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“Girl, you’ve got this” An open letter to every 16-year-old, with love from a bunch of 20-somethings

I spent a good chunk of last week pondering how to celebrate International Women's Day 2022. In true chaotic fashion, here I ultimately am, on the eve of International Women’s Day, hunched over my Mac with a glass of wine and a stale cheese biscuit, chastising myself for having left it too late.

I tell myself “diamonds are made under pressure” before getting out my crayons to brainstorm. My thought process goes like this: Public love letter to 16-year-old me? I shudder. Article on tricky female-related teen topics and how to handle them? Cliché and I run the risk of exposing how profoundly uncool I am. A letter to every 16-year-old girl I can possibly reach, with advice from all my girlfriends (in their 20s) about what they would tell their 16-year-old self? Nailed it! I down my wine, spam all my girlfriends, and wait.

To every 16-year-old woman reading this, as you go through these pearls of wisdom, remember that behind each of these is an outstanding woman with her own lived experience from teen to today. Collectively, these women come from all over the world and hold careers as teachers, consultants, doctors, lawyers, entrepreneurs, publishers and artists.

Each has her own story, just as you have yours. We hope that these insights empower, entertain and encourage you to be nothing other than yourself. Girl, you’ve got this; 16 is only the beginning. Happy International Women's Day, 2022!