Brovember reflections: what these 6 guys wish they'd known at 16 will make you feel better about being a teenager

YP Team

We asked the guys on the YP team to share what knowledge they have now that would’ve helped their past selves, and it's all so relatable

YP Team |

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Stay motivated

I would have told myself to be less lazy and more motivated. This world is getting more and more competitive. It seems everyone can do what you can do - but better. Figure out what your passion is as early as possible; and when you find it, pursue it. Get involved in relevant programmes and internships to build your experience and a portfolio you can show employers one day.

Aside from work: be adventurous in life. Try not to stay in one place, especially when you’re young. Save up for a trip. You will see you can learn a lot from other cultures and people of different backgrounds. You’ll learn a lot more about yourself, too, when you step out of your comfort zone. And who knows, you might discover your passion or be inspired to create the next big thing!

Sebastien Raybaud, Reporter

Never stop learning

I wish I understood the importance of discipline and building good habits back then. While playing video games and watching movies all day seemed cool at the time, every time I “got away” with not studying, I was actually hurting myself.

I grew up and learned the value of working hard at university. Now I understand the journey of self-improvement never ends, and is a lot more fun than any short-lived superficial pleasure.

Ben Young, Sub-editor

Follow your passion

I would tell my 16-year-old self to not just do what my parents told me to do. Like many Asian parents, they wanted me to become a doctor. My dad actually told me to become a doctor or not be his son anymore. So I did what I was told and took up physiology at university, which I wasn’t really interested in and definitely wasn’t good at.

I wouldn’t say it was a complete waste of time, but I wish I had followed my passion and done something I was more interested in. Now I’m working for Young Post and my parents are both proud of where I am.

I would also tell younger me that relationships aren't all rainbows and unicorns; puppy love isn’t really love. You won’t understand what true love is until you learn to accept that not every moment is going to be happy, and that compromise (not just happiness in the moment) is the basis of a long-lasting relationship.

On second thought, maybe I would simply let my younger self live whatever life he wants. Let that guy live and learn.

Jamie Lam, Sub-editor

Nothing’s ever clear and that’s ok

There are three things I wish I could tell my 16-year-old self.

1. It’s very easy to be judgmental when you’re young. I know, I was like that. Everything seemed so clear-cut, so why shouldn’t I call someone out when they're wrong? It’s true everyone has a right to say what they feel, but if only I’d known how complex and, well, messy, the world is, I would have saved me and the people around me a lot of grief and angst – and perhaps a friendship or two as well.

2. Things aren’t ever as defined as you’d like. An opportunity might not have a label on it, and it can come from the unlikeliest of places. It’s easy to reject an opportunity because you didn’t get it through conventional means and you didn't recognise it for what it is, but good things almost never come in a conventional way.

3. Not a manly man? Who cares? People have preconceived notions of how a guy should act, things he’s interested in, and ways in which to live. Guess what? You don’t have to listen to them at all. As a human being, you can do, think, and live the way you want. There are consequences to doing this and they can be harsh, but learning how to take responsibility for your choices is part of growing up.

Edmund Ho, Reporter

Get your Z’s

With the pressures of school work, exams and assessments coming up, I would often neglect sleep. It was not uncommon for me to stay up into the early hours of the morning, to work on assignments and revising. This meant I was not getting the recommended eight to 10 hours of sleep I needed to function properly. There were also many all-nighters.

This kind of lifestyle proved to be very bad for my health and well-being. During the day, I eventually became grumpier, irritable and less productive overall.

My advice to myself would have been to learn to manage my time and workload better, so that I could finish my work in the daytime and get enough sleep at night.

Joshua Lee, Intern

Little fish in a big pond

My greatest flaw during my teenage years was arrogance. (Hasn’t changed much, but I’m getting there). So my advice to myself would be to get out of my tiny school bubble and go see what’s out there. Find an activity, join some clubs, and enter some competitions.

As clichéd as “broaden your horizons” sounds, simply going out there and seeing how small a fish you are is one of the best things you can do.

Wong Tsui-kai, Reporter

Edited by Nicole Moraleda