With all the graduations going on and so many young people that I know taking the next steps in their lives, I feel obligated to share this message with them. So hey, listen up!
If I could write a letter to me and send it to myself around 18 (I swear I’m not trying to rewrite a Brad Paisley Song…) there’s a lot that I would say. And before you go rolling your eyes, because I think back and that’s probably something I would have done too, just give me a moment. It really wasn’t that long ago that I was in your shoes too.
1. I would probably start with telling myself to forget the boy and to chase my dreams without him. As hard as that is to accept, going into this next step of your life without extra weight just might be the most refreshing feeling. I know it’s so much easier said than done. Trust me, I know. I didn’t do that though and I missed out on a lot of things. I mean A LOT! Honestly, boys should be the last thing on your radar at this time. I’m not saying don’t have friends, but when they (whoever they are) say this is YOUR time to do YOUR thing, it’s actually so true.
Okay, go ahead and do that “an adult is tellin’ me the same ole shit eye roll”.
I get it.
But keep reading, kay?
2. I would tell myself to get more involved. Whether you are going off to college or not. Do something in the community, join a club, go volunteer. Do SOMETHING that gets you out of your comfort zone and makes you meet new people (plus, it looks good on a resume… you’re gonna need that ishh).
I really, really regret limiting myself to the activities that I got involved in during my college years. I truly wish I could go back and put myself through all those awkward “Hi, my name is Kiley and I like to….” icebreaker moments. Not because I enjoy feeling like an uninteresting mediocre human, but because I would have had so many more friendships, connections, and memories that mattered… not to mention test answers (lol yea, you heard me right).
3. I would have made it to more classes and taken them seriously. I would have strived for the 4.0 and standing out to my professors. I would get to know them because they really come in handy when you are searching for jobs. Speaking of getting a job, that’s a lot harder to do after you graduate than you would think! So take advantage of professor visits and getting to know them. Strive for the grades.
4. If I could go back, I’d go out to the bar less and spend time with family more. I’d go visit my grandparents more often because honestly, one day they were there and the next, like a flash before my eyes, they were gone. I’d hug them every chance I could get and help them make dinner. I’d do all that I could to make more memories with them.
5. Thank your parents (or whoever is there for you) as much as you can. They only want to see you do good. And when they ask you to check in, do it even if you think it’s silly. Chances are, they’re probably having a mini heart attack once that 30 minutes has gone by and they still don’t have a response text. Tell ’em how much you a appreciate them. Invite them to parents day and hug them every chance you get.
So remember there’s no right or wrong way, but there’s not a day that doesn’t go by that I don’t think of how I could have done things differently. I had a lot of fun from 18 – 23, but I missed out on a lot too. I limited myself in many ways not knowing that I was doing it until it was too late. I thought I was livin’ my life to the fullest. Partying and going out. Let me tell ya, life is not a Kid Cudi song and the “Pursuit of Happiness” doesn’t exactly involve blurred memories and throwing up in a nasty bar bathroom. Not that you can’t have a lil’ fun every now and then, just know one day your livin’ it up and the next your 25 wondering how your already 25!?
Don’t get caught up on the silly stuff, take care of yourself, be kind, and don’t give up on YOU. You are amazing and will do amazing things! Enjoy this incredibly fun and fastly gone part of your life!
Use your time wisely. And after all, it is YOUR choice. 🙂
Oh, and don’t blink!