.
Run every day - it's the best decision I ever made and it's when I do my deep thinking
If you know me now you know I probably haven't ran since I wrote that 10 years ago. Current me would say *stay active, whatever that means for you* (right now, it's long walks and yoga). Carve out time in your schedule to move, but listen to your body - I believe it's better to take a day off of working out than pushing myself too hard. Also is it normal to deep think while running? Is that a thing?
When you're in a bad mood, go home, put on sweats, eat snacks, and watch crappy tv
Still true. Literally doing that right now. Timeless advice. Do this.
Replace every "what if" with a "why tf not"
This is still one of my personal mantras! Why tf not. Just don't hurt anyone (yourself included).
Put yourself out there and do one thing each day that scares you
Don't be scared to take chances
Remember to relax and have fun
Was teenage me ...wise...? Reading my old posts, I can definitively say young me made some pretty terrible decisions and needed to follow her own advice... but a lot of what she said makes sense. Does this mean I haven't grown in a decade?
On Love (here's where it get's iffy):
Instead of doing homework, make out with boys
There it is.
I want to be somebody's girlfriend.
This isn't advice but I wanted to include it because it's really easy to love the idea of a relationship and not the actual relationship. Labels *don't really mean anything as long as the trust and communication is there.* Defining a relationship is a little antiquated and takes weight away from what it really means - being "official" doesn't get rid of any underlying issues. Current me would amend that to say "I want to be ______'s girlfriend."
SEX IS SOMETHING SLUTS AND GROWNUPS DO
This is real. I wrote this. It's not ...untrue...? But I also don't think slut shaming is necessary. You do you, just be safe and don't play with anyone's feelings.
You can tell what a boy thinks of you based on if he gives you a jacket and which jacket he gives.
Teenage me said that if he gives you a jacket that he specifically picked out for you then he cares what you think about him (i.e. if it smells nice), if he throws an old hoodie your way then you're probably friends, if he lends you a jacket he wears a lot then he'll make sacrifices for you bc he cares, etc. Teenage me was not a scientist and did not thoroughly test this theory. But she didn't totally miss the mark (if he cares, he'll put thought into his actions has some logic *or he's just a good person). Fascinating. Fun fact, I remember who I wrote this advice about (he gave me a hoodie. It smelled nice. He liked me).
Side effects of rejection include nausea, suicidal thoughts, depression, lots of crying, eating lots of ben+jerry’s, and possibly death by broken heart. But you’ll get over it.
Love always to Ben & Jerry. But rejection isn't necessarily a bad thing - why would you want to be with someone who doesn't want to be with you? I stand by "you'll get over it."
If you want more out of a relationship, don't be afraid to ask for it
This one is actually from my mom, which explains why it's good advice. Young me didn't know how to articulate what I needed in a relationship, and sometimes I still struggle to balance my own needs with what I think others want from me. Take this advice.
Hormones can make you imagine feelings that aren't really there
Yeah still true. But teenage me had less experience with hormones so I'm going to go ahead and say that I was pretty smart to recognize that at the time. But did I do anything with that knowledge? Absolutely not.
It's okay to miss going out and making bad decisions while you're in a committed relationship, as long as you don't act on it
This walks a fine line. Current me thinks it's possible to be happy and feel fulfilled in a relationship while recognizing that each relationship is different. Maybe you had crazy club nights with an ex, while current bae prefers quiet nights at home. Relationships are about compromise, and as long as a partner isn't prohibiting you from living your best life then it's fine to fondly look back at old times. HOWEVER don't cheat. If you're constantly fighting the urge, perhaps it's time to take a good look at your relationship.
If you have a boyfriend, don't jeopardize that.
Again, I think little me put too much stock in labels - but the sentiment is real. Be faithful, don't put yourself in positions where you may jeopardize your relationship. Current me agrees.
In conclusion, reading old advice from journals (and Tumblr if you're extra like me) is a great rabbit hole of memories and laughs. To quote younger me, "Don't take everything so seriously."