10 Realistic Things I Wish I Could Tell My 17-Year-Old Self


1. Life will only keep getting harder, but you will keep getting stronger.

Remember when you had a crisis at 17 and it seemed like such a big deal? At that time, it really was. However, as we get older and experience life more,  we start to have more of an ability to deal with all the random curveballs that life throws at us. We are humans – we adapt and we survive.

2. Value inner beauty, but take care of your health.

Always appreciate people for their kindness, honesty, and loyalty among other good qualities, but also pay attention to what you put in your body. I gained 25-30 kgs (55-65 lbs) in college and never cared until I started to have health issues. (However, I did realize who my true friends were, when I was at my worst). Have a good heart but don’t get too carried away with junk food.

3. Not everyone will like you and some people will judge you. But it truly doesn’t matter.

It took me years to realize this and it was such a relief. It matters what my family and friends think of me, but it is really unnecessary to care what others think or say about you. Because the truth is that even if you don’t do anything – people will talk. Sometimes people are bored and have such low self-esteem that they will find some strange satisfaction in talking bad about others. All I can say is, when you know people will talk about you, make it worth their while.

4. Spend time with your grandparents, if you’re lucky enough to have them.

Grandparents are like the lenient parents without any rules that treat you like you are a miracle from God, and the truth is that they really believe it. Spend as much time with them as possible, listen to their stories and value that time because you will really miss them once they are gone. I know I do.

5. Success in school does not necessarily result in a successful career.

I remember people who were excellent in school who didn’t really do much with their lives after they graduated and I also know people who somehow managed to graduate and are extremely successful. Don’t push yourself too hard in school; not knowing the formula to find the distance between the earth and the moon will really not affect your life in the long run. (Unless that is your field of choice, in which case you should probably should memorize that).

6. All choices you make will have consequences. It doesn’t matter if you are 17 or 70. 

Seventeen may seem young but choices and decisions you make will affect your life in the long run. Think back: You are where you are because of the choices you have made – the consequences may be good or bad. The cool thing is, you choose what you want. So make sure to make smart choices.

7. It is possible to find great friends as you get older.

I thought once I graduated college, I would not be able to make real friends. But I was so wrong. I have made some amazing friends throughout my twenties. If you meet good people, you are compatible – age really doesn’t have anything to do with becoming friends anymore.

8. Your ‘favorites’ are not absolute. They will change.

So you used to want to live in the city, and now you want to move to the country side. Your dream was to be a musician, but you find it more practical to be a financial advisor. You loved wearing blue and now you like black. As we grow older, we change and so do things about us. It’s okay.

9. Never settle, but be practical and realistic.

If your heart isn’t in it one hundred percent and you have doubts – don’t. You will be doing yourself and most likely many other people a favor. I am not saying you should dream of ridiculously impossible things and make that happen. I know too many people who settled because of family, friends and society, and they ended up being the saddest, most resentful individuals I know. Do yourself a favor and go for what you deserve, not what’s available.

10. Trust your gut.

If it ‘feels’ wrong it probably is. It’s not about the debate between trusting your heart and your head. This is more like common sense. You wouldn’t walk around alone in an unsafe neighborhood at night. Same things applies for other life situations – if you don’t want to go somewhere – don’t. And if you want to do something – just do it. Your gut is always on point.

Just remember: Always be excited about life. Always look forward to every day. It will change you and make you a much happier person. You will have bad days but they will pass. Surround yourself with people you love, be kind, and avoid people who bring you down. Be genuine. There is simply too much fakeness in this world. Thought Catalog Logo Mark

Beauty & Lifestyle Writer

Keep up with Anjana on Instagram, Twitter and anjyrajy.com

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