I am 25 year-old, and, I suppose, sort of an adult. I don’t feel very mature. In fact, I usually have crumbs on my shirt and don’t know how to fold a fitted sheet. But, even in my short life, I’ve learned, grown and experienced enough to have earned my adulthood.
I was having dinner with some friends not long ago, and we started to discuss our 18-year-old selves. We reminisced about who we were, our dreams and our fears. At that time in our lives, we all carried apprehensions about our immediate futures: Where should I go to college? What will happen to my friendships as we embark on our separate journeys? Who do I want to be and how do I get there?
This was a pivotal time, full of change and big-decisions. At 18, I would have given anything to have been able to speak to my 25-year-old self; ask questions and gain advice. And at 25, I could now fill a book with advice and wisdom I wish I could pass along to the younger me. Here are the best pieces of advice I wish I could pass down to my eager, naïve and amazing 18-year-old self.
Play to your strengths
You’re not meticulous and analytical. Business school is just a lot of numbers. Sure it’s a prestigious degree, but it is never going to be worth it if you hate your classes. Study what you love and be creative. Everyone has different strengths. Embrace yours.
Your eyebrows are rad, young lady
Do not, under any circumstance, tweeze the living daylights out of your eyebrows. You have no idea what you’re doing and you will end up looking like Frankenstein for the next two years. Trust me. Put the tweezers down.
You are going to make mistakes, and that is okay
Did I mention the eyebrows? You will make mistakes, say things that you regret, and wear some really unfortunate outfits. Stuff happens and life is messy. The most important thing is that you remember to take a deep breath, learn, and keep moving. Don’t let one mistake derail you.
Be kinder to yourself
I know that sometimes you look in the mirror and get frustrated. You see flaws and imperfections. I’m sorry to say that this is something that will never entirely go away. But, you should know that in a few years you will look back at photos of yourself and think about how beautiful you look. You’re amazing. Just put yourself out there, in all your messy glory.
Don’t be the last person at the party
You will fail at this… especially in college. But just know that everybody always knows who the drunkest is, and they are silently thankful that it’s not them.
Stop smiling and nodding
Some of the best advice I have ever received is to be assertive. You are smart, you are capable, and you are amazing. Don’t let anybody push you into the backseat when you know in your heart that you should be driving. Take chances and be confident.
Waterproof mascara is not worth the hassle of taking it off
In my humble opinion, unless, you know, you plan on really bawling. Enough said.
Way fewer people are judging you than you think
Remember that one time your fell in the middle of the cafeteria and you were completely mortified? Well, in a few years, nobody will even remember it! People are far too busy with their own insecurities and fears to pay too much attention to any of yours. Yes, you will do many embarrassing things in the years to come, but none of them are as horrible as you might think they are. You will get over it, and so will everybody else!
It’s okay to be unsure, or to simple not know. You will spend a lot of your life in a state of “not knowing”. The key is to match your lack of understanding with a sense of curiosity. You’ll soon find that there is a distinct difference between “do not know” and ignorance. It’s curiosity. Never, ever be complacent in what you don’t understand. Strive for understanding and all will be well.
If you’ve got it, flaunt it
Trust me: You’ve got it. Go out there and have fun!
Addison Lewis loves to write. She also loves to sing loudly in the shower and eat Nutella straight from the jar – not always at the same time. Addison is a native Seattleite, living in Australia with her super handsome boyfriend. You can catch up with Addison at www.facebook.com/addison.lewis.35 and follow her on Instagram at @Addilew.
[Image via The CW]