Advice I’d give my 11-year-old sister about life


I guess this is kind of like advice I’d give my younger self, but much less hypothetical.

I was hanging out in Abi’s room the other day (Abi is my 11-year-old sister by the way, she’s not actually 11 in the picture above but hey, I LOVE this picture of her). Anyway, her room is amazing and pink and girly and full of posters and books. Room envy aside, I gave her some very important advice as we sat down on her bed to read Lizzie Zipmouth by Jacqueline Wilson. Which happens to be the first Jacqueline Wilson book I ever read.

So here’s that little nugget of sisterly advice, along with some other advice I’d happily give her, and anyone else who will listen, or read…

1. There’s always time to make your bed. This was actually what I told her on the day, it takes about 5 seconds and makes a huge difference to your happiness. And if you don’t believe me, ask Gretchen Rubin.

2. Read Jacqueline Wilson books. Because they’ll teach you everything you need to know about being a young girl, they’re amazing and there’s nothing better than getting lost in a book. If you’re an adult and you haven’t done this, a) where have you been? b) it’s not too late.

3. At school, being popular isn’t important. Having amazing friends that will stick around 10 years later, coupled with working hard and being yourself is what really matters. And thanks to social media, you’ll see where the ‘cool’ kids end up and it ain’t at the top.

4. Respect your parents. I pretty much mean your mum here because she’s amazing. Don’t forget that and look after her like she’s looked after you.

5. Pick your battles. Sometimes you just have to go with the flow and life is easier when you’re easy going. Don’t fight everything, but speak up when you need to.

6. Don’t ever worry about not having a boyfriend or girlfriend. There’s enough in life to worry about and love shouldn’t be one of those things. A relationship will happen when it happens and when it does [insert heart emoji]. Vom.

7. Go to university. I know it isn’t for everyone and I’m so in favour of you doing what works for you. I’m sure you’ll end up doing something amazing anyway (I’m also against high uni fees) but uni is amazing. You’ll learn so much about yourself and it really does set you up for life.

8. Unless you know exactly what you want to be, it doesn’t matter what you study. Life experience, trying new things and the grades you get are much more important. Pick subjects that you like and you’ll enjoy education so much more.

9. And on that note? Don’t feel pressured to decide what you want to be when you’re older. People love asking, but most of the time they don’t even know themselves. Everything will fall into place even if you never figure it out.

10. Look after your skin. Wear an SPF moisturiser daily, not just when you’re in the sun. And when you are in the sun, wear suncream. Use good beauty products and wash your face before bed.

11. Swap normal tea for green tea. You may have to force yourself to enjoy the first few cups, but you’ll soon love it and it’s so much better for you than the milky, sugary alternative.

12. Don’t eat food you don’t like – if you don’t enjoy it, there’s no point eating it. Unless it’s super healthy, and then you need to find a way to enjoy it.

13. You don’t have to do anything you don’t want to do. Okay there are some things, you have to do, but as a general rule you’re in control.

14. Don’t ever forget that you’re amazing.

15. Never feel guilty about taking time for yourself and doing what you want to do. Sleep, have a nice bath, do yoga, read a book, lay on a beach somewhere. You can’t put a price on the things you enjoy.

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