An open letter to my fourteen year old self.

Dear Allie,

How are you? How is the Maths coursework coming along? I’d put a little more effort in if I were you because, I predict, you’ll get a shitty grade if you insist on ignoring it and watching Hollyoaks at Becky’s drinking a Magners.

On that subject, stop drinking. You’re too young. Actually, scratch that. You’ll be going to some bloody good parties in a few months. Build up your stamina.

GCSEs aren’t remotely as important as you think they are right now. Don’t whinge when you only get a B in music, it’ll be two more weeks and you’ll stop playing your instruments and start forgetting notation. As your twenty-two year old self, I can firmly say, you’ve fuck all need to master that music producing software from the late 1980s that your music teacher uses. Bar a fleeting obsession with Laura Marling and a minor desire to learn the guitar, you’ve no interest in becoming a musician or going beyond making playlists in Windows Media Player.

Stop stressing yourself out, A-Levels are a bit worse and your degree is harder still. You’ll get a 2:2 on your first assignment at university, cover it up from your smug mate with 68% and proceed to drink to forget in the union. Let yourself go.

You’re not fat, stop being a whiney brat. You do have a horrible collection of brightly coloured vests, though. Stop buying wrist sweatbands right this instant. They didn’t look that good in 2002 and they’ll seem even worse when you look back in a decade.

Try to stop bullshitting the bullshitter. Contrary to what you believe, you’re not the first teenage girl to walk the Earth. Your mother was growing up in the 60s and 70s, ergo; she’s probably a better liar than you, has smoked more drugs than you, has been in far more dangerous situations than you and has done everything you have but just wearing a mini skirt and a flower in her hair. You will never be able to trick her; you’ll just end up looking like a twat.

Stop telling everyone you have an older boyfriend called Edward. You don’t and all of your friends know you don’t. Just because you’re a right little munter now doesn’t mean the world is going to implode and you’ll have to start becoming fond of cats when you age. As it happens, having a boyfriend doesn’t matter that much. You’re fourteen, what can you do? Stop looking jealously at your friend for having dates to Shakeaway on a Saturday afternoon or for having someone to text on her Nokia 3210 in the lunch break. Just eat your Freddo and suck it up. You’ll fall in love soon enough.

Speaking of which, people will mock you forever more about your first love because – and I’m warning you – he’s strange, but just be a bit nicer to him. You can be a right cow sometimes.

Finally, in a few years, you’ll think it’s a good idea to pay to see a horror film called Hostel at the cinema. Don’t do it; it’s bloody atrocious.

Lots of love,

Your slightly more refined twenty-two year old self. x

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