What I Wish I’d Have Known at 18

Timehop is great for many things, namely cringing at how uncool you were years ago and flicking through old memories. Yesterday this photo came up on my Timehop feed and as I looked at my smiling, youthful face I got thinking of all the things I would say to my eighteen year old self if I could. 

1. No, you are not fat.

This was the first thing I noticed in the picture. I used to worry about my weight so much, but I look back and see that I really didn’t have to. I wish I had known to be more comfortable in my own skin, that I was fine the way I was. I wish I’d have known to love myself from a lot younger age rather than spend the next few years battling with crippling insecurity.

2. The boy who is ‘Just A Friend’ is going to become to much more and you are going to love him no matter what.

I wish I’d have prepared myself for falling in love with my boyfriend. I was totally blindsided by it. When I first met him, he irritated me, but I saw the genuine, kind, loyal person he was and then one day I didn’t want to be ‘Just A Friend’ anymore. I wish I’d have known that in a few years time that he’d lose his dad and that his world would be rocked. I wish I’d have known not to take every silence, every argument over nothing so personally. I wish I could go back and tell myself that he loves you, he’s just hurting.

3. Lighten up, Jess, enjoy the ride.

I am a person who constantly thinks of the end goal and rarely enjoys the journey. This is something to do this day I am working on, but when I was eighteen I was obsessed with. I was worried that at uni and only with a part time job I wasn’t earning enough to build an incredible life instead of realising how lucky I was to have the opportunity of university and a job to fund my lifestyle. I graduated with savings, not many people can say that! I wish I’d have noticed things at university more, made more effort to join in with things on campus. I’d love to go back and tell myself that it’s okay to skip a class to make memories friends or go out instead of completing an assignment a week in advance – it’s all part of enjoying the ride. I wish I could also go back and encourage myself to take risks. My best grades and biggest successes were when I used out of the box ideas. I wish I’d had the confidence to always go for them rather than worry people might not agree with my opinion. 

4. Invest in your skin

I was a makeup wipe if I remember kind of girl. It’s only been recently that I’ve started to use different products and really care for my skin. I think of all the years I wasted and cringe. Clinique, young Jess, CLINIQUE!!

5. It will all be okay.

I wish I’d been able to tell myself it will all be okay and it will all be worth it. Every irrational worry that consumed me for days would have shrank away. I graduated with a first, I made great friends, I went on to a career I love. I got there by myself and because of myself – worrying only stood in my way. 

6. Friendships end, but new ones and better ones are around the corner.

I lost one of my best friends when I was eighteen. We went on a girls holiday and she was not the person any of us knew. We went as a group of four and when we came back only three of us were friends. We tried to patch it up, but the cracks still showed through. When we first fell out I was crushed, but as I’ve grown older I’ve realised things happen for a reason. I learnt so much from that friendship breakup and the other girls I went on holiday with are still my best friends. You might lose someone and it might hurt, but life never gives you what you can’t handle. Losing that friend was a blessing in disguise and has made me who I am.

There are probably a million more things I could say to myself if I could, but these are the ones that came to mind. 
If you could go back, what would you say to your eighteen year old self?


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