Monday, 15 January 2018

10 Things I Would Tell My 18 Year Old Self.


January brings a time of reflection for all of us and as I was laying in bed the other night thinking of some posts to write, one came quite clearly to me. I often look back on my youth. I would say my early 20s were my absolute happiest and I often look for the girl from back then, but the reality is, that girl came with here own worries and concerns. Also, her own path was being laid out before her as she was finishing uni, getting married and buying a house. Those early years were brilliant, a real honeymoon period of life and I think that's why I look back on them so happily, I just loved that period. Going back further though to when I was 18, I remember finding life a challenge. I started uni a month after I turned 18. Being a summer baby has always made me feel younger than my friends but at some things it also left me quite unprepared. I started uni, which I didn't want to do, and had to do the whole 'Making new Friends' thing again, all things that I hadn't done in a few years. It was an emotional time. My mum had just had the eruption of a mental breakdown and I had 6 younger siblings at home, still very much going through the motions of life, the youngest only being 3. So actually at 18 there was a lot going on. I had more to cope with at the time than I gave myself credit for and having come out the other side, I wouldn't change anything because the actions between 18 and 20 set me on this course and therefore I am so grateful to my 18 year old self for never giving up. 
However, if I could do travel back to my 18 year old self, there is so much advice I would give. Would you?

{Me At 18}

Dear Emily,
At 18, you have it all. You have a loving family, although right now it seems hard, you have your GCSEs and a diploma in childcare meaning, you could always do the job you wanted to do and you have an innocence which will carry you through life so well. I know you. You are not into the horrors of the world and you have a huge love for others. Try to hold onto that as you risk becoming a bitchy person. 
You have always had small friendship circles, from school to college and now going into uni you will meet some girls that are still with you 10 years down the line. You will share weddings and babies and experience what true friendship is. Enjoy your time with them whilst they are so close, as even though distance doesn't end a friendship, daily chats diminish. 
Try to follow you gut instincts. You will know what I am talking about when it comes, stand strong and believe in yourself because people choose sides and it will upset you for the rest of your life. So be prepared because it is not as bad as it seems. Further down the line it is so worth the heartache, trust me, so very much worth it.
Always be a happy Catholic. I know right now you are so invested in faith even though people won't realise it. In your late 20s the world starts to challenge it more than ever but keeping it normal means that you have no embarrassment over it, it is who you are and you are proud of that. 
Choose the path of light. Time and time again. Find the goodness in everthing because it keeps you safe. 
Work harder. Do not let the first two years of uni pass you by without trying. I know you are going to find it so hard, it is really going to challenge you and this is where all your negative thinking about yourself will be propelled. Get your head down, get past it as this will bring you out the other side so much more confident in yourself. 
Don't drink too much. It is honestly not worth it! And if you are going to drink anything get on Prosecco early so you can build up more of a tolerance to it later in life, you will appreciate that more!
Ask for more help. Your friends are there for you, don't bottle it all up. You are sad about your mum and you start to struggle with the work load; people are there to help you so ask for it. It is not a good trait to develop.
Take all the chances you can to have fun. So many happy memories get made so don't miss out on anything.
Trust the path. Don't question what you should be doing so much. The path is a good and safe one and works out so very beautifully.
Dance as much as you can. Music and dancing really brings you and your friends together. Enjoy it as much as possible and get out to dance lots, don't fear the whole nightlife scene embrace it more as you end up having so much fun in it!
And lastly Emily, always be yourself. Never ever try and be anyone else as you are you and you have so much to offer the world. Keep your standards high and stand tall, you are great at so much and even if spelling isn't your thing, writing becomes it and you will find a whole new type of you further down the line.

Love, Yourself, 30 and a half years old!




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