18 Things I Wish I Could Tell My 18-Year-Old Self

advice for myself
Nik MacMillan


1
. Break up with him. 

2. Stop trying to be friends with people not interested in befriending you. Stop trying to convince them to embrace you as part of the group. Stop forcing yourself to hang out with them because you fear being left out. Being alone is nothing compared to constantly feeling lonely, and you choose to be that way by staying with them.

Befriend yourself, value yourself, hang out with yourself.

3. Don’t overcompensate by over-sharing and opening up to people in an attempt to make them ‘finally’ accept you. They won’t if they won’t, not even years from now, so just walk away while it’s still early.

4. Be graceful in handling rejection.

5. Adults are not all they are cracked up to be, and we should not put them, even our parents, on a pedestal.

Pay no heed to the words of a bad parent. I am sorry you had to spend a part of your youth with your stomach tied in knots over your parent throwing their anger at you because you tripped, or had an accident, or wore unsuitable clothes, or could not understand your homework, or whatever tiny thing set them off (again).

But you are not idiotic, or ugly, or worthless, or embarrassing, or a waste of money or time or space. No child deserves to hear any of that. One day you will recover from the pain, resentment, confusion, anxiety, and inherited bad behavior. You can and will outgrow your parent and their legacy of negativity.

6. Rumors and gossip will not actually affect you as much as you think it will. Let them talk. Allow people to think or talk shit about you instead of trying to prove yourself to them. Backstabbing says more about them than it does about you. 

Consequently, do not retaliate, especially when the perpetrator is a girl and you are tempted to call her a whore after she called you the same. You are both giving in to your internalized misogyny, and I promise these girls (and you) have deeper issues that need to be addressed in a healthier space. It is better to walk away and avoid stoking the fire.

And no, doing so does not make you a weakling or a coward. There is no strength or dignity in malice, and if others think being rude or sassy or vulgar is a showcase of their popularity and authority – whatever (and as frustrating it may be to see your teachers or school give zero fucks about bullying – again, whatever). That is their fuck-up to make.

TLDR; shit happens and you should not feel entitled to a good outcome just because you think you are the good guy. Ensure yourself a good out come by not giving in to your anger or desire for revenge. Focus on getting peace of mind instead of getting even.

7. So you made a mistake. So what? Don’t sweat it. Pick yourself up, analyze what you did wrong, apologize sincerely, and try again. It’s not the end of the world.

8. Better company awaits. You will meet hundreds of new people as you grow old, and – good news – loads of them are awesome, and will treasure and appreciate you as you are.

9. Nobody is born woke. Even though your arrogant teenage ass thinks you know it all, trust me when I say you don’t. Be open to new knowledge and constructive criticism.

10. Stop skipping piano lessons and language lessons, you fool!

11. Some teachers will make you feel stupid and inadequate despite how much effort you put in. This isn’t true. They are failing, not you.

12. Savor every moment of childhood and youthful freedom you can. Run around the basketball court and learn to actually dribble, play hide and seek with the neighbors, skateboard down the street, explore creepy and dirty alleyways, learn to climb that god damn tree even if your all-male cousins tease you for being a wimp. There should be no rush to grow up.

13. Stop being a dick to someone just because you’re having a bad day when other people are being a dick to you. You are only adding to the cycle of anger and hurt.

14. Be friendly to workers – bus drivers, waiters, janitors, cashiers, household-help, etc. Treat them with respect and spare a few seconds to greet them or talk to them. Never assume you are above someone or better than someone simply because of social class or employment. The social hierarchy is bullshit, and the sooner you realize this the better.

And while we are on this subject, it will not kill you to say ‘please’ or ‘thank you’. Put an end to being a snobby, spoiled brat. You are not impressing anyone when you badmouth employees, and you are, in fact, being a dickhead and acting like the bullies you so despise.

15. How much time are you wasting staring at the mirror and wishing your stretch marks and imaginary blackheads would go away? How many times did you listen and stress out when other people said you gained weight, or you need to eat more, or you’re too dark-skinned, or your nose is too flat? How many times did you wish you were not yourself, and instead were your prettier and lighter-skinned friend/relative/classmate?

All this wishful thinking is harmful and will not get you anywhere. Accept yourself from head to toe. Don’t be consumed by other people’s idea of perfection.

16. Embrace your brown skin and heritage. Throw away the stupid money-sucking whitening lotions and soaps. Make an effort to learn more about your ancestry, culture, community, and country. (P.S. Stop praising Hollywood and the U.S.A. *cringe*)

17. Stand up to assholes and perverts. Stand up to gross men trying to touch you or flirt with you or your girl friends, especially when they are 30/40/50/60 year-old pedophiles hitting on teenagers. Unlearn the silence girls have been taught to react with when faced with fear.

18. Don’t expect anyone to come to your rescue. Rescue yourself. TC mark

I asked women to be honest about their Instagram photos

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This is the reality of Instagram...

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