Thank you for choosing not to give up. By continuing to suffer the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune, you're choosing to endure pain. And while that gives you another (good) shot at happiness, it also means something else, whether intentional or not. The world is getting another chance to change from your presence and feelings. The world has another chance to enjoy what you will accomplish and what you'll teach.
I'm a 17-year old kid - you know much more about programming and the job market and the rest of the world than I do. And even though you might already know everything I have to say, that's not going to stop me from saying it.
In freelancing in general, you either catch attention and get the job or you don't. You have to go all in or not do it. I don't think it can be a half-assed effort.
A strong, determined (if maybe not confident) attitude that radiates both conviction and humility can go a long way in convincing others that you have the power to do, and that you won't let them down.
You can never ever feel pressure. Pressure, a constant nagging looming feeling, is a strong hindrance to your abilities and you control it by knowing "I'm going to do my best with single-minded focus right now. Whatever happens next is unavoidable - I'll try to prevent mistakes, but I know I'll still make some and I can't undo them. So when they happen, I won't let them bother me. I'll forge on." That means you forget the past and you forget the future - you focus on now. This attitude will make you powerful and very hard to stop.
Build your working life around efficiency. Build your resting time around efficiency, too - know when you need to take a break, know how to take a break, know when you need to get back to work, know what's important and what can be compromised, and make transitions quickly.
Don't compare yourself with others. Compare yourself with yourself. Don't set arbitrary goals defined by how well other people can do - set challenging, yet reachable goals which are tailored to beat your previous best performance every time.
Don't compromise on sleep. By restricting your working hours to accommodate for your sleep, you lose a break-out-of-jail-free card which could have given you bad habits. And you keep yourself healthy in the process.
When you think it's safe to exhibit your uniqueness, do so. But you have to full-heartedly accept and be comfortable with churning out stereotypical, cookie-cutter (but very high-quality) work in order to eventually earn the privilege to exhibit uniqueness. You read your employers or peers and see what they like in order to decide when to be unique and when to be cookie-cutter. In other words, don't shirk from the system. Manipulate the system and use its own strength to rise to the top: then you can defy it in safety or even fix it.
Don't compromise much on buying things that will enhance productivity, but have a reasonable idea of what you really need.
Try to find beauty in everything. In some things you'll see it and in others you won't, but it's so much easier to live when you see the good around you.
Be aware that you not only make mistakes, you often make mistakes without knowing you're making them. With this knowledge, try to cover all your bases, avoid generalization, and reserve initial judgments and emotions. This applies to everything.
Ask yourself the meaning or goal of all life. Then try to apply that to other people's lives. Then apply that to your own life. The three are not necessarily the same. The answer to the third one should never be "nothing." This will help guide you.
I'll try to think of more things to say. Again, thank you for sharing the world with us
edit: Older people tend to have more authority than younger people because old folks have more experience; this respect towards older folks is usually well-founded. However, different people adapt to their experiences with differing speeds and attitudes: since people adapt with different speeds, some younger folks might be wiser than older folks not because they have more experience, but because they've processed what little experience they've had more fully. Furthermore, a person's attitude towards life influences what a person learns from an experience.
Despite this, don't automatically discount other people's ideas if you think you're more intelligent than them. No, no. Everyone's ideas are worth taking seriously, at least for a moment. Look at them from every possible angle, try to believe their ideas yourself for a moment and see from their point of view. You never know when you've overlooked a detail.
And vice versa - don't automatically discount your own ideas if someone more intelligent than you suggests a different idea instead. Instead, compare both ideas objectively and decide which one to take without bias.