Tuesday, 2 April 2013

Advice for my younger self

Interesting idea for students:   Letter to My Younger Self
I quite often look back at my life, not that I'm over the hill at 41(!), and think about things I would tell my younger self. In particular my younger self of my late teens/early 20s. I see a fair amount of angst filled blog posts and tweets from worried/disillusioned twenty somethings so I thought I would list some advice I would give to my younger self and maybe it will help someone out there......

This too shall pass. No matter how hard something seems, it will pass. Things may not turn out to be as perfect as you hoped but they will be a lot better than in the eye of the storm.

Learn to enjoy your own company. There is a great difference in being alone and being lonely. The most important relationship you will ever have is the one you have with yourself.

On the above note, live alone (flat sharing doesn't count). It is a great way to find out who you really are and what makes you tick.

Never see higher education as a debt, if you view it as an investment (in your future) then it will be money well spent.

On the above note, don't assume YOU should go to University just because it is expected of you, there are great careers which don't involve going down the formal academic route. Find out what is right for you.

But do get some industry recognised qualifications, they will be worth their weight in gold in the long run.

Life is a journey, not a race (and heaven forbid not a competition). Sometimes you will be ahead, sometimes you will be behind, but you will always be where you should be and everyones journey is different.

You will never look better than you do now (in your late teen/early twenties), so OK your fashion sense might take a while before you find what suits you but your skin will never be as freshly plump and line free as it is now, so stop bitching about lines which you cannot see because I'm telling ya when they do appear, you will really know about it!

On that note, use good quality skincare products suited to your skin type. You are never too young to start on a skincare regime and don't forget to use eye gel/neck cream. Although you can't currently see the damage/aging which is taking place, it is happening under the surface. Taking care of your skin will reaps benefits in the long run.

Learn to love yourself, how can you expect anyone else to love and respect you when you
think so little of yourself?

Never be too big/afraid/angry to say Sorry. Sorry may only be a small word but it could have a big impact on someone else.

Forgive those who have wronged you. You don't need to forgive them to their face, but forgive them in your heart and let the anger go. Holding onto anger is like you drinking poison and expecting the other person to die.

As cliched as it sounds, material things don't mean a jot. Yep they are nice to have, but the most precious things you will ever have will be the friends and family you surround yourself with.

It's never too late to reinvent yourself. Don't think you are too old to re-train/start again, you have more years ahead of you than have already passed.

Don't ever think you aren't good enough. YOU ARE.

Travel. Seeing other countries and cultures will enrich your life beyond measure.

Ditch toxic relationships. Be they friends/family/partner/work. If something makes you feel bad about yourself then let it go. We are not here to be a metaphorical punchbag for others.

There's a lot to be said in the saying 'Do something every day that scares you' Now I'm not advocating playing chicken on the M25, I mean push the boundaries on your comfort zone, it will make you more resilient when things don't go the way you planned. Because lets face it they don't always go the way you planned because it's called life.

It's good to have a game plan but don't expect it to play out exactly as you wish. In the words of John Lennon - 'Life is what happens when you're busy making plans' THIS IS SO TRUE.

Never stop learning. It can be anything - the piano/a language/baking the perfect cake, but never stop. If you stop learning you might as well stop living.

Don't expect to have it all 'figured out' by the time you are 21. I don't think any of us ever really figure it out and there is nothing wrong with that.

The only thing you ever really have control over is your own thoughts. You can plan life as much as you want, but sometimes things just don't work out the way you planned and can leave you disappointed and despondent. How you THINK about the outcome and if you focus on it negatively or positively is the thing which will make all the difference.

Follow the path which is right for YOU and not the one others want/expect you to take.

Manners don't cost a thing. Use them.

See the beauty in everyday; it surrounds you, if you just stop and take a closer look.

What advice would you give your younger self?


  1. What a brilliant post! I would tell my younger self that life will take care of those people that wrong you, don't get upset or angry because they will eventually get what they deserve, don't waste your time on anger just be sorry for them. x

  2. Oooh that's just reminded me to add one on anger to the post which I had forgotten to add! x

  3. Great post with a lot of wisdom! I'm turning 26 this year so have a long road ahead.. But I'd tell my younger self not to be so scared of making decisions and not to waste time on regret - it got me where I am now.

  4. I love this! Some things that really ring true for me! Like this too shall pass, living on my own and hating it at the time, I started looking after my skin in my early teens and I look younger now than some people my age, agree re toxic friends too and just about everything else you say. Great post Kay x

  5. What a brilliant post Kay - words of wisdom eh? Good grief so many things ring true here of my youth - a few I should remind myself of even now at my ripe old age (yes, yes I know we're not over the hill yet but it feels like it sometimes - see that's another thing I need to remind myself of!) xx

  6. This is great - also the value of kindness to yourself and others...not sure whether it was growing up in the ladette years(!) but being kind was seeing as being a sap and it's not.

  7. This is a truly wonderful post! It's so funny that I wish I had someone there to tell me these things when I was 18...but looking back and knowing myself, I probably wouldn't have listened anyway!

    I have learnt in the last few months that my relationship with myseld really IS the most important thing.
    Thank you - I really needed to read this today x

  8. Just what I needed, thank you xxx

  9. Hi this is a really fun post to read, i like your style off writing. Gaaaww if i wrote to my younger self i would cringe so hard!! Hmmm i tell my younger self to run and to never stop running.

  10. Pretty much everything you said :) Great post!

  11. don't date jimmy! hehe
    living alone was the hardest and best thing for me!

  12. Lovely post :) Can definitely relate to some of the points! x

  13. This is so lovely. xx
    I'm turning 20 in just two months so you may as Well have written these advice to me, hahah.

    There's definitely a few of them I haven't quite learned yet but I suppose it'll happen when it's meant to.

  14. This was such a great, and important post Kay! I defiantly agree with the most important relationship being with yourself. It can be so hard to get a good balance with yourself and feeling content and happy and yet still able to strive for more. I also agree with the university aspect, so many friends went to university because it was the done thing to so, and yet haven't ended up any better. I'm npw advising my brother on whether it is the best option. xxx

  15. I wish the forgiveness one was as easily done as it is said. There are a couple of my husband's family members who treated me really badly in the past, and I just can't seem to let go of the negative feeling I have towards them! I still resent them and dread seeing them, and it really annoys me that I allow myself to be so bothered by them! I've got to see them today actually, so perhaps that's why it touched a nerve! Ha.
    So many true things here, and I think we could all do with listening to them. I think unfortunately some of them only come with wisdom though, as there are lots of things I wish I had realised when I was younger.
    Hope you have a lovely weekend!
    Mel xx

  16. I loved this post Kay! I agree with so many things, like forgiving and having a plan but remembering that life doesn't always care about your plans! And "having it all figured out at 21?" Please! I'm about to turn 30 and still have lots of things to "figure out". It's a shame that wisdom only comes with age as we would have benefited from knowing this when we were younger. But then again, it's nice to know that there are good things to come from age as well - not just wrinkles and responsibility!

  17. Thank you Kay! As you know this came at a very good time. I really enjoyed reading this and will follow some of your advice X

  18. This was completely and utterly wonderful to read! Enjoying ones own company is so incredibly important, sometimes I think I enjoy mine too much I begin to avoid all other types of company! Oops!

    Jennie xo |


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