12 Things You Wish You Could’ve Told Your 18-Year-Old Self

Flickr / Richard Masoner
Flickr / Richard Masoner

1. It is ok to say no.

When young we are usually eager to please and are often guilty of trying too hard to be helpful or liked. Yet over time we realize that saying no to people is an important skill. The consequence of not doing so is that you get a reputation for being a pushover and this can be easily exploited by others.

2. Don’t try to be something you’re not.

If you try too hard to adopt a persona that is not natural then ultimately you will be found out. We cannot change our upbringing or personality. Therefore we will be happiest by just accepting ourselves for what we are and not trying to conform in a certain way just to fit in.

3. Don’t waste time chasing someone who isn’t interested.

During our early years dating we spend a lot of time hoping, guessing and worrying about whether others are interested in us. This is better known as “playing the game”. But over time we get better at recognizing when somebody is not genuine, and hopefully by then we are wise and self-confident enough not to waste our time and energy on them.

4. Be spontaneous.

We live in a very structured world and it is easy to fall into a regular routine which becomes difficult to break. Every now and again it is exhilarating to do something spontaneous and unplanned. Looking back we often regret the things that we didn’t do more so than the things we did do.

5. Do not suck up to people to get ahead.

We all know of people who will suck up to their managers, professors, coaches or superiors in the belief that it will help them to get ahead. But we quickly realize that those that work hard and challenge the ideas of their superiors will gain more respect than those who fan them with constant praise.

6. Always follow your instinct.

At various points in our life we will come to a crossroads where we are unsure about which option to choose. One may be the safe route or perhaps that preferred by our parents or friends. But ultimately we must learn to trust our own instinct and go with the choice which just seems right. And by doing so then we have no one else to blame but ourselves.

7. Do not be jealous of other people’s good fortune.

We all know somebody who for some reason or another we do not believe warrants the success or good fortune that has come their way. Yet being jealous only harbours feelings of resentment which aren’t useful to us. Peace of mind will only be achieved when we just accept that life is not fair, we are not all born equal, and in fact there are plenty more people out there in worst situations that ourselves.

8. Do not let people be rude to you.

Throughout your working and social lifetime you are likely to come across rude people. It is a shock at first dealing with these people, however it is essential that you make sure that you do not let them be rude to you or belittle you. Stand up to them at the first instance regardless of their physical stature, gender, seniority. Although this may cause confrontation at first, they will not seriously think twice about doing so again. And at the same time you will gain the respect from others for doing so.

9. Try not to break anybody’s heart.

It is a horrible feeling knowing that you have broken somebody’s heart and it is even more unpleasant for the victim. If you are not happy in a relationship then end as soon as possible by letting them down gradually, as opposed to leading somebody on or even worse cheating and having them find out this way.

10. Dream big and be persistent.

Our biggest flaw as people is that often we don’t aim high enough. Our teachers, parents or peers sometimes scare us into thinking that we cannot achieve big things and to be more realistic with our ambitions. They may say such things because they themselves were unable to do so or they may be trying to protect us from disappointment. Yet if you really desperately desire something and persist despite all the setbacks, then you have a very good chance of achieving your personal goals.

11. Find a partner with a good personality.

Eventually as we grow up we realize that the most important feature to look for in a partner is their personality. Whilst dating somebody based purely on their looks may be ok in the short term, sooner or later it will get to a stage where there is no substance to the arrangement. Of course a physical attraction is still necessary, but only with a real personal connection will a relationship be able to survive the long haul.

12. Do not stress out about your college exams.

Doing well at university should be something that you want to achieve as a personal accomplishment. However it is important not to stress out too much about exam results. Because once we get into the rat race we realize that there are so many other factors which are more important to our career advancement. Once we start working then our academic performance is rarely ever mentioned again. Thought Catalog Logo Mark

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