Life Advice: Things We’d Tell Our 16-Year Old Selves

A large shell. A white naked woman with short brown hair holds a pearl.

We’ve been thinking about those things we wish we’d known at a much younger age. With age comes wisdom (apparently), and there are so many things we wish we’d known sooner. It would have saved so much time and heartache!

We asked our friends on social media what they’d like to say to their younger selves, and we got some great answers. In no particular order, here are 9 pearls of wisdom that we would, between us, share with our younger selves if only we could:

  • Love Yourself

Hands up if you’ve ever looked at yourself in the mirror and thought: If only I’d know how bloomin’ gorgeous I was back then!

Younger us were harsh, and now we wonder why – there was really no need. Lumps and bumps – they’re beautiful curves! Breasts that hang lower than you’d like – they’re worthy of love and admiration! Thicc ankles? Who cares – they’ll walk a thousand miles! Love your body as it is; it’s going to carry you through life.

Take lots of pictures of yourself! One day you will enjoy looking at that sexy gal or guy and know they’re still inside, even if the outside is beginning to look a bit tired & worn…

Pearls of Wisdom: Start loving yourself today!

  • Sex Advice: Start Masturbating

We’re going to be loud and clear about this: Practicing self-love and masturbation is normal and healthy.

Masturbation is the best way of finding out what turns you on and how your body works. You are allowed to touch it in all the ways you want to. Discover desire, explore erogenous zones, and find out how your orgasms work.

Once you know what you like, you can communicate your likes and dislikes to future partners, and sex will be more fun and pleasurable for both of you.

Pearls of Wisdom: Spending time with yourself makes all your sexperiences better!

  • Explore Your Options

It doesn’t matter if you like boys or girls. You can fall in love with both – at the same time! How they treat you and how they make you feel is what matters most.

Don’t waste your time on people who don’t treat you right. The person who shows they care and treats you well is the one you should spend more time with. You don’t need to decide about your sexuality or who you want to be with until you feel ready.

Pearls of Wisdom: You have options; explore them!

  • Don’t Rush Sex

The first few times you have sex with another person won’t be the best sex you’ll ever have. It probably won’t even make the Top 10 of life-time sexperiences. First-time sex is clumsy and feels weird, and if the other person is equally new to it, you might not enjoy much of it. Rushing to get it over and done with isn’t the way to go. You can wait – you have so much time!

Your needs are equally part of the deal. It’s okay to expect attention and pleasure during partner-sex. The right person will want to know what you enjoy, and they’ll spend time making sure you’re having a great time.

Pearls of Wisdom: Doing it with someone who turns you on and you actually want to do it with makes all the difference.

  • Consent is Key

Communication, honesty, respect, and consent are the cornerstones of healthy sexual relationships.

You can say yes, or you can say no. It’s perfectly ok to first say yes, and then later change your mind. You can say no at any point, even if you said yes to begin with. Withdrawing consent has no bearing on what kind of person you are or how invested you are in a relationship.

No one has the right to touch you without your enthusiastic and on-going consent. Non-consensual touch or sex is considered a sexual offense (a crime) and should be reported.

Pearls of Wisdom: You have a right to change your mind.

  • Life Advice: Prioritize Your Mental Health

Your confidence and self-esteem will be set to low from time to time. This is perfectly normal. What you need to remember is that you matter and you are good enough.

You have the right to feel good about yourself. Never let other people dim your light.

Pearls of Wisdom: You deserve happiness!

  • Don’t Sweat The Small Stuff

Pick your battles wisely. Don’t waste your energy on people or causes that don’t align with your personal beliefs.

Choosing to surround yourself with those who believe in the same things you do brings positive energy. You’ll get your seat at the table, and this creates future opportunities.

Pearls of Wisdom: Focus on the things that matter.

  • Buy More Records

This one came from one of our online friends, and we think it’s good advice. Buy more records, or shoes, or cake! Whatever makes you happy! Surround yourself with things that make you feel good.

Life is short, so don’t spend it thinking that you shouldn’t – because you should. You absolutely should!

Other things we wish we’d done more of is saying yes to all the things we said no to because we felt out of our depth, or we thought we wouldn’t be very good at them. Give it a go – you might just find something you love! (And even if you don’t, the experience has value.)

Pearls of Wisdom: Say yes to joy!

  • Career Advice: Follow Your Creativity

Would your family prefer to see you in a more traditional role like a doctor or dentist? If that’s what you want to do, go forth and let your brilliant self slay! But if it isn’t, we’ll say: Follow your dreams. If writing or drawing or making clothes appeal to you, you should give it a go; those are great career choices! At the end of the day, putting yourself and your happiness before heavy expectations will ensure life-long contentment.

Pearls of Wisdom: Follow your own path.


We’d love to hear what advice you’d give your younger self – what have you learned that you wish you’d known earlier?