12 Things I Would Tell My 18-Year-Old Self


When you are 18, you have your whole life ahead of you and you have so many dreams to pursue and so many plans to finish. 18 is a good age to be hopeful, but we can be a bit naive or inexperienced and get crushed really fast when things don’t work out the way we wanted.

If I could go back in time, I would tell my 18-year-old self the following…


Learn how to love yourself early on, because life will find ways to make you believe that you are not good enough or not worthy of good things. That is a lie. You are good enough and worthy of all good things, and at 18 you should believe that.


When someone tells you they love you and they want to be part of your life, let them in. Don’t be so scared of being vulnerable that you end up walking away from someone who was willing to love you with every beat of their heart or because you are not used to receiving so much love. In other words, don’t lose a diamond while chasing stones.


You are not a bad person for not being who your parents want you to be. You are not a bad person if you rebel from time to time. You are not a bad person if you ask painful questions to find your answers. Your parents will always want different things for you, and you are not a bad person for choosing other things that they don’t really understand. Don’t feel guilty all the time.


Don’t think so much about the future that you forget there is a life to live now. Your future will never be predictable and your plans will fluctuate or change and you will change. You will be surprised at how the future will turn out to be like nothing you had imagined. Enjoy being 18 and happy.


You will be heartbroken, probably for the first time, and you will think that you will never truly move on or that you will have to live with the pain forever. Trust me, you will heal a lot quicker than you think and you will look back and laugh at yourself. Heartbreaks are good for your heart, and you will know that when you face many more heartbreaks to come, you will come out a stronger person each time.


You will also break some hearts. Try not to hate yourself for it. You will learn later on that leaving is sometimes all you can do. Leaving is sometimes the only way to save yourself.


Try not to take loss or failure personally. Sometimes you will put up a good fight and lose and sometimes you will do your best and still not make the cut. Learn that this is just how life is and that is a sign of redirection, not rejection. Don’t beat yourself up; life will surprise, and in a good way.


Spend time with older people, spend time with people who are living a life you want, spend time with people who are doing things no one else is doing. These are the people who will inspire you and probably change your life. Don’t be afraid to approach them and ask them to have lunch with you. Literally, one conversation can change your life.


If someone told you they see something great in you, believe them. Take their advice and listen to them. Please silence the voices inside your head that tell you this person is lying. Life will prove to you that this person was right and that you should have listened intently the first time.


Take the chances you really want. There will come a time when you lose someone you never thought you would lose or you will have a near-death experience. These incidents will change your outlook on life and give you a second chance to reevaluate your life. Don’t wait for these incidents to happen to be true to yourself. Don’t wait for a wakeup call to wake up.


Your heart will tell you that you should be a writer or singer or a painter or an actor or a dancer or a yoga instructor, and you will shut it up because it is not realistic and won’t pay the bills. Don’t shut it up—listen to it, follow it, and work on whatever it is telling you to do. You will later realize it was right all along and that it is guiding you to find your calling.


Make time for your loved ones. Meet them for coffee, visit them, call them, forgive them, and tell them how you feel about them. Don’t be too busy for them, don’t hold unnecessary grudges, and don’t let your ego get in the way. Cherish those relationships because one day you might get a call that this person is no longer here, and you will not be able to forgive yourself knowing you had the chance to talk to them or see them one last time and you didn’t.