Hey girl, hey!
So now that you’re considered an adult by law, I bet you feel all grown up. Well you are more responsible for your actions now, so I guess you are. But life has just started for you and you have so much to learn. There are some things I wish folks would have told me when I was your age.
In the 9 years since I turned 18, life has been one continuous learning experience. I’ve learned more in these years than in the 18 that came before it and I wanted to pass on some of the information to you. I know you think you have life figured out, but you actually don’t.
Now that you’re starting college and getting your first taste of true independence, don’t lose your mind. Although you no longer have a curfew and mom isn’t clocking your every move, don’t act like you don’t have home training. She’s not afraid to come on that campus and drag you back home by your Brandy braids. Try to maintain some form of couth. There better be no pictures of you taking Walk(s) of shame on Facebook (what’s that? Oh. It’s coming. It’ll be huge)! Also, remember to go to class so you don’t spend 7 years getting a sociology degree like some of your classmates.
Your circle of friends rock, no doubt. However, realize that you may not be friends with some of them by the time college ends. I know this comes as a shock, as you’ve all pledged to be friends forever. Some of you will outgrow one another, some will grow apart and some will just fall out of your good grace. Understand that everyone won’t be walking through life’s journey with you. Some people are just there for a reason and some for a season. When their season or reason ends, recognize it and walk away knowing you were blessed with the time they spent in your life. On the other hand, some of the friends you make in college will stay with you on this topsy-turvy journey of life. THEY ARE AWESOME.
Oh and your first love? Yeah, no. He probably won’t be “The One.” This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t cherish the time you spent with him. He made you feel beautiful and wanted. He REALLY showed you how selfless love can be, and he blessed you in ways you can’t even articulate…yet. When you guys end, it’ll hurt like hell, and you’ll wonder if you could ever love again. You can and you will. His purpose in your immediate life is done. Thank God for it and move on because otherwise, you won’t find that man you always wanted. And yes, he is actually out there.
Also keep in mind that this is a special time because it’s the simplest your life will ever be. I know you have to worry about homework and grades and looking cute for random boys, but enjoy this. One day, you’ll be worrying about everything BUT those two things and you’ll yearn for these simpler times. The older you get, the more complicated everything is. You’ll have to make tough decisions, and Mom can’t write you a permission slip to make it better. Enjoy the HERE and NOW.
Younger me, let me give you some advice.
Life is what happens when we make plans. Where you picture you’d be in 5 or 10 years might not be where you end up. This is alright because as long as you’re happy, all is well. In fact, you’ll NEVER guess that what you end up doing has nothing to do with your college degree. You’ll have to wait and see.
Learn to adapt as life throws you curveballs. Worry about the things in your power and leave everything else up to the universe (or God) to figure out. Maintain your values and trust your instincts, because sometimes, these are all you have. Stay kind to those around you, even as life makes it tough. Don’t burn bridges because you never know if you’ll run into that person in the future.
Also, call your Grandmother more often. She won’t always be here and you’ll miss her terribly when she’s gone.
Finally, enjoy life for its ups and downs. The pains make the joys that much sweeter. You’re awesome in spite of your mistakes, and always do everything with love. You’ll be perfectly fine in the end. Trust me.
What would you tell your younger self if you had the chance?