Last updated on February 13th, 2023 at 09:32 am
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One sharing thread caught my eye when someone asked, ‘what is one thing you would tell yourself in high school?’
This question got me thinking and I realized there are so many things I would have told my younger self.
These are things I needed to hear when I was younger so I wrote this for anyone out there who might be interested in some life advice.
#1 Advice For Younger Self
If there is ONE takeaway from this whole blog post, it’s this:
You cannot control many things, including what people say to you. You can only control your reactions.
We all care about what others say to us. Those who say they don’t care are lying. They might care less than an average person but they still care.
When you are younger, you’re more easily affected by people’s words because your confidence is not at its highest level.
This becomes a problem because when you are less confident, you tend to believe what other people say more. Deep down, you ask yourself, ‘is this true?’
Some people are complete buttheads. They are trying to deliberately hurt your feelings (it’s easier to ignore them because you convince yourself they don’t truly know you as a person).
When loved ones say things that hurt your feelings (indirectly or not), their words can pierce your heart. They know you, almost too well, so they know where to hit you with your weak spots.
Whenever this happens, people have all kinds of reactions. For me, it depends on the situation. It’s usually a tossup between losing my temper at the person or seething silently.
When you feel yourself losing control of your emotions, take a few deep breaths to calm down.
That little bit of time gives you a few moments to think rationally. Clear your head and decide how to react to a situation.
If it’s something small, let it go. There’s no need to pick a fight whenever someone says something you don’t like (who got time for that?).
Yes, I know this is easy for me to type out but it’s quite difficult to put into action. It will be hard, I’m not going to lie. It’s something you might even struggle with for many years down the road but it’s worth it to keep trying.
With practice, you will get better at controlling your reactions.
Remind yourself you cannot control what other people say to you.
This Too Shall Pass
We have ALL experienced many stressful times in our lives. Life sure does like to beat us down with a stick.
When you are feeling down, there’s this dark cloud above your head following you around wherever you go like a cartoon character.
During those times, it will feel like you can never shake this feeling off.
Compassionate self-talk is key during those times. Don’t overcriticize yourself while you’re down in the dumps. This method hardly works.
Instead, tell yourself this – you have survived all of those other tough times before. You will be able to survive this one too.
This too shall pass.
There is light at the end of the tunnel even if the tunnel is way too long for your liking.
This type of self-pep talk will make you feel strong and brave when feeling the complete opposite.
You Don’t Need to Have Everything Figured Out
This section is especially for those with a type A personality.
Although most of us start seriously considering our future when we’re in high school, it can still be a blur as we enter our 20s. Heck, you’ll feel this way even after passing this decade (or so I’m told anyway).
Another life advice for my younger self: no one has everything figured out. There might be the very few who think they do but life will not follow their plans to the tee. It’s just not possible.
No matter how careful your plans are, they will be screwed up in some way.
Trying to figure everything out is unnecessary stress. Do have some life direction but also learn to sit back and let life lead you sometimes.
You Will Lose People
We’ve all had people we once cannot imagine not in our lives.
Except a few years later, things happen and that person is gone.
It could be a falling out but for many adults, there’s no dramatic fight like in our favourite TV shows. It’s distance. We focus on our lives and soon, we lose touch.
There might be some contact on social media every once in a while but the close relationship you once had is gone.
I’ve learned this the hard way.
I had college friends that I thought would be lifelong buddies but apparently, it was only one-sided. One day, they stopped responding to my texts (how dare they).
Although I tried to keep up the conversation several times after that, I knew that was it. Friendship over.
You feel pathetic and desperate when you message them several times in a row and all you hear are crickets.
It sucks because every time I think about university, these are the same people that would come to mind.
Although I wish for a different type of outcome, I still wish them well whenever they are in the world. The time we had together was extremely precious. It’s something I’ll always cherish.
Even if people are no longer in your lives, you’ll always have the memories.
There’s A Lot Of Advice
People are oh-so wise so of course, they’re delighted to give us unsolicited advice (I just want to rant about something to get it off my chest but you’re already ranting on how to fix my problems so go right ahead).
When someone gives you advice, think about whether or not it applies to you.
Will it be something that you will actually do?
For example, my cousin tried to give me a piece of advice for my younger self. She encouraged me to go to bars more often. She loves going to bars meeting new people or going with coworkers for a drink after work.
Going to bars with coworkers is a common way to socialize but I’m not much of a drinker. This isn’t my preference to socialize.
When it comes to meeting new friends, I would prefer to meet them through mutual friends. As for hanging out with coworkers, I rather go out to eat lunch together or grab a cup of coffee.
This situation highlights our personality differences. Her suggestion of going to bars is well-intended but it’s not me.
If I do enjoy going to bars, her advice would apply to me but I don’t. I could always force myself to go but I know myself well enough. I wouldn’t enjoy my time there.
My cousin isn’t wrong but you need to make that judgment on whether or not the advice applies to yourself.
You Have To Experience Things Yourself
My dad used to tell me to spend my money carefully. Save money for a rainy day or save up to buy one or two big ticket items instead of buying multiple useless and cheap things. Very practical advice, right?
Teenage me would nod as he was speaking but in my head, I was already planning how to spend my allowance money like buying more cute things (helloooo? Who can resist cinnamoroll?).
His words were going in one ear and out the other.
Now that I’m an adult, his words finally hit me.
At the time, his advice didn’t sit with me because I had the bank of mom and dad. Now, I have to pay my own bills and be a grown-up.
You’re forced to be better at managing your money (hopefully).
There really are some things you have to truly experience for yourself to understand. People can tell you the same thing many times or give you all sorts of advice but it won’t hit you until you experience it personally.
Making Better Use of Your Time
During COVID, many people had all the time in the world due to quarantine. What did most people do with that precious time?
It’s easy to convince yourself to do something another day when it seems like all you have is time.
The first few days might make you feel like the day is taking forever to pass. Once you settle into your weird, temporary routine, the day zooms by so quickly that you’re like, ‘huh? Where did the day go?’
You get lazy.
(No judgment here, I, too like to lounge around in my pajamas.)
We are more productive when we have limited free time because we have to carefully choose how to spend that time.
When all we do is have free time, we lie to ourselves saying we’ll do it in one hour when it’s more like days later (or never).
Final Thoughts – Advice For Younger Self
This is an honest blog post to my younger self and I hope that it resonates with other young people out there.
Writing all of this makes me wonder why I learned these lessons later in life when it’s so obvious to me now.
There’s a reason they say hindsight is 20/20 but hey! You learn all these life lessons now and it’s still not too late.
Now to You – Advice For Younger Self
What’s some advice you would give to your younger self or to younger people now?
Let me know in the comment section down below!
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