15 Things I Would Tell My Younger Self
When you reach the age of mid-twenty, you start to reflect on a lot of things in your life. There are many things I would want to tell my younger self. Even though many people are saying that being mid-twenty is still young, I’m actually starting to feel old. I know that I still have a long way to go. However, looking back, I am already so far from where I used to be, and I am proud of that.
Last year, on my birthday, I posted that: “Life isn’t always picture-perfect, but what I learnt in the previous years is that I am capable of achieving ANYTHING I want to. That I can be HAPPY all the time because I am responsible for my happiness. And most importantly, I have the best family and friends, I could have ever wished for!
During the last few years, I went through so many ups but also many downs. Nevertheless, looking back, a lot of my teenage problems were way more comfortable to handle than what a mid-twenty has to take care of. But I didn’t know better than at that age, and I wished someone had told me everything. Therefore, here are 15 things I would tell my younger self!
1. IF YOU CAN DREAM IT, YOU CAN DO IT!
One of my all-time favourite quotes from Walt Disney! Did you also sometimes have dreams, which were so big, they even scared you? I still even have them occasionally. When you were younger and still lived at your parents’ home, some of your dreams might seem too big to be possible, especially when your home town is tiny. But you know what, I would tell my younger self not to be afraid because some people don’t even dream about what you might fancy. You can achieve your dreams and goals when you’re focusing on them. No matter what other people are saying and how big they are.
2. BELIEVE IN YOURSELF
You are enough, and believe in yourself! This is something that I would tell my younger self every single day if I could. Everyone has self-doubt in a while. Some might have them more often, and some less. I belong to the group more often, but I don’t let my doubts and fears hold me back anymore like I did when I was younger. During your journey in life, you will meet people who don’t believe in what you’re doing or in your dreams. Some might even say straight to your face that it won’t happen. Do not listen to them! They don’t have to believe in you. It is enough that you believe in yourself! Do not let others hold you back, and don’t give up on YOUR dreams and goals.
3. SKINCARE IS AN INVESTMENT
Regarding beauty, I have always been more of the natural type. Especially when I was younger because I was too lazy! My younger self always liked to sleep 30 minutes more instead of getting up earlier to do make-up for school. However, this habit luckily changed throughout the years. Nowadays, I really enjoy putting on beautiful make-up and taking care of my skin.
Double cleansing is an essential step of Korean beauty for getting flawless skin. When I first heard about it, I asked myself, who on earth would even have the time to do a double cleansing? Surprisingly, once I saw the result, I did a double cleanse and spent so much more time on my skincare. By doing the ten steps Korean skincare routine, I prevent my skin from getting wrinkles, dull skin, and so much more. I wish that would have started way earlier because skin care is really an investment and is worth it.
4. FAMILY TIME IS QUALITY TIME
As a teenager, you definitely want to chill with your friends more than with your family. And I understand that when you’re younger, your family, especially your parents, don’t seem the coolest. However, trust me, spending time with your family is quality time. Be grateful for your family because they are the ones who have always been by your side. When I was younger, and even now, I couldn’t spend so much time with my parents because they were quite busy with work. Therefore, whenever they have time, I always try to clear my schedule because I enjoy spending time with them. Moreover, I also love the holidays because we can all be together with my extended relatives.
5. GRADES AREN’T EVERYTHING
You have probably heard about all the prejudices that Asians always have to get the best grades. In Asian society, grades in school are super important! I do agree with that to a certain point. Getting into the best universities or getting a work interview with good grades is definitely easier. However, they are not everything in life! School is just the first chapter of your life. Take it seriously but do never base your self-worth on grades! Just because you are deficient in certain classes doesn’t mean you are stupid or, in hard words, a loser. Everyone has their strength and weaknesses.
6. GAP YEAR: HELL, YES!
Just as mentioned in the previous point. It is easier to get into the best universities with good grades. Therefore, I wished I had been better at school instead of being lazy and only having other things on my mind. However, if I had been better during high school, I would have never gone to London for my gap year! My London time was one of the best years of my life so far. Due to that, I would always tell my younger self to take a gap year! Here is why I would regret it if I didn’t take a gap year.
7. FRIENDS – QUALITY OVER QUANTITY
According to Hollywood, all the most popular high school kids have lots of friends. They are kids everyone wants to be friends with. Since I’m more extroverted, I always find it easy to make new friends. With many new friends, one day, they will all add up. Don’t get me wrong; having many friends is not bad. However, a friendship requires time and effort, such as a relationship. If you have many friends, you can’t treat everyone equally. Therefore, investing your time and love into a few friends is better than only a little bit into every single one. Due to that, you can also cut toxic friendships out of your life. Quality over quantity is the key here.
8. DO NOT COMPARE YOURSELF
During school, teenagers tend to compete with each other a lot. The problem with competition at that age is that you will start to compare yourself. Nowadays, I would tell my younger self to stop comparing myself with others. There will always be someone better or prettier, and due to that, don’t compare yourself. Being better or more beautiful is subjective. Everyone has a different opinion, and you are lovely in your way.
9. PEOPLE WILL ALWAYS GOSSIP
Oh, this was something my younger self struggled a lot with. Through all the years, I learned that people will always gossip, and some will never like you. No matter if you did something or not. When I was still in middle school, I did cry a few times because of this situation. My dad told me then that it is impossible to please everyone and that there will always be people who want to see you fail. Therefore, be a better person. Treat the people the way you would like to be treated. Just let the others be and ignore it.
10. DON’T TAKE CHANCES FOR GRANTED
Something I would tell my younger self every single minute! When I was younger, I got many chances I didn’t take because I took them for granted. I thought I could do that later because I now have other priorities. It is something that I regret a little because the opportunities would have changed many things in my life regarding where I would be today. So nowadays, if there is a chance, I always say yes and try it out. Take risks and opportunities in life! Even if it doesn’t turn out how you wanted it to, it will be a life lesson, and you can say that you tried your best instead of regretting it to let a chance slip by.
11. ENJOY HAVING NO RESPONSIBILITIES
Remember when you were younger and always wanted to grow up faster so that you could do all the fun things adults can do? Little did I know that adulting is exhausting and scary as hell. So enjoy having no responsibilities and no rent and invoices to pay. Enjoy that you can have enough time for all your hobbies. Be creative, do sports, play a musical instrument, read books or watch your favourite tv show all day. Just enjoy being young and having no responsibilities. They will come faster than you expected.
12. AFTER EVERY DOWN – THERE WILL BE AN UP
Life comes with many obstacles. Some of them are smaller, and some of them are so big and rocky that you feel like you hit rock bottom. You are going to make mistakes. You will fail, and you will fall. Everyone does.
Nevertheless, keep in mind that “fortune and misfortune are like a twisted rope, so they come by turns.” (It’s a quote from Crash Landing On You – love this Kdrama!) So, the next time you are having a hard time, remember that better days are ahead, and you will survive it no matter how hard it seems. At the end of the day, you have survived 100% of your worst days so far!
13. TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF
As a teenager, we tend just to do what we want, and we often don’t think about the consequences. Especially when the effects seem to be far away in the future. Nevertheless, it is already essential to take care of yourself while still being a teenager in terms of body, food and health. Do sports to stay healthy, do not only eat junk food and think about your body (something I really should have done when I was younger!) Don’t drink too much alcohol because it will affect your health a lot. Therefore, I even took a break from alcohol for 9 months and here is what happened to my body! Even nowadays, I barely drink. Often not also if I’m going out. Consider all these things. Your body will be thankful for it when you get older.
14. INVEST YOUR TIME! DON’T SPEND IT
When we think about finances, some people are more investors and doing it naturally, while others are more spenders. While spending is okay, it is also essential to invest. Not only with money but, moreover, even with your time. Money comes and goes, but time is something that will never return. Therefore, don’t just spend time scrolling through Instagram or TikTok for hours. Take it for investing it into yourself, for becoming the person you want to be. Learn a new skill, maybe a new learn language, or invest your time in building deeper relationships with the people you love.
15. DON’T TAKE LIFE TOO SERIOUSLY
The most important thing I would tell my younger self! ENJOY LIFE! Life is meant to be lived, and happiness is a choice! Do all the things that make you happy. Be grateful for all the little and big things. Stop putting yourself under pressure. Nobody is perfect, and more importantly, we don’t need a perfect life! We need a happy one. There are a lot of things we can’t control. So simply let go of it and see what will happen because life is a journey and not a destiny.