Things I Thought I Knew 10 Years Ago
It was my birthday last weekend *sighs*.
Over the past few years I’ve really started to dread adding another year onto my age. At one point during the weekend I was hit with the realisation that 10 years ago I was a fully functioning human being. Obviously I’ve been fully functioning my whole life, but at 16 (do the math of how old I am yourself, I refuse to write it down on paper) you aren’t a kid anymore – you can actually do shit.
According to Google, at 16 in the UK you’re legally entitled to:
- Get married with consent
- Drive a moped or an invalid carriage (don’t know what the fuck that is but it sounds interesting)
- Have sex with someone else who’s 16 or over
- Drink alcohol at a meal whilst accompanied by an adult
- Get a national insurance number
- Join a trade union – obviously everyone jumps at that opportunity.
(Plot Twist: I just googled what an invalid carriage is and I can confirm that i’ve NEVER in my life seen a 16 year old drive one of those. I include photographic evidence below).
OH MY GOD! I just realised they are meant for disabled people to drive… why the fuck would they call it an ‘invalid’ carriage that’s so politically incorrect!?
Anyway back to my point. On the brink of entering my ‘late twenties’ I started reflecting on what I’ve learnt over the past 10 years, and how a young 16-year-old Witch has grown into an adult… I can’t even say young adult anymore 🙁
The year is 2007.
- Britney has just shaved her head.
- Rihanna made a track called Umbrella and then it pissed down with rain for 10 weeks contributing to one of the wettest summers on record.
- Madeleine McCann did a runner in Portugal.
- There was a mass shooting in a US school… *rolls eyes*
- The first iPhone was released but most of us had slidey phones – either a Nokia or a Samsung (flip phones were phasing out, but if you hadn’t of had one of those Motorola RZAR’s then who even were you?).
- The 5th Harry Potter movie came out – and I still couldn’t give a shit.
- In the world of reality TV the Karsdashians touched our screens for the first time (embarrassingly I have watched it since the beginning). However it was all about The Hills – the reality show with possibly one of the best theme tunes EVER.
- Dial up connection was a thing of the past – gone were the days where you had to negotiate with your mum to use the internet in case she missed any ‘important calls’.
- On Social Media most of us had a My Space and Bebo account. These times Facebook was the new site that everyone had to be on. I created my Facebook account in 2007 and have regretted it ever since.
- And finally, Fashion. Low-rise jeans that showed off your entire stomach (with a hint of thong on show) were perfectly acceptable (was no one bloated in those days?). Denim mini skirts with three quarter length leggings apparently looked half decent (I used to pair mine with my hockey hoody, it had ‘Camburn-1 written on the back. I banned the goaly from getting no.1 cause I wanted it…). Ugg Boots were the go-to shoe choice for posh girls and chavs alike. So for anyone still tryna wear Ugg Boots – please stop You’re 10 years too late and they look even more shit now then they did back then (also did anyone ever get the decoy Uggs that didn’t have grip on the bottom? Whenever you went across a wet surface you were fucked).
What an iconic year to be turning 16!
What I Thought I Knew vs. What I Know Now
Drinking alcohol until you’re sick is part of the drinking experience
Not everyday drink until you throw up. Sometimes learn how to handle your drink.
Turning 16 I’d secured a couple of years binge drinking until throwing up under my belt. At house parties there was always a mad rush to get as drunk as possible. Bare WKD strawpedos got flung about. It actually makes me sick just thinking about it. When I was 15 my parents had to drive an hour and a half across the countryside to come and pick me up whilst I was being sick outside the car on the way home. Good times.
It’s ironic I’m writing this because last weekend I spent the entire day throwing up after creating a rum punch that managed to kill off half the party (good effort by me).
Drinking at house parties has never been my forte. That being said – it took me a few years to establish my drinking limit. It’s all part of the journey to righteousness.
Not getting a text back is the end of the world
Now don’t get me wrong… I still can’t get a text back – but life goes on init.
When I was 16 and didn’t get a text back my world was over. The thought of having to bump into the person that aired your text at school the next day was traumatising. If you did come face to face with them then you’d just awkwardly ignore each other and end up sending another text later on being like ‘why did you ignore me??’… which probably got aired all over again.
Nowadays – if you don’t text me back it’s a minor. You’re either 1. A wasteman 2. Busy 3. A cunt.
We’re all grown, we take the L and move on with our lives. That, or I’ll call you on a ‘why the fuck are you too busy to reply to my text?’ type vibe.
Paper thin eyebrows look great
The intelligent kids will do the best in life
What I’ve learnt since the age of 16 is that, although academic intelligence is great, it doesn’t depict how successful someone is going to be in life.
Obviously ‘success’ is what you define it to be. However, up until I sat my a-levels I thought I was stupid because I was never in the top set for anything (I got moved from top to bottom set in science because I ‘lied’ and refused to grass up my friend when she got caught out messing around with the Bunsen Burner). When I reached A-Levels I set myself the goal of getting into the best university for computing, and I realised that if you work hard enough it doesn’t matter how naturally intelligent you are, you can achieve your goals.
Academic intelligence is just one form of intelligence. I’ve learnt, through many people that didn’t do well at school but have since become extremely successful in their own fields, that hard work and creativity go a long way.
When I turn 18 my life will be so fun and so amazing
Yeah, good one.
I was one of those kids who always wanted to turn 18 so I could finally be free. I always thought that I knew best (I still do). At 16 I was a very angry person (I still am).
I didn’t want to be at school anymore – I was over it. I didn’t wanna be trapped in boarding school anymore – I felt like it was very patronising. I was frustrated because at 16 I had a voice but no one takes you seriously when you’re 16. Not being funny but I could have lived on my own at 16 and been fine.
Anyway – point is, I thought turning 18 would solve all my problems. In reality it just opened up a whole different can of worms – finances, rent, fuckboys, alcohol, regrets, bad life decisions etc etc.
My selfie game was strong
What with my 1 megapixel webcam?? Nah.
At the time, I clearly thought my webcam selfies were A1. I never put my selfies in colour either – I always put them in black and white (or blue) because deception is key and I didn’t want any peng tings I met online to know that I was ginger.
Your bf getting off with your best mate is the worst thing that can happen
At 16, if your boyfriend of 1 week gets with your best mate it’s not exactly Armageddon. My ex bf got with one of my best friend and I didn’t speak to her for a week. I wrote her a two-page letter about how she’d ruined my life… now we all know the passion that I have for writing complaint letters… so it really cut to the core.
In hindsight – this was the least of my worries in comparison to the type of shit males have put me through ever since. If only I knew.
I could go on forever, but I wanted to summarise by saying this. Every day we learn something new. The way we feel during a certain period of our lives will be a distant memory in a few years. I look back and laugh at some of the things I used to cry about. Equally, I look back and wish I could have a word with my 16 year old self every now and again.
If I could I would simply say…
“It’s okay Ellie, you will one day move to London and find peng tings – this countryside life is not for you, and you aren’t frigid like everyone says – you just don’t fancy anyone.”
Joke. But also that is true. I would actually say something along the lines off…
“…Said lil’ Witch, you can’t fuck with meeee if you wanted tooooo…”
Nah shut up. I can’t think of what I’d say to myself, it’s really just simple things like–
- Work hard
- Guys are dickheads so just focus on yourself,
- Try and open up to people
- Don’t go to Uni
- Grow your eyebrows out
- Don’t do what other people want you to do with your life (still working on that one)
- Take more risks
- Be less up tight.
I hope this post has inspired other people to reflect on how far they’ve come in the past 10 year. Try and think back to where you were 10 years ago! If you’re having a bad day it might make you feel better 🙂
Ciao for now – Elz, the Witch.