Sweet Sixteen Saturdays


Maria Moore writes the latest in our nostalgic series offering a bit of advice to our sixteen-year-old selves.

Hi 16-year-old Maria,

It’s me (/you), 24-year-old Maria. Crazy, right?

A lot has changed in the last eight years and I’m trying to remember what you’re like, and what it’s like being sixteen, but it’s all quite fuzzy. You have a tendency to not think about the past too much, and that’s something you should work on trying to stop. Just because something’s bad, doesn’t mean it’s not worth remembering. And, spoiler alert, it really wasn’t that bad anyway.

You’re somewhere between GCSEs and A-Levels and you’re pushing yourself hard because school is about all there is at the moment. That, and television, which you probably watch too much of but it keeps you going. You still watch your favourites, Buffy and Friends, but the one that will have a really important impact on your life, though you don’t realise it now, is Gilmore Girls. It’s going to keep you close to the friends you have now and lead you to meet the Ilana to your Abby. (That’s a reference to Broad City, which you will discover in about seven years and fall in love with.) By the way, the cast of Gilmore Girls just had a reunion and it was beautiful.

When you’re not worrying about school or watching tv, you’re thinking about boys. You’re thinking about your first proper kiss and wondering if it’ll ever come. It will, eventually, and the first time will be awkward and drunken and weird and to someone dressed as a pirate but don’t worry, there are better kisses and better boys around the corner. They’re really worth the wait, so don’t worry that you’re not kissing that guy who you kind of like in your class because he’s not as annoying as the others. You’ll continue to fall hard and fast for people and this will lead to some heartbreak but don’t let it stop you. Keep on crushing. Don’t be afraid to tell people you like them, although maybe try to stop doing it after eight shots of tequila.

I know you’re wondering what on earth you’re going to do with your life and let me tell you now, it doesn’t get much clearer, but you’ll learn to own the confusion and run with it. Try to do this sooner rather than later, because it will save you a lot of unnecessary stress. Like a lot of stress. Ultimately the confusion is good. It makes you move to new cities and try new things and learn a lot about yourself.

I’d like to give you a hug because I know you need one, but I know you’d push me away. But don’t worry, I also know you’ll learn how wonderful hugs are at university and it will change your life. Seriously! Hugs are great! You still don’t want to hug people you’ve just met though, and that’s all right – you’ve got the duck and weave down.

Keep working hard and always be nicer than you need to be. It’ll feel really hard a lot of the time but you’re doing fine. You’re lucky to have some amazing people in your life, some of them are your friends now, some of them aren’t – they’re wonderful and will do everything from dance like crazy to Destiny’s Child with you to sticking with you through your phase of crying in public places (I wish I could erase that for you, sorry!)

Oh and you’ve just been introduced to the Object of My Affection by your bestie, so in honour of that: keep your chin up, young person!*

Maria x.

*PS: You love Paul Rudd even more now and will always, always defend Jennifer Aniston from the haters.

[Maria Moore]

Listen to Maria’s Sweet Sixteen playlist on TYCI’s Spotify profile. Read more in the Sweet Sixteen series HERE.

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