Five things you were horribly wrong about as a teenager

HAVE you come to realise the world does not work as you thought it did in your teens? Here are some things you were woefully misinformed about.

Your parents are terrible people

As you get older, you’ll come to realise that your parents weren’t awful, they’re just well-meaning idiots. Obviously this does not apply if you had genuinely terrible parents who made you live in a weird cult or pop out and sell some crack.

Suburban averageness is shit, but the worst that can happen to you

As a teenager you believed suburban conformity would be beneath you thanks to your successful career as a rapper, film director, being ‘the new Radiohead’, prime minister, etc. Have a good cringe as you now insulate the loft of your two-bed semi, which Thom Yorke probably doesn’t do. Or realise you’re 40 and still in a crap rented flat.

Employers want creative, free-thinking staff

No. What employers want is basically ‘someone who’s done exactly the same job before’, which disbars you because you don’t have enough experience. It’s a catch 22 situation, but f**k you, they don’t care. Other useful skills are: being a company drone and not costing much. It’s a shame you can’t just put this on your covering email and cut the bullshit.

Personality is more important than looks

Generations of teens have been brainwashed with this clearly wrong idea, from Roald Dahl readers to fans of ‘YA’ fiction. Research has actually suggested attractive people are more successful, but you’ll find out for yourself after a series of doomed crushes. 

Talent will shine through

If you do have talent, people will notice it, right? Nope. What actually shines through is: being related to someone famous, rich or important; incessant, creepy networking; or getting lucky with some asinine business idea like selling dressing gowns for cats. 


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How to get university students on your side, by Gavin Williamson

I’M confident I can stamp out ‘cancel culture’ on campuses because, as education secretary, I have a deep understanding of young people. Here’s how I intend to win them over.

Tell them what to think

At 18, a young person’s mind is a confused mess of hormones and fizzy pop. Without direction the average student will be a gay Marxist by their 21st birthday. That’s why they need a middle-aged white man like me to cancel cancel culture, leaving them free not to think about things.

Freeze fees

Freezing fees at £9,000 a year for one virtual seminar a week makes me a real hero of the people. Sure, lots of them still face decades or a lifetime of stressful debt, but you can’t put a price on knowledge.

A fruit hamper for every one

If there’s one thing students go crazy for, it’s vitamin C. A fruit hamper (actually three oranges) hand-delivered to every student is sure to put me in their good books. Don’t worry about the cost to the taxpayer, we can just stick a few extra quid on their fees when everyone’s distracted by something else.

Enforced lockdown imprisonment

Erecting metal fences around student accommodation at the first mention of Covid is a good way to show undergraduates just how much you care about them. Throw in a voucher for a half-price pizza and troublesome teenagers will soon be putty in your hands. 


In the unlikely event that these measures don’t work, I’ll be visiting universities to personally give out free Tamagotchis. The young people will be so excited about these fashionable new electronic pets they’ll forget what even is.