me, aged 18.
Retrospect is a many-splendored thing.
Who doesn't look back over past experiences and agonize over how you would have done things differently. What you would have said, what you would have done. Few people can say they did everything right first time round.
We grow older and we grow wiser. But at the time, we think we know everything. Maybe we do.
It's only when we look back we think, I didn't really know anything at that age.
I'm sure in a few years time I'll look back and say, God, I didn't know anything at twenty.
But right now, I know I have a lot to learn.
I consider the period just after I turned 19 to be the biggest turning point in my life.
I really feel that was when I found myself.
And it was when I was 19 that I decided I wanted to be a journalist, started this blog, and secured friendships with the girls (and boys) who I know are going to be there for the rest of my life.
But 18 was complicated.
I thought I had it all, until I realised I only had one thing, and when I lost that thing, I thought I had nothing.
I like to think I have learnt from my mistakes.
I'm a different person now than I was at 18, and I'm not ashamed of that.
This is a letter from my 20-year-old self to my 18-year-old self.
(I'm thinking of doing one after this to my 22 year old self)
Dear 18-year-old me,
I will never begrudge you the happiness you found in the arms of someone else, but you need to understand that these things don't last forever. And pretty soon you'll be fighting this. You'll be fighting yourself, knowing that things aren't working but hoping for the best.
In the last two years I have learnt a lot, and one of them is not to be ashamed to give up when something isn't making you happy. But know what is important.
Towards the end of your first semester you will want to give up. You will go home crying, and beg not to go back to University after christmas. You won't give up. You will feel that you have nothing to go back to university for. But in a few weeks you will become friends with two girls that will change your life. I promise. They will make everything worth it.
Your dad always tells you not to worry, that things will work out. And you never believe him. But they will, because you're a fighter.
Believe in yourself.
Right now, I regret wasting that first semester on a relationship that was dying. I wish I could've told you back then that as much as you loved him, it wasn't worth the pain. I know you don't want to hear i t right now, but you will break up, but you'll be happier in the long run.
For a few months you'll feel like you're dying. But you will get through it. Believe me. We did it.
Your second year of university will be the best of your life. You will finally find yourself. You will become better friends with all those around you. They will become your family.
And you will find what you're good at, writing. You'll start a blog, seriously, you'll start a fashion blog. And people will read it and they will like it. And before you know it you'll be writing for lots of different websites and you'll be good at it!! You'll be confident and passionate and determined.
I have learnt so much in the last two years. You have a long way to come, but you can look back, like I am right now and think wow, look at me know.
I am so proud of you. That girl who cried herself to sleep for months, that girl who nearly dropped out, that girl who thought she couldn't handle it.
You can, and you will.
You will become a different person. A happier, stronger, more ambitious person. You will know what you want, and more importantly what you don't. You will never let anyone come between you and your dreams. And you'll soon realise the most important person in your life is, well, you.
You're going to be amazing. Just you wait.