02/12/2014 11:06 GMT | Updated 28/01/2015 05:59 GMT

A Letter to My 18-Year-Old Self


It's been three years we've seen each other. Where has that time gone? A lot has been running through my mind recently and I wanted to write to you about it. I hope you don't mind.

I suppose before I get in to my late night thoughts, I should start things off with what you'll be most interested in. No, you don't have a boyfriend. You don't anything remotely close to a boyfriend. Sorry. But before you get too upset, I've got some good news. You have been on dates. With multiple guys if you can believe that.

Even though nothing came from them, you did learn from them. You learning what you want. You're starting to see that having a boyfriend isn't all the rose-tinted stuff you see in the films or read in books. Though your inner mush-ball refuses to roll away and you're still looking for the guy who gives you butterflies every time you see him. (I'm talking the kind of feelings 16-year-old us wrote poems about. What were we thinking?) But you also know there's more to it than this. He's got to be the right kind of person for you. You're starting to think about the friend part of boyfriend. You know you've got to click with him. I'm sorry if that doesn't make much sense. You're still trying to figure it out.

I've got some more good news. Remember at school, when you thought you've never ever like yourself or what you look like? Sometimes - I'm not sure you're going to believe this - you think you look good. You're still not 100% happy with your body or general appearance but slowly, you're learning to like it, embrace it and try to be confident with it. Confident is still a scary word that you would never describe yourself as. Except in a CV.

And guess what? You've got a job! You left university and less than a week after graduating you got a job. You drink coffee, you fill in reports and you come up with social media strategies. You'll be getting your own business cards and it's all very grown-up. You'll find the 9-5 world draining at first but you're adjusting to it.

We're getting more in to the late night thoughts, now, stay with me.

You're still at university and I am so unbelievably jealous. The friends you're making now are just the best people. From the people you're living with in your lovely student village to your incredible course mates. You're only just starting to get to know them and you've got so much lined up with them. You're only just starting to realise how great they are. I wish I could explain to you how much you will end up cherishing them but there not the words to do them justice. Weirdly, you've yet to meet two of the people you'll live with in third year. They will become two of you closest friends. The fact you've got living with them lined up for you, too, is just so unbelievably lucky


You do not realise how good you have it. You have so much of the day to do as you please. You have so much time. Don't worry I'm not going to tell you to get involved in all of the clubs, do all of the activities, seize the day or whatever. I just want to tell you to appreciate the time you've got to nothing. I know you find it boring at times but what I wouldn't give to spend a day just binge watching a TV show in my pyjamas mid-week. Make sure to see your friends when their only a five minute walk away. Go on that night out even with just a tenner. You will miss them so much when they're not there and you can't see them for months on end, so do me a favour and see them as much as you can.

Please just know how much time you have and how much that's taken away when you enter the world of work. You've got a job now, so that's a worry ticked off. But you're still reading countless articles about people in their twenties. You've read so many times "It's ok to not know what you're doing. Everyone is in the same boat" you've become numb to it. Heads up - you don't really know what you're doing. Working. Saving. Hoping to get in to journalism in the next couple of years. Other than that? No clue. (Sorry, the whole dying alone worry is still very much real. I'll try working on it.) I have no idea where I'll be in three years' time. I'll guess I'll have to let 24-year-old self fill me in on that one later.

In three years' time university will start to shape as a memory rather than your life. You will miss everyone nearly every day. You will miss your time. But you will be grateful for a job and the fact you have some head space to write. Not just write for your course but write for fun. Your life at 21 is actually quite comfortable. For lots of reasons.

You've got so much to look forward to. You naïve little fresher, keep safe, don't overdo it on nights out, do not buy a hip flask or order mayonnaise on chips after nights out. Have fun, relax, try not to worry too much, apply for that work experience you think you won't get. Make the most of university how you want to spend your time. I'm sending you lots of love. You'll be fine. I know you will.