Three years isn’t a long time. But it is enough time for a lot of things to change – especially in early adulthood. We make plans as human beings and we have ideas and thoughts of what our life might be like in years to come, but we have no superpowers to allow things to always go our way.
When I was 20 years old – only a short 3 years ago, I had hopes and dreams that I was desperate to fulfill. I was engaged, career focused, independent, travelling the world solo and some would say I had an old head on young shoulders.
Dear 20 year old Sophia,
1. The people who you never thought would leave you, will leave.
People are passing through your life to teach you a lesson. You will lose people you love, I know you always thought they would be here exploring life with you; but sometimes people just leave. They’re gone and they’re never coming back. It’s nobody’s fault – it’s just how it is.
2. You won’t be married next year, and that’s okay.
I know you want a beautiful wedding in Santorini, but those dreams can wait. There’s no rush to get married in your 20’s. You’re engaged, and that’s okay. Maybe you rushed into things a bit too soon.
3. Your likes on social media don’t matter.
You love taking photographs so Instagram is your go-to when bored network. It doesn’t matter how popular you are online – your worth should not be decided on your social media likes. Nobody cares. Only you do.
4. You don’t need to know everything right away.
You don’t need to know everything, no one knows everything. No one is perfect so stop holding yourself to such high standards.
5. Money money money.
While everyone your age is out socialising with friends, you’ll be out earning money. And you won’t hang around too long to spend it, too.
6. You compare yourself to others too much.
Stop looking at what other people your age are doing. You are on the right track. As long as you are happy, that’s all that matters.
7. Your Nana won’t make it to your 21st Birthday.
Time is more precious than ever. Your Nana won’t be here much longer and won’t even make it to your 21st Birthday. She is 98 years old and although going fit and strong, things change all very quickly.
8. You hate change, so stop trying to change things.
Change isn’t a good thing for you. Your mind and body prefers routine. I know you want to add more into your life right now and be the better version of yourself, but don’t move forwards too quickly. Things can easily not work in your favour.
9. The ‘gap year’ becomes a lot longer than planned.
You said you were going to go to university and leave your job, but you love your job too much to leave. A job that you were supposed to be in for 6 months turns into 4 years. It’s okay, because you meet some of the best people you have ever met, and build relationships stronger than you ever did at school. This job will help you become who you are – you don’t need a degree just yet when you’re learning everyday and getting paid for it.
10. Say ‘no’ more often.
You don’t have to do anything you don’t want just because someone is making you feel bad about not doing it. You are too nice sometimes and say ‘yes’ too much just to please others. Say no more. Don’t say yes when you want more than anything to say no.
11. You don’t have to do everything RIGHT NOW.
You are only 20 years old, stop rushing to see the world. You have plenty of time to do that. Don’t worry about your career, you have plenty of time to grow and develop. You’re only 20, slow down.
12. You fell in-love with the wrong guy.
That person who you are thinking about every night before you close your eyes – isn’t thinking about you. Stop stop stop. Because 3 years later, you are still thinking about him everyday. And chances are – you’ll never see him again.
13. You can do anything you set your mind to.
People keep telling you that you’re too young. Don’t let anyone look down on you because of your age. All you want to do is learn and experience life. Don’t let anyone tell you you’re not old enough to get shit done.
14. The toxic people in your life are bringing you down.
Cut the cord and let those people go already. Sometimes it can be challenging and difficult to walk away from those friendships, but it’s needed in order to allow yourself to grow. Some people bring nothing to your life, so don’t waste your life chasing them.
15. It’s good to cry, so don’t be ashamed of it.
It’s okay that you have a little cry sometimes at night alone in your bedroom. If anything it helps let out all those bad emotions and will help you wake up with a clearer head in the morning. Everyone has bad days, it’s life.
16. Just because they’re family, it doesn’t mean you need them in your life.
There’s a few toxic relations who are bringing you down every time you see them. It’s okay to shut those people off. You don’t need to feel guilty about it – if they have nothing nice to say, then leave them to it in their own negative world. They might be blood, but they’re not family.
17. You are at your happiest.
You are happier than you’ve ever been, and you know that but you don’t quite appreciate what you have right now. The next few years will be a lot harder for you. Your confidence will drop massively and your life will turn upside down. Tread carefully.
18. You don’t need all that stuff.
You have way too much clutter that you’re holding onto. Stop hanging onto old possessions, ‘just in case.’ Keeping all this extra clutter will do nothing for you other than clutter your mind.
20. Listen to yourself more.
A lot of people will tell you that you can’t do something but most of the times it’s because they’re scared to do it. Most of the time people won’t take the jump to improve themselves because they’re afraid of failing and afraid of not having the safety net to catch them if they fall. Don’t let other people’s imposed fear on your life stop you from going after what you really want.
A 23 year old from the Midlands, always looking to escape her hometown for an adventure.