Dear 13 year old me,
You’ve got a lot ahead of you, so many exams, a few heart breaks, some wonderfully magical moments, some great concerts and you have a lot of new people to meet. You’re going to have a busy ten years, certainly busier than the ten before now, but they’re so exciting and are probably your defining years. I know right now you think you’ll never have a boyfriend, you are shy when you talk about sex and everything to do with your body is embarassing, but I promise you that doesn’t last forver. Infact you’re only a couple of years away from being able to talk about all of that stuff a lot more freely.
I think your biggest challenge will be learning to accept yourself and finding somewhere that you’ll fit in, but I think that your time at university will sort that out perfectly for you. School may seem like the biggest thing ever right now, it’s been most of your life, but really once you’re out the other end it’s just a little blip. You make some really good friends, but as it turns out only a few of them will stick, it’s university where you branch out and find some forever friends. You’ll meet people who share your interests and don’t ridicule you for your hobbies, it’s going to be great, you’ll really feel at home. I bet it seems like the learning is never ending, but when you aren’t doing it any more you’re going to miss it and wish you took it more seriously at the time. At the age you are now you’re still feeling motivated to work hard and learn new things, but by the end of your school years that motivation is little more than a flicker of interest. If I could help you I would, if I could spark the flame back up that you had when you were younger I would, but I think you have to figure this one out the hard way. You’re not the best at exams, but by no means does that mean you aren’t clever, but it’s okay because a degree in Film Production doesn’t require too many exams. Don’t ever let anyone make you feel like you aren’t smart.
Romance is going to be a big field for you to explore, you’re going to hit it hard and fast and suddenly feel very adult, but you won’t be. You’re at the time when you feel like you’re becoming more indepedant and mature, but you don’t know the half of it yet. Wait till you’ve had an adult relationship with responsibilities and big decisions. You’ve got two big heart breaks ahead of you, one will destroy you for a year, but it has a happy ending, if that’s any consolation? Ten years on from where you are right now is probably the point you were so desperate to each at 13. I’m sorry it takes so long to get there, and really I’m still not completely there. But you can do it, I believe in you. You have a great support network around you, your mum will always be there to help you and pull you through the shit parts.
I’m sorry to tell you that your mental health is really going to fluctuate, you’re going to develope OCD pretty soon and it is going to be intense. But the first few years really are the worst, I promise you it gets better. There’s a whole online world for you to discover with people feeling just like you. You never will quite know if you have depression or not, the Doctors never seem very sure themselves, but I’d say just let that one slide. You have good days, you have bad days, but you always make it out of them. It’s hard to know you will be okay when you’ve never experienced some things before, your first heartbreak, moving away from home, leaving your home town for good. But the more you exprience, the more you know it will be alright.
I’ve made it sound like you have some real bad times, but I think those are just the things I want to warn you of. The good times are best to be unprepared for. The most exciting things will be the people you meet and the direction your life will take. The first pay cheque of a full time job, owning your first car in a bright green colour, meeting a man you hope to spend your life with. You’ve got it all to come, plus you haven’t even had all of the Harry Potter films released yet. I’m a little jealous!
Enjoy yourself 13 year old me, take things slow and know that there will always be good times to come. Smile through as much as you can and when you feel like it’s all too much, go and cry to your mum, give her a cuddle and know that her words are the best advice you can get. It starts to become increasingly suspicious that everything she says about your emotions and what you’re going through is true, maybe she’s a psychic?
Take care Beth,
Your 23 year old self x