A letter to my 18 year old self

Dear Andrew

I am writing to you from the future and have left this letter in an electronic vessel.  No, the robots do not take over in 2016, but be prepared to embrace the socially-digitised world to come.  Oh, and don’t use Facebook too much (this will make sense in time).  You are a big fan of words and reflections, so no doubt this has already captured your attention.  Here are some reflections for you to think about as you journey through your twenties and into your thirties.

You are 18 and in your first year of University.  Wow, it’s so different from high school, right?  I know you are feeling excited, determined, overwhelmed and isolated.  Socially you have found it hard to form friendships at Uni and this makes you feel like a fish out of water.  Do not worry as friendships can be made through so many other ways.  Tap into your hobbies and interests and relish the company of those who are like-minded.

Be kind to yourself.  You are not the type of person who attracts enemies, but the harshest critic is you…  You may feel a need to be perfect and to get everything right.  Yes you are a people-pleaser.  But in the scheme of things this is not the most important thing in life.  Learn and grow from mistakes, risks and errors.  These will allow you to become comfortable with your vulnerabilities.

Get comfortable with talking to others.  At 18 you are shy and hold back from really saying what you feel.  Trust that what you say is meaningful, strong, and on occasion, funny and amusing.

Enjoy the arts and culture scene wholeheartedly. This will bring you so much joy in the years to come, so make sure you look for quirky, thought-provoking shows, movies, gigs and events that appeal to your imagination.

Be prepared to get your heart broken. Matters of the heart will prove to be a mind-spin in your twenties, so once again, be kind to yourself and realise that these feelings are normal and dissipate over time.

Do yourself a favour and change your major!  Sorry buddy, you are not going to be a high-powered corporate accountant.  Trust your instincts and study psychology.

You have always cherished your family, but in the years to come there will be illnesses that affect your loved ones.  It will be a hard experience but it will bring your family closer in more ways than you think.

I leave you with words that I happily embrace as a 35 year old.  I am perfectly imperfect.  I, you, me, us, wouldn’t have it any other way.

With love,

Andrew from 2016

Perfect

 

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