What would I say to my 16-year-old self?
When you are given the chance to hop in a time machine and take a spin back to the past, I guess the first thing that springs to mind is to give your younger self some tips on how to get rich by investing money, or revealing the correct lottery numbers and hitting the jackpot.
I have to admit, that was my first thought. I would tell my 16-year-old self to invest in Bitcoins when they were selling for less than €1 a piece. Also, it would have been great to know that I should buy a few shares in Nintendo before Pokémon Go!
Joking aside, there are a few really important things that I would tell myself. The first would be - do what you enjoy and what feels best. Don't just go along with the crowd; follow your own paths, your own ideals and aims. All of your decisions may affect your life in the future so always remember to be true to yourself. Make the right decision for yourself, not what you think others want to hear.
Don’t ignore the valuable advice that your parents have to offer. Of course, you can always learn things the hard way, but sometimes it might be easier to listen to others and learn from the experiences that they've gone through.
It's crucial to have goals in life. Set one or two achievable targets for where you'd like to be in your future life. Don't be afraid of the inevitable obstacles along the way. Believe in yourself and your ability to overcome them.
In addition, I would give myself some guidance for all of the studying to come. Don't go where the fence is the lowest; study the subjects that you're interested in, and the things that will be useful in the future.
Languages are very important in life. I sometimes regret that I've only studied Swedish and English, so I would urge my teenage self to try and pick up some more languages. It's never too late to learn, which is why last summer I made the decision to start taking Italian lessons.
Of course, you shouldn't forget to have fun. Work hard, but make sure you have some leisure time. There's no better way to recharge your batteries than by sharing special moments with your friends and family.
My life has gone pretty much the way I would have liked it to. I have a beautiful and smart girlfriend, I'm at the finishing line with my studies, and I have a great job where I can develop myself and learn something new everyday.
So, what would be my final piece of advice to my 16-year-old-self? “Everything will be all right, your 25-year-old self is doing very well, so don't stress about the future. Above all, stay true to your goals and your values.”