Dear 16-year-old Court,
First things first – you WILL lose those glasses one day. Maybe not today, maybe not tomorrow, but someday. This is your first reminder that it is okay to change things about yourself if you want to.
At 16, you are just starting to find yourself. You’re realising who your real friends are, you’re finding your own personal style, and you’re trying to figure out where you want your life to take you. You feel really uncool, and want to be seen as cooler, but let me tell you now that being ‘cool’ for a few years in high school means nothing in the many years beyond it. Remember this.
At 16, you don’t know if you even want to go to university, let alone travel. You’ve never been overseas, and the thought hasn’t really crossed your mind yet. Don’t worry, it will. You still have a strange fascination with the United States of America, and you will eventually go there in the months after finishing school and discover a love for travel that will guide you throughout the rest of your life.
At 16, you’ve got a part-time job that you love (who wouldn’t want to work in a video-shop and eat lollies and watch new release DVDs all day?) and you’re doing well in school. The thought of the HSC is beginning to loom, and you’re nervous. Don’t be – the HSC is yet another thing that bears little importance beyond your high school years. Also, you will figure out what you want to do with your life with regard to study and work, but you’ll probably never really know what you want to be when you grow up. That will change several times over the next few years, and will continue to do so as you get older.
At 16, you’ve started going to parties and drinking alcohol, even though you’re underage. Enjoy it, because you’re going to drink so much over the next few years that you’ll never want to touch a drop of booze ever again (even though you definitely will). As you get older, you’ll start to place a higher importance on your health and mental well-being, and you’ll naturally start to gravitate towards people and activities that reflect those feelings.
At 16, you’ve never really thought about the effects of diet on your lifestyle or happiness, and you still consider tinned spaghetti on white bread a nutritious breakfast, and two-minute noodles a perfectly reasonable dinner (the latter will remain true for you, trust me). You’ll also continue to eat a ton of dairy (despite being lactose intolerant), and you’ll also devour animal products to no end. That’s not your fault, you just haven’t made the connection yet. One day, the thought of eating anything that comes from an animal will disgust and horrify you, so enjoy the bacon until that day comes.
At 16, you have a bit of money in the bank, but not much. I wish I could tell you to save your money better, and not waste it on clothes or going out, but you’re not going to do that. I will tell you that you will one day realise the importance of saving cash rather than spending, but it’ll take some time. It’ll also take you some time to understand that experiences are far more valuable than material items, and when you do, your entire world will change.
At 16, you don’t believe in true love. Your heart is cold and icy, and the thought of having any kind of real feelings is far too foreign for you to comprehend. You will, however, go through very real and painful feelings of infatuation, jealousy, hurt, and rejection over the coming years; but the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow is very bright, very rewarding and very blonde (and very long-haired).
At 16, you haven’t got it quite figured out yet. By 28, you still won’t have it quite figured out yet, either. At least by then, however, you will have come to the realisation that age is a social construct that shouldn’t guide your achievements in life.
Just do you, and keep chasing your happy.