Dear Claiireyy…

Over the next few years you’re going to worry so much about who you are and what you’re meant to be doing with your life, this is futile. Worrying about it isn’t gonna get you anyway and it sure as hell isn’t going to help you find what you’re looking for. Everything will just fall into place so just calm down and do whatever makes you happy.

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You are not fat. You’re going to spend a lot of time worrying about your size without realising that you’re wasting valuable time. I’d love to tell you that all of this body angst will magically disappear and you’ll become confident in your own skin but you won’t – not completely. Instead you’ll learn a very important lesson, it doesn’t bloody matter. Anyone that is worth your time won’t care that you’re always gonna have a bit of chub and your skin will never be perfect. Embrace your chubby cheeks and get that hair out of your eyes.

Stop wearing one blue shoe and one orange shoe. I know you think you’re being funny or quirky but you look like an idiot – and people will remind you about it in the future. While we’re on this note, stop wearing every single accessory that you own and covering your face in make-up; try and learn how to apply it properly, 21 year old you would appreciate it very much.

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Quit worrying that you’re too immature and that you should be wearing tight dresses and heels. You’re 15. You’re meant to wear boys t-shirts and unflattering jeans. In a few years you’ll be gutted that you can’t anymore and while you’re running to job interviews in shoes that are killing you, I can guarantee you’ll be thinking about the cushioned hightops with the mixtape print. Stop comparing yourself to other people. I know it’s tough but you need to stop beating yourself up about it and just focus on you. Jealousy isn’t pretty and it gets you nowhere.

Stereotypes are stupid and the minute you stop thinking about them you’ll be happier. That person that you’re nervous to talk to because they’re “chavvy,” they are excellent and don’t deserve your judgements. Stop listening to the idiots in your class – they’ll be saying the same thing in a few years. Just be yourself and treat everyone how you’d like to be treated. Stop denying your love for Beyonce.

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Do some arts and crafts or something – go swimming! I know it may seem time consuming and that you think none of that stuff interests you but you will enjoy it and you’ll be spending your time productively. Also, start sharing your writing right now. I don’t care if it’s stupid and you’re worried about what people will say – do it. You have so much free time, take advantage of it!

Think more about your actions. You might be hurting people without even realising, I know it’s easy to be self centered when things get stressful but try and be more attentive to other people’s feelings.

Give your Nan a thousand cuddles and have a real conversation with her every day. Ask her about her past, tell her how much she means to you and confide in her more. You’ll be full of regret if you don’t.

Pay more attention in school, I know it may seem dull and I’m sure that Aisha has something brilliant to say but wait until lunch, otherwise you’ll be an adult that has no idea what photosynthesis is. When you are with your friends cherish them. There will come a time where you won’t see them every day and you’ll miss being crammed into that tiny corner that definitely can’t accommodate 12 people.

Sit next to Sammy on the bus to Starlight Express, she’ll never let you forget it if you don’t.

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Pick up the litter in Caldecott. Even if it’s not yours, it looks awful and is just plain rude.

Stop blaming Rugby for everything, I know it’s not exactly Disneyland but it’s given you a good start and some fantastic people, you’ll miss it when you’re gone. This is your time to run around like an idiot without a care in the world so make the most of it!

Don’t let fear stop you from doing everything – as you get older it will consume you and it’s your job to tell it to bugger off. You have nothing to be scared of. Your paranoia will do nothing but stop you from having fun, so stop being a loser, loser.

Everything else is down to you and don’t worry, you do okay. When things get too much and you’re huffing and puffing, not knowing what to do or how to stay positive just remember that there are always going to be sunny days where you can sit with the wonderful people in your life and feel tipsy after one Morgan’s and Lemonade. I know better than anyone that you are dramatic, you exaggerate everything and you have days where you’re impossible to be around – once you learn to control that and just relax you’ll be a lot happier. Finally, you should always listen to Jaide – you’ll have some of the best experiences of your life.

Check out Daniel Fellowes Flickr for more embarrassing photos of me when I was 15 and other lovely pictures that he has taken! 

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