Everyone has their regrets and niggles about what they wish they could’ve done differently growing up, and whilst I don’t like to think of my mistakes as necessarily being regrets, there are a few things I would definitely tell my younger self.
- Be confident – I can’t stress this enough. Growing up I was always shy and rarely spoke out of turn in class or in social situations with unfamiliar people. Nowadays I’m the complete opposite and I can honestly say that being confident has made me a whole lot happier and less anxious in social situations. If you’re reading this and you’re shy; don’t be. You have nothing to lose by speaking up a little bit.
- Go with the flow – I think it’s important to have a goal and I believe that you need to stay motivated to reach that goal, although when I was younger I would sometimes be so fixated on a certain thing that I was almost blinded by it. I’ve since learned not to be a snob about my goals and to try new things because who knows, I might like it and even better, I might be good at it. There is no greater gift than experience and the only way to get that is to get your hands dirty and to be open to new opportunities. I now take everything that comes my way rather than to turn things down because they don’t fit with my rigid plan, and it’s proved to work in my favour. So go with the flow and see where it takes you, but stay motivated. Odds are it’ll be better than you ever expected.
- Don’t worry – I know this is a stereotypical one that everyone says, but it’s true. Today’s problem won’t matter next year, so why bother dwelling on it? Everything works out how it’s supposed to in the end. It might not be easy and there might be days when you feel down in the dumps, but it’ll soon sort itself out and before you know it, incredible things that you never thought would happen can happen. I don’t know why I spent so much time panicking if I was two minutes late to class or if I got one bad grade on a test. It worked out perfect for me in the end and my future looks bright. (Cheesy but true).
Growing up can be hard, kids can be harsh and life can seem unfair. But confidence, honesty and a respectful yet care-free attitude are traits I now carry with me and ones that I value the most about myself. I’m glad I’ve learned and I’ve grown as a person because the person I am today is the happiest version of me I’ve ever been.