“Suddenly you’re 21 and you’re screaming along in your car to all the songs you used to listen to when you were sad in middle school and everything is different but everything is good.”
This blog post has been brought on by the looming fact that everyone will be going their separate ways in a few months. We are growing up and moving on; as much as our childish and innocent minds don’t want to.
It feels like we have gone from primary school to finishing sixth form in the space of a day. It’s been my entire life and I can’t quite believe it’s all coming to an end so soon. But is that really such a bad thing?
I think most people tend to look back on the “good old days” with fondness and nostalgia. They miss the way their lives used to be and how much their priorities have changed in the matter of a few years. (It’s definitely strange to think that my life won’t always surround petty arguments or obsessions with boys.) Our priorities in life will definitely change and it will be easy to forget the struggles we had in high school, when we are too busy remembering how fun and careless we truly were. As a 17 year old I can’t actually imagine what it’s like to not be in school and surrounded by the usual drama and stress everyday. So to me, growing up seems exciting and scary all rolled in to one. Because I have no idea who I will become and who I will have in my life in the next few years.
There are a lot of things that I would tell my younger self. And I feel like as I have grown up (especially in the past few weeks as I am trying this new thing to be really chill and calm) I have discovered that a lot of things I did in the past probably weren’t very appropriate. I guess sometimes you don’t realise how good things were until you move forward and look back. I think it’s important to remember that things you are struggling with or upset over now won’t probably affect you in later life.
If I could go back in time and tell myself certain things I still don’t think I would. The things I have done and gone through have made me who I am today; and if I am honest I am really starting to appreciate myself for who I truly am.
However just to humour myself I thought I would make a list of things I would tell my past self and things I would also like to remember just for present and future times in general. This includes:
Remember to have fun. I mean as much as getting good grades is important, you need to make sure you leave time to have fun too. I am truly in one of the most carefree and young parts of my life. At what other point will I not have to worry about having a job or paying bills or fending for a family? When else can I go out on the weekend without having to worry about work the next day or trying to get a baby sitter to look after the kids? I really need to remember and live it up. This is the time to have fun and not waste time. It’s all about the experience.
It’s not always about having as many friends as possible. It truly doesn’t matter how many friends you have. If the friends you have are there for you no matter what and support and make you happy. Then what else would you want? There are far worse things than not having 2000 friends on facebook or not being the most popular kid in school. If you have to put an exhausting amount of effort in to a friendship then trust me when I say that it really isn’t worth it. It has taken me a long (I mean LONG) time to realise that. But I feel like I am finally realising that as long as you have true friends then there really isn’t much else that you need in life.
Your life probably won’t end up how you have always wanted it to. And trust me it will end up better and worse in so many ways. I’m fully aware that I am one of those people who has always had some sort of plan. Kids before 30? Marriage before kids? House next door to my best friend? Dream job? I’m fully aware that these could happen or not happen. Things change and that’s okay. Things end up exactly how you wanted them to or completely different. But that’s ultimately just life. Not every prophesy you declare when you are 16 years old will come true and that’s okay. You will grow and you will change and things will happen and that’s okay. In the end you will do what makes you happy, whether that was what you planned to do at 16 years old or not.
Time flies so don’t waste a second of it. As kids we always seem to want to fast forward time so we can become fancy adults. We want the freedom and the life that older people can lead. However the closer I have got to being 18, the closer I have wanted to curl up in bed and never leave. It’s getting super scary to me that sooner or later I am going to be completely in charge of my own life. I totally cannot handle that one yet. But it will totally get to the point where I will be 30 years old and I won’t know where the time went.
Don’t take anything for granted; including people and things. People aren’t immortal. Things don’t last forever. Appreciate them. Enjoy them. Because soon enough everything will change once again. There is so much more to life than just yourself; so look around, breathe, take it in. Because the world as you see it right now, will never be exactly like this again. Open your eyes and appreciate the people around you. Because guess what? They are not going to be around forever. People leave, things change and life goes on. You really need to stop and enjoy everything and everyone around before it is too late.
So I guess the saying, “I wish I knew then what I know now” holds a lot of merit. If I knew some of the things I knew now when I was younger, perhaps things would be different. For better? For worse? Who knows?
Perhaps my nearly 18 year old can learn from the important things I am now realising. Or maybe I will just keep on trying to keep my life together whilst it just casually falls apart. Who knows.
I guess this truly is what growing up is.
Take care and try not to worry too much,