Today’s columnist, Veronica Clark: Advice to myself, aged 15

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If you could go back in time, what words of wisdom would you choose to pass onto your 15-year-old self? If I could make a phone call to my teenage self, here's what I’d say.

You are not fat. This is the best you will ever look (except for the hairstyle). You are a size six, so stop hiding yourself away in baggy clothes and cursing your skinny legs. You’ll be grateful of them when you’re older. Value your waistline, because soon you won’t have one.

Don’t hang around with popular girls. The quieter ones are much more interesting and they make better friends.

Never perm your hair. Ever. Ditto, bleach. That peroxide makes you look more like Myra Hindley than Paula Yates. Don't let your friend cut your fringe with pinking shears. It’s not a good look, and neither is pillar box red hair. But you won't be told.

Pernod and black doesn’t agree with you. It will make you fall down the stairs at a nightclub, snapping the heel of your much-loved vintage winkle pickers. Do not drink whisky at that party when you’ve run out of alcohol, either. The smell of it will still make you gag 30 years later.

Your obsession with David Bowie will continue, but sadly you will never marry Phil Oakey of the Human League, Suggs or even Adam Ant.

Report your careers advisor to the headmaster. She’s talking rubbish when she tells you to get a job in a factory, because you will never be a writer. Also the art teacher, who said you were too rubbish to go to art college and made you cry. You prove her wrong when you are later accepted at one of the best art colleges in the country. It's also the place where you’ll meet the man who will become your husband. You will also write that book. In fact, you’ll write eight, and counting ...

Be nicer to your mum, because she’s working her socks off to give you the opportunities she never had. Ditto your dad, who you need to hug more. He won’t be around forever, and you’ll miss him when he’s gone. That nose you hate will be the thing your husband loves the most about you. As for your thin hair - they will invent something wonderful called ‘hair extensions’. Stop worrying about what other people think of you and have confidence in yourself. Also, steer clear of insecure people, who criticise and drag you down. They only do it to make themselves feel better. When that older lad asks you out, run for the hills! You are far too young to be tied down. Dye your hair every colour of the rainbow (which you will do). But never, ever, get a tattoo, because they are permanent. All those boys you think you love? You don’t. It’ll pass. Also, don’t get the top of your ear pierced. It hurts like hell. Read more books and travel. School is not the best days of your life. Those are yet to come. Don’t ever smoke. It’s a disgusting habit and it will end up killing the people you love. Stop trying to make everyone else happy. You have the right to be happy too. Don’t define your worth by whether men find you attractive. The ones who judge you by looks alone aren’t worth knowing. Believe in yourself and don’t let other people make you feel worthless. You are about to meet your best friend, who will still be there for you 33 years later, as you stumble through life, death, marriage, and babies. Money isn’t everything, so don’t be afraid to put your career on hold to have children. They will be (and will continue to be) your finest achievement.

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