Ten things I wish I could tell my 16yo self about the real world. It’s not funny to be ignorant.


Despite what Youtube or Instagram might make you think, it’s not funny, cool or even interesting to be willfully ignorant. Basically don’t be a jerk to people whose struggles you don’t know.

What I mean is the kind of joking around you do when you don’t know much about a thing but pretend that you do. I’m talking about he “PFT, whatevs” attitude that so many people have when they encounter something uncomfortable, new or different in their lives. Those are the kinds of people who get on average about two seconds of my time. They are the kind of people who make jokes about homeless people but forget everybody has a struggle, they are the kind of people who make jokes about HIV/AIDS having never actually met someone who has it.

Don’t be one of those arse’s who sits around the club skwarking and laughing about homeless people, poor people or any “other” people. It’s ugly.

If there is anything you should do in your life time it’s explore. Not just travel but really explore. Get out of the comfort bubble and meet people, see how they live and put yourself in places where you never thought you would go. If something makes you uncomfortable then it’s probably because it’s challenging you to look at how you think about something, and that’s where growth happens.


Get out there, explore, travel, experience. Do it with the deliberate intention of understanding the world and people around you and you will find that there is a most amazing side effect. You will begin to understand yourself. This exploration doesn’t have to involves miles of travel to exotic places. Exploration can happen in your own back yard. the world is a diverse place and even visiting a different part of your town and meeting a new circle of people can be exploring. Go to a festival, volunteer, visit a part of town ethnically different to your own, eat in different places… expand your world.

Traveling and exploring life is like holding up a mirror to ourselves. The more people we meet and the more we experience, the more we see ourselves in the live of others. Our hopes, our dreams, our fears are not so much different from each other. When we do something or meet a person we don’t like we become introspective, we self examine and we grow. Don’t close your mind. Train yourself to recognize when you are ignorant of something and then open your mind.