Somebody asked me what advice I would give to my 18-year-old self. It is as follows:
First of all, slow your load. I get that your hormones are raging at the fiery furnace of vagina hellfire terror. Cool. These hormones might make you want to just dry hump all over every celebrity vampire or badass in a GQ leather jacket, but you can’t go around hoping to make out with celebrities all the time! They don’t know who you are. Take the poster down from your room and go out and meet some real human flesh people that actually know you exist.
Well, except for that one guy.
No. I take that back. Make out like crazy with that one guy, let him buy you pancakes and hold hands with him on the street and miss him when he is gone, but realize that you are 18 and all things pass when you are young and stupid. I want you to not be so crazy about him. I want you to never curl up in a weak little ball when he leaves, I want you to realize that there are billions of people on this Earth and you will be smitten with many of them. Please note that some other person will come along and feed you hummus and make you giggle. Especially because sex will get better, and you won’t know that until you finally buy a vibrator and see what down there is all about.
Seriously. He was a jerk. You had fun, and I want you to always remember what it is like to feel so excited about somebody, but he was a jerk.
That being said, I don’t want you to be so cynical. He isn’t the only example of relationships, because he was a demon sent from hell to destroy your heartstrings. He is not the promise of people to come.
Remember being vulnerable isn’t something you only do when you are young.
Fill your I-Pod up with terrible music so you can one day loudly sing that music when you are 22 and drunk on a rooftop.
Stop wearing so many denim skirts they look stupid. Don’t spring for the Northface jacket because it’s cool. There are better things to do with your money.
Give your best friends more hugs. They are seeing you at your most emotionally idiotic, and there will come a time where your friends will no longer want to hear you yap for seventeen hours about that guy you still love from high school. Because they have jobs.
Realize that many of these friends will go away, and you will soon make new ones who ask ‘so how were you at 18?’ Let them know. Tell them about that time you lived in Beatles T-shirts and spent too many hours at the mall. Laugh at this.
Go to class. Embrace doing papers till 6am, hold onto your tiny young problems like citing 8 sources because these will all go away when you have to pay rent and do taxes.
Learn shit. Read your textbooks, and be super knowledgeable about the Industrial Revolution or Jane Eyre and be a smart person who knows stuff. Use your brain while you still have people feeding you information into it.
Get a job. Learn now what it feels like to work for your money. Have a paycheck and stop asking your parents for so much ‘H&M clothing’ money. Build your character this way.
Do your laundry.
Don’t smoke because you can. You’ll get fucking hooked and it’s expensive.
Be a kid. 18 isn’t that old. Watch Disney movies and wear pajamas with characters on them and stop trying to get into bars right now. There’s time for all that desperation later.
Fuck peer pressure. Do it because you want to.
Have the best summer possible. Eventually, summers will be hot days where you sweat out in your work clothes and you only can BBQ on the weekends. Go out on a Monday and lay the hell out on a field with your lemonade and listen to music and just do nothing. Wear sunscreen.
Don’t buy so much gourmet coffee slushies, it’s a waste of money.
Go abroad if you can afford it. I didn’t, and I will always regret not hanging out with my college friends in Italy and eating gelato and hugging sweaty cologne men.
Have fun sober.
Have fun by yourself.
Don’t try to figure out your whole life right now. You can change your mind about your ‘life path’, and you will do so often. At 18, you are not at your smartest. Enjoy that you will only get smarter.
Tell that person you LIKE like them. Embrace getting rejected, or making out with somebody you like, or all of the extreme Capri Sun emotions you find yourself feeling all the time.
Don’t use Sun-In, but dye your hair a stupid color. Pierce something, take it out when it’s time.
Be a bit reckless because your responsibilities aren’t as big.
No, it’s not that bad. It’s not that big of a deal, and you should just RELAX about it.
You’re not fucking fat. Stop eating so much Lean Cuisine and measuring your thighs out. Stop comparing yourself to models. Stop worrying about how you look in a bikini, because you will just look at pictures of yourself five years later and think ‘damn, I looked good.’
Close your computer. Go out in the sun.
Stop worrying what those bitchy popular girls think about you. Don’t feel so insecure about other women, and don’t hate other girls because some of them are mean to you. Love your girlfriends. Overshare stupid secrets with them about how you once ate a whole box of spaghetti or really like watching 3rd Rock from the Sun. Establish now other girls are not the enemy.
Take lots of pictures. Keep a journal. Write bad poetry so you can read it back and remember how weird you were.
Drive around as much as you can, sticking your hand out the window.
Learn good grammar, the difference between your and you’re and then and than.
Stop arguing with your mom so much. She loves you. Don’t just scream at her because she doesn’t want you to stay out past midnight, she’s just worried.
Love yourself, love this time. It goes away fast.
Enjoy getting older. There’s a lot more great stuff to come.