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Life is beginning at 18, and there are so many things we would like to have done differently, looking back. Here is what I would tell my 18 year old self.
There are so many things which I would like to tell you, and I’m sure you will listen because I have something that you don’t – experience.
First of all, stop listening to those who are trying to stress you out by constantly asking what you want to do in life and where you see yourselves a few years from now.
While some people easily figure out what they want to do, others take their own time and experiment with a plethora of options available before taking the final decision. All of us have different versions of what life means to us. So take life as it comes.
As much as networking is important in your social circle, always ensure you have at least 3 people whom you can always trust and who would always be there for you. Most importantly, be the friend you always wanted. Be there for others, trust them and never give up on your close mates.
Friendship breakups are bound to happen at this stage, but if you come across people who are genuine, never ever let them go. You will thank me later! I found this slightly late in life, but I’m glad I nevertheless did understand its importance.
This is the phase when you start realizing how life is different in reality than the carefully curated environment you were brought up in, all these years. It’s ok to want to be pampered once in a while, but don’t expect people to be at your beck and call at all times.
Make an effort to set things straight and understand that it’s not ok to be the damsel in distress at all times. Asking for help is good, but only after you make an effort to understand what went wrong and take necessary action before requesting for help.
Don’t hesitate to talk with others. You never know what gold mines are hiding inside each one you meet. Some people have all the answers, provided you have the right questions. Talk to people and most importantly, listen to them. Do not listen to respond, but listen to understand and take in their words.
Do not shy away from learning any form of work. Be it the plumbing or electricity at home, driving a car or fixing electronics. Learn as much as you can, as diverse as you can. Try to make yourself self-sufficient. Look at tasks as a way of learning, rather than unnecessarily wondering if this is what a girl needs to know. You are a human being first, so you need to know every possible work that you come across.
Accept the fact that life is not going to be easy. The sooner you understand this, the better you will be prepared to handle it. This doesn’t mean your life will be dull, you will just need to pull your socks and keep moving.
You will understand that most of the things wouldn’t matter a few years down the lane, and even the ones that matter would have a solution, which you might be looking for in the wrong place. There is nothing a calm mind cannot resolve. Remember, the problem is not the problem. How you respond to it determines whether there is a problem.
Lastly, do not be too hard on yourself. It’s ok if you don’t stick to your schedules or you miss out a few tasks you planned on getting done. It’s ok if you want to spend an evening watching nothing but mindless re-runs on TV. It’s ok if you’ve missed doing something you wanted to. You don’t have to be perfect. You are a human being, not a machine. And the most important of all, you don’t have to please others all the time. You don’t have to and you don’t need to.
Be yourself, and hold your head high at all times. Be happy, or make an effort to. Keep smiling, you never know what miracles it can work.
Published here earlier.
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