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Ah, the wisdom that comes with hindsight! If you could journey back to the year you turned 18, what pearls of insight would you share with your younger self? As we navigate the landscape of experience and growth, let’s reflect on the lessons learned, the dreams pursued, and the roads taken – and consider the advice we’d offer to that eager, wide-eyed version of ourselves.
To begin, a user replied, “Don’t worry so much about what others think of you. Just be yourself.”
A second user added, “The secret to happiness is to not care what others think of you. Be your own person.”
A comment was, “Pack your bags, pack your girl’s bags, change your numbers, move states.”
Another comment was, “Leave home and never look back. They will hold you down for far too long.”
One reply was, “Spend more time with your brother. He won’t be here for long 😔.”
Another reply was, “Please don’t burn yourself alive just to appease your family. Do you really want them to run your life forever? Just because they say, they want the best for you doesn’t mean they actually know what’s best.”
Try New Things
Someone said, “Don’t be afraid to choose one or two things to do. You can find opportunities to revisit other hobbies and adjust your choices later. Fail and learn a few times before you change direction.”
One person shared, “Don’t try to fix them. They’re broken, and putting up with it won’t help them if they won’t help themselves. Live for yourself, and you’ll find a good one eventually.”
A funny comment was, “It’s 2006, so buy as much stock in Apple/Google as possible and invest in Bitcoin in 2009.”
One user replied, “Listen up! Put down the bottle, pull up Google on your clunky-old computer, and find a therapist. Your dad just died. You need therapy, not binge drinking.”
Another user added, “Get a therapist. Just tell them your story from the beginning.”
A response was, “Leave. He’s not your friend. He’ll do things you don’t wanna do, and it will scar your soul for life.”
A second response said, “Leave that bum!! He doesn’t love you and will traumatize you.”
Don’t Be Shy
One helpful piece of advice was, “Don’t be shy. Ask for help. Ask for advice. Knock on doors. Cultivate mentors. Be relentlessly curious. Read everything you possibly can. Never coast, never turn down a good chance to learn. Never assume you know everything because you never, ever will. And THAT’S OKAY. Life is collaboration at all times. Everybody knows something, and nobody knows everything.”
Don’t Waste Time
A user commented, “Time is the stuff life is made of. Don’t waste it. Sure, binge on Netflix or play a video game every once in a while. Just don’t make a habit of it. Make lists of things you want to get done and be good at crossing things off. And never waste an opportunity to meet someone new or try something new. You never know what or who will become your lifelong passion or friendship.”
A second user said, “Dear 18 years old me: Use your time more precious.”
A person replied, “When you need to choose between traveling and living overseas with your best friends at 23 OR stay in Sydney with your boyfriend because he’s “the one,” listen to your instincts and travel. He isn’t the one. Travel, travel, travel, and learn as much as you can about the world.”
Another person wrote, “Take the year off and travel instead of going straight to university. You won’t have time to do it when you graduate, no matter what your parents or anyone else tell you.”
One reply was, “Save money. It might be ‘boring’ or curtail some of the activities you want to do, but the relief you will feel later on in life from putting 5-10% of each paycheque aside will be more than worth it. Take it from someone who cringes at the amount of money they know was wasted (and would be very welcome to have it now).”
A person said, “Don’t get attached to anything or anybody, and it will save you a lot of pain. Let people in, and let them go. Hold on to the happy parts. Let the bad ones go.”
One user simply said, “It’s okay to be alone.”
A second user replied, “You can be alone and be happy.”
A popular comment was, “You don’t have to earn the love of others. That’s not love.”
Another comment was, “You do not need to love someone all the time.”
An honest answer was, “Get your act together and grow up now so you’re not sad in your late twenties trying to start your life.”
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