Ask Anna: My Teenage Years

17 March 2012

If you haven't already, watch the video here!  Otherwise keep reading, because I did leave a few things out ;)

In my last Ask Anna video, I talked about my childhood and the most requested topic for the next one was to talk about my teenage years.  You guys wanted to know what I was like as a teenager, my experiences as a teen and so on.  So here it is!  I've tried to gather together some pictures to show you guys what I looked like through the years.  The above photo was taken when I was in my teens, I actually really like my hair like's 100% my natural colour -- I didn't dye it till I was 19 :)

What I was like as a teenager:  As much as I was a very self-confident child, I was NOT a confident teen!  I think that's normal for most people, actually so nothing unusual there.  But it's such a shame that teenagers aren't confident these days :(  I wish that were different.  Like I've said before in other videos (particularly the one on puberty), I developed early and got my period when I was 11.  However I still looked like a child then so it wasn't until about one year later that I started "filling out".  I can honestly say that I found the transition period so difficult to deal with -- although it sounds silly, when you go from looking like a skinny little girl to a woman with curves, it can shock the system a bit!    

Although I was lacking in confidence though, I never let it show.  I would estimate that very few people ever realised it actually because I was so good at faking it.  I've also always been a very positive and quite up-beat person so I tried not to let things like that get in the way of life.  I think it's important to realise that EVERY teenager struggles with their self-confidence and even if you think you're the only one, I can guarantee that you are not!  It's normal to go through that...especially at such a transitional stage of your life!

I entered a new school just like most people in Ireland, when I was 12 years old (secondary school) where I knew no-one.  However I had always made friends very easily and quickly gained a lot of them in a short space of time.  I was also lucky enough to go to a great school (all-girls, Catholic) with a lovely class group and never had any problems with mean girls or bullying.

I was a super disciplined teen -- I did really well in school because I was terrified of disappointing both my parents and teachers.  I had a lot of respect for the adults in my life, which I think was the motivation for me to want to do well!  At this time I took piano outside of school, did lots of public speaking and was elected prefect almost every year.  In my final two years of secondary school (highschool for all you Americans ;) I was on the student council.  

Age 11/12, right when my body had just started to change.  I didn't fully develop till about age 13/14. 

Body image struggles: My body image definitely changed along with my body, at age 12 when I started "filling out".  As I've said before, going from a really skinny child's frame to a more womanly body in a short space of time can be scary and I don't think I was ready for that!  I also had NO idea about diets, how to lose weight (which I didn't need to, but thought I did), how to eat for my new metabolism, etc. so I went about it entirely the wrong way.  Here's an example:  

"I've gotten chubby, I think I'll stop eating ice-cream."  
Several hours later: *Eats ice-cream*
*Feels guilty*
Repeat again the next day.

As you can probably tell, this is not a very effective diet!   

My interests/likes/dislikes:  Interestingly enough, I liked music (which I really don't listen to anymore!), I was also very creative and loved art & drawing.  I was good at languages and took about a bajillion of them in school (rather than Science or any kind of Mathematical subjects...bleugh!).  I really wasn't into sports which I kind of regret now because I liked them better as a child, although I did enjoy swimming as a teen. 

I think I was a pretty normal teenager, I hung out with my friends, went to parties, the cinema, shopping...  I was allowed to have a boyfriend (I started "dating" as they say in America when I was 15) but my parents were very strict until I was 18.  I was really hardly ever allowed to go to discos, parties involving drinking or boys, or trips away from home unless these things were heavily supervised and even then it was not a common occurrence.  

When I was 18 my parents trusted me 100%, being that I had always respected their rules and I was allowed to do a lot more.  I am so grateful to them for the way they raised me, because I think it's important for teens to establish trust between them & their parents.  Also it teaches you from a young age about peer pressure, how to deal with it, and how to accept that you do not always get to do what you want straight away.  Some things are worth waiting for!

My style: My style was pretty girly when I was a teen.  I LOVED pink, and wore it a lot even if it didn't suit me in every single  Like most teenagers though, I conformed to the rest of the group so whatever was cool or trendy at the time is basically what I wore...jeans and a (pink) top usually, pretty boring!!  But I always loved accessories and jewellery.  Earrings, bracelets, scarves, necklaces...I would ALWAYS accessorise my outfits.  In school we had to wear a uniform, so in my final year (when the rules are more lenient) I tried especially hard to make it different.  My signature was big earrings and a statement cuff.  I wore my school scarf a lot too! (We weren't allowed to wear a different one :( )

Age 18 (final year of school!)

So I hope that answers most of your questions about my teenage years.  If you have anymore requests for Ask Anna videos, just let me know! :)

Stay Stylish!

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Please be nice...the world could use some positivity! :)