Looking back over the past few years I thought this would be a good post to show what advice I would give to myself as a teenager.

1. Putting the effort in revising really will improve your grades 
Everyone would tell you that revising and putting time in to your academic work will help and sometimes as a teenager it was hard to accept this. Thankfully I did manage to listen to other people about this and did realise that my grades I managed to achieve were well worth the hours of revising, but knowing this at the start might have given me more motivation to get up and start it.

2. Try and save your money - don't decide what you are going to spend it on before you get it
I always seemed to be very low on money while being a teenager. First it was pocket money which I seemed to have spent before I'd even received it. After getting a part time job at 16 which I have held ever since, I thought I would be able to save loads, but my spending just started to match my paychecks. If I could go back and do it again I would be sure to put some money away 'for a rainy day'.

3. Don't let other people bring you down - especially those claiming to be 'friends'
This will happen to most teenagers through school and the people you associate with. You will encounter people that seem to enjoy bringing others down and wanting to be able to tell you what to do. You will experience so called 'friends' who will sometimes want to get you to do something to benefit them. If it's not what you want or that is best for you, don't waste your time with them, you will be much happier to walk away from it.

4. Listen to your gut feeling, you often know better than what other people try and tell you is right 
You are often told what is best for you and that certain people know best. The best person you can trust is yourself. I found that your gut feeling will more often than not be right about what you want and people trying to tell you what to do don't necessarily understand that it's your life and therefore you should decide what you want in life.

5. Don't always do something just because 'everyone else' is doing it
You will have heard this plenty of times but it does ring true. When people jump on the bandwagon about something it doesn't automatically mean that its what you want to do. If people try to peer pressure you in to do something, they might say that you are too scared to try something. Surely standing up to the majority and not following the crowd takes more guts than just giving in to what others want.

6. Do what makes you happy, if you enjoy doing something then stick with it
When you enjoy something, whether this be a hobby or activity in school, it can be quite daunting if few others do the same thing. This might put you off, but if you really do benefit from what you are doing, don't give it up just because it's not necessarily what others may enjoy.

7. Change things if you are not happy
Sometimes as a teenager I was guilty of just letting things drift along even if I wasn't happy with the situation. If you are in a relationship where you know you're not happy, don't let it bring you down when you know its not what you want. You will probably waste valuable time making yourself unhappy.

8. Be honest and open, don't bottle things up and let them get worse
If something is bothering you its all too easy to just accept it and keep your emotions locked up inside and not to tell anyone. If you have got a problem, even one that you think is so stupid, open up to a close friend or family member and talk to them about it. You will find that your 'huge' problem that has been getting you down can be resolved just by talking to someone about it. If you keep things bottled up it will just get worse and worse. It will be a lot easier to sort it at the start before it gets out of control.

9. Don't be scared to try new things - meeting new people can seem daunting but its not that bad
I was quite shy throughout my teenage years and it would be intimidating to go and do something you haven't experienced before. I found that once I had starting my part time job at 16, my confidence really started to grow after meeting new people and having to deal with customers regularly. Even if the idea of doing it scares you a little, the benefits of going for it will be worth the nerves before hand.

10. Don't worry if you make mistakes - you will learn from them and things will workout
You will often be told what to do and what the right thing to do it. Sometimes in life you need to try things out for yourself and make decisions based on what you truly believe is the best for you and what you think is right. From time to time you will make mistakes about things, but this is fine. One of the key things about growing up is learning from your own mistakes. You need to learn from what decisions you make, and not what other people tell you. Make sure to always take the experience from your mistake and things will always work out.

That's my 10 tips I would give to my younger self if I had the chance. I hope you can relate to some of these and it will give some reassurance if you have experienced any similar situations. Let me know what advice you would give if you could.

Andy.