Advice For Your Teen Self By Ampleforth’s New Housemistress

By School House

6 years ago

Though you can't go back in time, your teens can read and take heed

Caroline Day, housemistress at Ampleforth College, shares her hard-won wisdom

As she starts her new role as housemistress of St. Bede’s House at Ampleforth College, where she is charged with creating a strong sense of community and putting the wellbeing and happiness of each of her pupils first, Caroline Day shares some of the advice she’d have given herself as a teenager.

Ampleforth College, North Yorkshire

While Caroline was appointed to the English department in 2016, where she teaches sixth-form English Literature, she and her husband Simon, son Oscar and resident Cavapoo, Dolly have now moved into St. Bede’s as ‘Housefamily’.

Here, she’ll work closely with new Headmistress Deirdre Rowe and her leadership team to ensure that the pastoral care of the girls she looks after is of the highest quality. She is fully prepared for every day to be different.

advice for your teen

The girls of St Bede’s House

Though Caroline believes Ampleforth’s rural setting and Benedictine ethos offers pupils a sense of calm and perspective – she has also shared the ten pieces of advice she’d have told her teenage self:

  1. Don’t compare your life to others – it takes a strong individual to just be who they are. As Oscar Wilde would say: Be yourself, everyone else is taken.

  2. Work hard in school – the opportunities you have in front of you are vast, relish every one of them as today shapes your future.

  3. Choose your University course wisely – this is something that many students struggle with. My advice would always be to choose something that you are passionate about. Three years of seminars and lectures can seem like a lifetime if you do not enjoy the subject.

  4. Enjoy time with friends – boarding school provides a unique opportunity to build lasting friendships. Friends become family and this experience is not one often found so treasure the time you have together.

  5. Don’t waste time wishing you were older – youth has so many advantages. You have a whole lifetime ahead of you to be an adult, allow yourself the freedom to enjoy the life right in front of you.

  6. Results do not define you and exams are not the end – there are many different routes to the same destination.

  7. Take more pictures – I mean ‘real’ pictures. Looking back at photographs when you get older can be a great experience. Make sure you have some that show you without a filter and show the real you, not just a manufactured Instagram image.

  8. Always embrace change – you cannot plan out your entire life. It simply doesn’t work like that and change is necessary for us to move forward in life.

  9. Live life your way – trust your faith and make decisions based on what you feel is right for you.

  10. Know the best is yet to come – There are many wonderful moments in life; you are only at the beginning.

    READ MORE: Confessions of a Boarding School Matron | School Leaver Advice | Transitioning With Success