I just turned 25. How did that happen?!
It really feels like it’s time to get my shit together, and that’s pretty nerve-wracking to me because I still feel completely baffled by it all, if I’m honest.
Instead of freaking out about how on earth I ended up here, I decided to look back on my life so far and think about the things I’d change. I know people say things like no regrets, don’t look back, wouldn’t change anything, etc., and that’s all well and good – but it’s not me.
I’m perfectly happy to accept that things haven’t always gone the way I’d liked, or the way I’d planned, and there are absolutely things I’d change if I could.
But hindsight is a wonderful thing, right? I’m well aware I can’t change these things, but I’ve really enjoyed thinking about all the things I’d go and warn my younger self about if I could.
It’s distracted me from how old I’m getting anyway!
1. Don’t be scared to be different. You’ll be different to the crowd all your life anyway, might as well embrace it.
2. Do not listen to other kids. Everyone knows kids are mean, but what you don’t know right now is that they’re also really dumb. They literally know nothing. Ignore them.
3. Be more sociable. Get out of the mindset that making friends is scary. I mean, it is, but it’s also pretty awesome.
4. Blue eyeshadow is a bad choice. You think you look so cool and ‘scene kid’, but you actually look like a teenage streetwalker. Just stop it.
5. Every time you think you want to cut your hair short, don’t. It doesn’t suit you.
6. Every time you think you want to dye your hair a new colour, do it. It’s fun!
7. Being single is fine. It honestly is not a big deal.
8. Don’t go to uni. Or, if you do, choose to study something useful.
9. Spend more time in London. You won’t always live just outside the city, it won’t always be a 20-minute train ride into central London, and you’ll miss it. So for the three years you’re there, make the absolute most of it!
10. Networking is important. You don’t want it to be, because you suck at it, but you’ve just got to throw yourself into it and accept that networking can really help you out.
11. Blog at uni. I will never, ever, ever know why you waited until you had no money, no free time, a full-time job, relationship commitments and had moved away from London to start blogging…
12. Do work experience and internships. While you can live off of student loans and part-time, zero-hour contracts (ah, those were the days…) take up any internships and work experience opportunities that come your way. These will help you out way more than a degree.
13. When that trip to study in America comes up, don’t even question it. Just do it, it’s one of the best experiences you’ll ever have.
14. Stop being lazy, exercise more! While you have the time, space and a great place to go running (because you’ll eventually move somewhere ridiculously hilly and impossible to run without getting exhausted after about 30 seconds) DO IT!
15. Save up before moving out. Trust me, moving out is more expensive than you know, so save up while you can.
16. Family is precious. Things can – and will – change for you and your family, in lots of ways, in a matter of moments. Sometimes you see it coming, sometimes you don’t. No matter how much you might want to, you can’t go back and change those things. Just be prepared, and value them as much as you can.
17. Judge less, enjoy more. You’ve learnt this now, but it took a long time to get here. Just live your best life and let others do the same.
18. Water is not a mixer. Especially with vodka.
19. For the love of god, take your make-up off before bed. ALWAYS.
20. Go on, get your lip pierced. Your parents said they’d kick you out, but they probably wouldn’t have gone through with it and now you’re way too old to get it done.
21. You don’t have to know what you want to do with the rest of your life. Barely anyone knows what they actually want to do with their lives, their careers, their passion. And that’s okay!
22. Cooking is your skill, embrace it! You spent years convinced all you were capable of was oven-cooked pizza and Pot Noodles, and look at you now!
23. Being drunk and stupid is allowed. Go out, have a laugh, drink too much, take selfies, do something stupid, throw up all night, go to work hungover, regret it, do it all again. Because you can.
24. Social media is not real life and basically means nothing at the end of the day. You’ll get sucked into it anyway, but at least I tried.
25. Talk to that guy at work with the tattoos and lip ring. It’ll be the best decision you’ll ever make.