Thinking back to when I was 16 - with my super long curly hair, braces, and hippie clothes - I remember being really outgoing, but also very thoughtful and sensitive. I was really into music and going to concerts to hear my favourite bands play live. I loved sports as well as acting, and I was always joining in extracurricular things at school. I was even captain of the basketball team (we were really good, actually!), and I acted in the school plays.
As for my friends, they would have been labeled the "popular girls," but we were all friends with everyone. Luckily, our high school wasn't very "cliquey" - everyone got along for the most part. Yeah, I was part of a crowd, but I hung out with all sorts of people: the jocks, the goths, the drama kids, the art students ... everyone.
The thing is, cliques are inevitable when you're a teenager - you're figuring out who you are, and you're trying on different personas. My advice to you would be to stray a bit from your idea of where you "fit" in. See what else you can learn from new friends and new experiences.
If I could tell my 16-year-old self anything it would be: worry less about the future. Enjoy your friends, your sports, your first girl or boyfriend, riding your bike after school, going to prom. Don't worry so much about what comes next. This is an amazing time in your life, and you are perfect just the way you are, so have fun and love yourself. You have so much to be proud of.
And don't forget about your parents: talk to them. Trust me, they're wiser than you think; mine absolutely were! Looking back now, I realize that they were always a step ahead, especially when I thought I was tricking them. Chances are, your parents are way cooler than you give them credit for. And they're dying to talk you about your life. If you let them in a little, I bet you'll be glad you did. There's always something that is on your mind; share it.
When I was a teen, I worried a lot about what other people thought of me, everyone from the boy I liked to my group of friends to the older kids in school. There's so much pressure on teenagers everyday, and I think that it's important to remind yourself that you're just starting out - there's so much more beyond high school, and there are so many amazing experiences ahead. Try not to grow up too fast, enjoy where you're at now, and trust that you'll only continue to learn more about yourself as time goes on. And then there are those special things, like dreams and goals, that will always stay the same. I thought I'd be an actress living in New York and Los Angeles, and that's exactly what I've become. Funny!
With everything that I've experienced in my life, I can honestly say that I do feel like an adult, but my definition of what it means to be an "adult" has changed and continues to change. The older I get, the more I have come to understand that I know very little. There's a lot of freedom in that. Sure, I've learned a lot over the years, and I wouldn't go back in time if I had the chance, but I also know that with age comes the wisdom that life is always unfolding in unexpected ways. You'll never hit an age where you've "figured it all out." That's the fun thing about life: it's a mystery and a challenge!
For more information on Caissie Levy visit http://www.caissielevy.com. For tickets and information for Ghost The Musical, visit www.ghostonbroadway.com.