3rd January 2011 – “Three days into 2011 and already I have managed to get a boyfriend and then break up with him, cry hysterically on the floor of a car park and into the arms of his ex girlfriend, sat and watched him cry, listened while he told me that he thinks he is in love with his ex girlfriend, cried some more, then slept with someone else and lost my best friend over it”
It’s safe to say that being 18 was it for me. But I didn’t get off to the best start.
DEAR 18 YEAR OLD ME,
You are about to endure the best three/four years of your life and there isn’t enough warning for that. Before you go off to Nottingham however (yeah, sorry, you didn’t quite make it into Sussex..) maybe take some of the following advice, and just so you know – everything you did do made complete sense at the time, so don’t beat yourself up about anything. You did good kid.
Tip 1: Be strong enough to let go without being a stupid slut. Sorry to be so harsh on you but you didn’t need to act that way. Or maybe you did. Being with someone that isn’t good for you is the worst thing you could possibly do. You were good to realise that, or at least good enough to accept it. Be strong though, don’t let boys turn you into somebody you don’t like.
Tip 2: Stay away from the younger boys. You’ll learn that this year (although it doesn’t stop you in three years time either) Just don’t go for anyone younger than you, will you. They are not keepers.
Tip 3: Push yourself to do it all. I know you are worried about everything but it works out the way it’s supposed to. You meet the people you are supposed to. You get the grades you were supposed to. The degree you were supposed to. Don’t worry. Do it all.
Tip 4: Enjoy every little bit of life. You have a job that you love, although some days it doesn’t feel that way. You are earning money and meeting new people and finding out about real life post High School. Enjoy it.
Tip 5: Realise who your real friends are or go out and make new ones. Maybe you should make more effort when you head to Uni and leave people behind. Maybe don’t submerse yourself too much that you forget who you left at home. But also, don’t be afraid to submerse yourself into life so much so that you forget what is at home. Make new friends. You were right to doubt every single person you doubted. Where are they now?
Tip 6: Don’t ever go back to someone that treated you badly. You laugh and joke about you being drawn together but don’t be so ridiculous. You’ll meet the right one. This guy isn’t it.
Tip 7: Be in love with being in love even if it doesn’t work out. Don’t be afraid that it’ll end. It does end. But it doesn’t mean it meant anything less. Don’t let it ruin you or keep you up at night, don’t cry. Be completely in love with the time that you had. Trust that it made you and that is was real. I wish I could warn you – tell you not to throw yourself completely in, but I’d be wrong. I’d do it all again even knowing it didn’t last.
Tip 8: Do what (and who) you want. Now that you are 22 and have graduated, you’ve had some time to reflect on the choices you made throughout University. Granted, not all of them will be good. Don’t do something that you don’t think you’ll be proud of later on. But also, don’t feel guilty if you do make the mistake(s). Don’t let it define you or let anyone else define you because of it. Get on with it girl. You may have been silly, but you had a bloody good time (most nights)
Tip 9: Do not worry about money. At 18, this may be the most important advice. Do not cry about money. Do not worry. Or stress. You are so lucky and you shouldn’t forget that. You will find the money to do some incredible things this year and in the next 3 (although you may be left with a couple of debt collectors hunting you down, your choice) And when you don’t have any money, don’t worry about that either. The happiest people don’t have the best of everything. They just make the best of everything.
Tip 10: Don’t eat so much pasta. Or drink too much lambrini. You know I’m right. As good as that pasta, or pot noodle or frozen pizza is in the next year. As good as that £2.99 bottle of Lambrini is every night. Don’t do it. You know how to cook, or at least, you learn to. You don’t want a double chin in your second year, you really don’t.
Despite it all, 18 is good so don’t take it all so seriously. You truly become the person you are now from these years on. Don’t let real life frighten you and get out there. Be happy.
Don’t regret it, not one bit.
(maybe just regret the night you were left crying in the corridor after thinking the people you had in your bed had stolen your phone, when really, it was under your pillow the entire time).
(maybe just don’t have people in your bed. full stop)
Sorry Mum and Dad – I did tell you not to give this one a read.