The Self-Help Guide Not Sold In Stores: The Shit I Wish I Knew When I Was Younger

We’ve all had those moments where we think back to an event or a time in our life where we wish we would have done things differently. Where we wish we could go back in time and talk to our younger self, possibly even shake them a bit to try and get it through their thick skull. But my time traveling device is being fixed at the moment, so I am resorting to making a list. Time for the million dollar question:

“If you could go back and give yourself advice, what would it be?”

I know this is a difficult question to answer on the spot for most, but today I had a little time to think about it, and this is what I would say…

First off, slow down sweetheart. The male population isn’t diminishing anytime soon. Try not to make out with every single guy you make eye contact with in college, it’s unbecoming. You can follow your heart but don’t just give it away to every Tom, Dick, and Harry.

Actually no, I retract that statement. Let that one guy take you out and hold the doors open for you, drive those two hours to his apartment every weekend and spend a couple of days there. Sleep with him as much as humanly possible. Tell him you love him too when he says it first.

But then make sure you cry unbelievably hard when he turns out to be the wrong guy for you. Give it a good cry and move on, understand that you are still so young and that this will all pass. You will then realize how stupid you were years later, but know that he was a lesson.

Understand that he wasn’t worth your time. He didn’t care that he hurt you.

After he breaks your heart, I want you to never cry over another guy like that ever again. There are billions of people on this Earth and you will date many of them, and you will also like your fair share of them.

Take note that to get over all the assholes that ever broke your heart you take the advice of “to get over someone you need to get under someone else” literally…a couple times. Do it, but not with the guy you end up working with. You like him, he likes you, but it won’t work. It will make it hard for both of you to look each other in the eyes.

You will regret it, still will years later.

It’s a damn shame too. He even told you that he could see it turning into something real. Until he realized that you two working together made things a little more complicated.

But seriously, even though your heart has been broken more times in five years than it ever has been, I don’t want you to be so cynical. These men are not the only one’s to come into your life and turn your heart into an electric guitar at the end of a heavy metal show and set it on fire. Better people will come along. I promise you.

There are also a few things I want…no, I NEED you to remember:

It’s okay to feel vulnerable when you get older…it’s not like it’s an emotion solely for the young.

Don’t let those haters stopped next to you diminish your jam out sesh while driving. Just turn up the music louder.

Dance and sing your heart and lungs out wherever, whenever, and as often as possible.

Spend wisely.

Spend your money on whatever you want, but understand that you will not find some handsome but young sugar daddy to pay off all your debt for you, you will have to do all that on your own.

Be the best friend you can be to the people you surround yourself with.

Remember to always make time for your best friend, she is your soulmate (in a non-sexual way)…be silly together, go on adventures, make memories you will be able to look back on and laugh about when you are both older and tied down with jobs.

Study. Study. Study.

Go to class. All of them. Be prepared to stay up all hours of the night working on papers and projects. Make sure you learn something from each class. Read the textbooks, ask more questions, and study harder.

Just read more books, get lost in as many books as you possibly can.

Live as many lives as you can within each book you read. Get emotionally attached to the characters. Be in the book with them.

Do your laundry and clean your room.

Once you move out, you’re going to have to do it by yourself anyway, might as well start getting into the habit.

Pace yourself.

Slow down on the booze, they will still be there when you get older. This may sound crazy but try to have fun sober, make memories you will be sure to remember the next morning.

Travel more.

Take day trips to towns you have never been to and spend the day there. Explore the cities, towns, and states around you. If you save your money, go abroad. See the world, it is yours to explore.

Take pictures.

Not just on your phone, but with a real camera. Buy a good heavy-duty expensive camera and use it. Document your life the way you see it. The good, the bad, and yes, even the ugly.

Embrace your weirdness.

Keep dancing behind strangers in public. Get it on film. Be wild and crazy. Make people laugh and smile. Smile at happy old couples when you walk by, that’s what you will eventually want later down the road.

Remember that kid who you’ve had a crush on for years and years?

Don’t regret not ever dating him, he will be very important to you later on. He will also need you more than you need him…give him that companionship he needs.

Family comes first.

Spend more time with your grandparents, who knows how much longer you’ll have with them. Have them tell you stories from their life when they were younger. Ask questions about when you were younger. Ask about your family you only know through their stories.

Be patient with your parents.

Stop fighting with them all the time. Understand that while you’re getting older, so are they.

Don’t be so eager to figure your entire life out right now and just enjoy being young.

You will change your major in college more than you can count on one hand. Don’t worry. You will find your passions in life soon enough.

There’s a guy you will meet who you hesitate on telling him how you feel for months, don’t wait, just tell him. He likes you too!

You will eventually stop caring what other people think about you. Keep it that way. You’re better off.

Remember that you are beautiful just the way you are.

One of these days you and I will eventually meet a guy who made all those nights where we cried ourselves to sleep with our best friend brushing back our hair back, worth it. He is what we have waited for, what we have deserved for so long. (We haven’t met him yet-but don’t lose hope!)

When we do find him, don’t lose him. Make sure when we fight and argue, that we are fighting for what we have with him. Don’t run because that’s what we are used to doing. He will love all our quirks and flaws. He will love us for us. He will make us feel like we are finally good enough. He will make everything worth it. He will be our future; just don’t look back once we’re ahead.

Featured Image by Gali Stein

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