Rosina, Ewan, Ellie and LotteRosina Griffiths, Ewan Martin, Ellie Austin and Lotte Brundle

Members of this term’s Lifestyle Team bid farewell to their roles by writing a letter of advice to their younger selves, with reflections on what they’ve learnt over the past few years and what they wish they’d done differently...

Letters to our 16-year old selves:


Ellie aged 16Ellie Austin

Hi Ellie from the past! Hope you’re doing well — I heard you’ve just turned 16! Well, writing from the future, I’m here to warn you that your life is about to change forever with a deadly pandemic whipping the world into a frenzy just a few years around the corner!! Just joking, haha… Anyway, to be honest your life is quite nice in the future — you have an amazingly supportive, hilarious and interesting bunch of friends; you’re rarely bored; you live in a beautiful city, and are starting to find that independence you (in the past) currently crave. Your days are filled with beauty, laughter, feeling, interesting conversations and interesting thoughts, and quite often, peace. That’s not to say life is easy, in fact you’ll feel lots of really sucky feelings as you continue to grow and experience new elements of life, but c’est la vie! And what a pleasure it is to live, and get to experience all those different colours of life, blue to yellow to red to orange.

“I could try to summarise the key lessons you’re going to learn to save you some time, but it won’t mean anything unless you live through it all yourself”

Anyway, I’ll stop being cheesy — basically, just keep doing what you’re doing, because it all works out and you’re gonna be fine. I could try to summarise the key lessons you’re going to learn to save you some time, but it won’t mean anything unless you live through it all yourself, and anyway, if you started doing anything different now then I wouldn’t be sitting here living this nice life as a result, so the main point here is just to keep going. I love you lots, and I truly mean it when I say you’re going to be fine. Let yourself feel, and keep thinking.


Future Ellie


Lotte aged 16 Lotte Brundle

Listen up smarty pants,

In recent years I’ve come to the rather unsavoury conclusion that, and I’m not going to sugar coat it, right now you are an insufferable know-it-all. Honestly, the worst. I wish someone had told us sooner. So, take it from someone who knows you — we could do with being taken down a peg or two.

It’s okay, fortunately we’ve mellowed somewhat with age. And, look on the bright side, at 16 years old, this is the best shape we’ve ever been in! (It all goes down hill when we stop exercising in a couple years, believe me...)

Unfortunately, getting braces, something which we’d been trying desperately to avoid for the past 5 years, can’t be put off any longer. You’re about to get chronic acne too. Oh, and you’ll have your heart broken several times in the coming years. Sorry, it seems as if I’m painting a bit of a bleak picture. You turn out alright in the end if that’s any consolation? So hang on in there.

Some advice before I go: try to care less what people think about you, spend as much time with your grandparents as you can, and try to be a bit nicer to your younger brother.

I’ll see you on the other side.

Sending love,

Ewan aged 16Ewan Martin



Hello you,

Some advice:

You’re not in love, you idolatrous scamp! Your boredom is often hypocritical! Delete Snapchat! Sell your Xbox! Stop mumbling! For someone who claims to reject society, you’re quite communicative about it; maybe you don’t actually reject society! Moisturise! Hug your family – yes, your brother too! Curiosity is more precious than knowledge! Enjoy your life as it is now: the tongue can’t savour a taste while it complains about the size of the portion! Your first kiss will be a nothing; your second, another; your third, something else entirely. Be patient!

I love you. Get a haircut.



Rosina aged 16Rosina Griffiths

Dear 16-year-old-me,

I’m so glad that I have the opportunity to write to you! I often wish that I could tell you that a lot of your dreams for the next few years are about to come true, albeit not at all in the ways that you’re imagining. One of the big lessons that you’re about to learn is how to cope with the series of tiny curve balls which are heading your way; you get better at it, I promise! We’re terrible with surprises, but I’m not going to fill this letter with spoilers about all the incredible places you’re going to see and the wonderful people you’re going to meet. Let’s focus on the now: you’ve just bought your first pair of dungarees (a look that you still love), you’re about to meet a whole load of new friends and you’re starting to have the courage to be a little more yourself. I’m here, cheering you on from the side lines, telling you to be brave, to speak out, to claim your individuality; offering you encouragement and reassurance rather than retribution. Remember that you deserve to feel confident in your personality, style and opinions and that you have absolutely got this!

Lots of love,


Mountain View

Self care: emailing my future self