Growing up and looking back on the last 8-10 years of my life, there are so many things I would have done different or not worried about as much. School was difficult for me to begin with. I had moved from Newcastle Upon Tyne to Hampshire and I was starting of secondary school in Year 8.
Everyone had already had their first year together and most of them were childhood friends. I just didn’t feel like I fitted in at school. As time went on, school had its good days and bad days like everyone would have experience but if I was to tell myself 5 things now they would be…
- Being different is okay – don’t try to be someone you are not
Since I moved down from Newcastle and sounded different to everyone else, I was the performing monkey in all of my classes. Having anxiety too, this really wasn’t what I wanted and I closed myself off and became a shy awkward person. This wasn’t good for you now was it Lauren? Because I was different I tried to fit in with everyone and this didn’t work out so well for me. Maintaining friendships was difficult because girls (not all girls!) are bitchy af. I know that I can be bitchy from time to time but growing up I have learnt my lesson. I was the type of girl to care about what everyone thought of me.
“Growing up you will realise who your true friends are and who you truly are Lauren. Don’t pretend and just be yourself. Friends who are true will stick by you for who you are. Being popular isn’t everything. All those friends you make in school don’t stick around forever. All the people I was friends with in school have all gone their separate ways except one true friend and even with her, there’s been a lot of hiccups from be pretending to be someone I’m not. So, yeah! Lauren, be yourself and do not care about what others think about you. Be kind and happy.“
2. Save every penny you get
I used to love going out shopping with my friends and having fun through my school years but end of day, you need to look at the bigger picture. My parents were always telling me to start saving for the car and insurance because thats going to be a large amount of money to come out of my life and did I listen? Of course not because Lauren knows best. Well, I’d sit myself down and I’d go
“All those pointless shopping trips to get clothes which you don’t need because you want to fit in with all those designer brands? It doesn’t last. All those designer brand don’t mean squat when you grow up and get into the real world. That £100 jacket isn’t needed, that money could have gone towards something important or even saved it. You don’t know this now but one day, you will move out and you will have bills to pay. Don’t take money for granted“
3. Don’t wish the years away
Everyone does this when they are young, wish they were older. Now that I’m older, I want to be younger. I wouldn’t change the way my life has panned out now for the world because I have amazing friends to support me and a gorgeous boyfriend to share all those moments with.
When I was younger, I could not wait to move out. I shared a room with my sister who is 3 years younger than me since the age of 10. This was one of the most frustrating things ever. One reason being I did not have my own space and I was so jealous of my friends who had their own rooms and could do what they wanted. Same with helping out the parents with the housework, I used to complain and whine about it. So Lauren, listen here!
“Being an adult is not what everyone makes it out to be. You used to think that people in their 20’s were adults. How wrong you were! We are nearly 21 and I would not count myself as an adult. Live whilst you are young and do not get all caught up in the idea of moving out because girl, we tried it and it failed the first time. It’s just a struggle. Enjoy the years without a care in the world. Help out the parents when they ask for it because they have saved us a few times in the future when you’ve messed up. All the things you are dreaming of will come in time”
4. Do not get caught up and miserable about boys!
I am a hopeless romantic, I fell too quickly for all the wrong boys growing up. Little did I know that I actually found my soulmate about 7 years ago and its crazy how after all that time and hardly any contact, we found each other again.
Growing up, I didn’t really have that many ‘serious’ boyfriends. Of the top of my head I had one ‘serious’ boyfriend in school and he didn’t even go to my school. My parent knew I was too good for him and deep down I knew this too but he was an older guy and I thought this was cool back then. I don’t really remember how that one ended tbh. Show how much of an impact that had on me and we don’t talk at all.
Then in college, I had a few things with people and 2 boyfriends (one less serious that the other). The first boyfriend in college, I met through a friend and like the first one, I thought it was ‘serious’ and that I loved him. Boy was I wrong! My parents knew he was no good for me and stopped me from seeing him. I hated my parents for doing that but now looking back on it I actually thank my mum for it.
Now the second boyfriend I had in college lasted for about 2 years on and off. We moved in together, we bickered, we argued, we went through an awful lot and when it ended for the final time, it was for the best. I didn’t see it then but now, I see it and we’ve both gone our separate ways.
“Lauren, boys will come and go. Seriously, don’t get yourself so caught up with someone that you don’t know what your true feelings are. This was your downfall growing up. The guys you decided to date back then were no good for you. They are just gonna give you a load of heartbreak and cause pointless arguments. Yes, I see it as a learning curve and you will to. Relationships when you are young aren’t like when you’ve matured and know what you want in life.“
5. Let all that trapped confidence come through
Growing up with anxiety and panic attacks was not easy for expressing who I wanted to be. Now that I am nearly 21 and have everyone I could want or need in my life, I do not care about other peoples opinions. I have battled so much over the years and I am so proud of who I am today.
“Confidence is key Lauren. Don’t let those girls dim your shine and just let all that sass out. If they can’t handle you, don’t waste your time. Find friends who will accept you and love you for who you are, not who you pretend to be. Trust me, when you stop caring about what people think about you, your life will get better and you will be a lot happier. That confidence is a quality those special ones will love“
Until next time, Lauren x