Life lessons: 5 pieces of advice to my younger self

As kids we are always looking up to the future and imagining how exciting our life will be, and as we grow up it is time to take action to make all these dreams and plans come true – to become who we really are. Although the adulthood path might be full of ups and downs, it is totally worth it and it defines the beauty of life.

It happens to everybody once in a while: we are hardly ever satisfied with where we are. We always want to be somewhere else doing something else. Since our kindergarten days, we are always looking up to the older ones as if they’re cooler and grown-up (even if it means just being one year older), desperately wanting to be like them in a blink of an eye.

We’re always looking to the future as it is the only place you can truly be happy, where things will always be shiny and bright. Unfortunately, this future probably never comes as we thought it will and we end up wasting the present moment and missing all the fun childhood provides. Even when we step from school to young adult’s life, we still keep the same body of thought: the next job will be better, the next project will be greater, next summer I will have time to accomplish all these plans I have been delaying this year.

Now looking back to my school years when I had fewer worries, obligations, and duties – let’s be honest, I barely had any apart from getting good grades – how I miss those care-free days. If I could go back in time and give my younger self some advice, this is what I would say (and write in sticky notes all over my room, my notebooks, my journal)…

Stop worrying too much about what people think
Kids and teenagers are often getting in trouble to one another and usually tend to pick on the ones that don’t belong to their own groups – may be a little less than Mean Girls but it can still be tough. As hard as it may be, do your own thing and try to care the least possible about their thoughts and paths. They aren’t in your shoes anyways.


Think less about the future and more about the present
We are always looking forward to the future and imagining what it will bring to us. This can make us quite anxious and nervous distracting us from what we are living in the moment. Although our present actions can help shape our future we have little control over what will happen and how things will turn out – it’s not only up to us. Stop worrying before the milk is even spilled.


Everything happens for a reason
As cheesy as it might sound try to believe that everything happens for a reason and things always fall into its place sooner or later. Even if you can’t understand why someone treated you wrong or why that project turned out being a nightmare – trust this is happening exactly as it should. You will understand its determination  in the future.


Do not be so hard on yourself – take things less seriously
School years can be especially difficult if you’re constantly comparing yourself to others. Each one of us has our own pace and our own path to follow. Don’t feel less worthy just because you haven’t accomplished the same things your colleague has – this is something to remind yourself constantly, write it down on your wall in neon markers! It’s not a competition, we’re supposed to have fun and enjoy the journey of life.


Enjoy every single step along the way to adulthood

This path has a lot of ups and downs, and curves. We tend to believe it’s a straight line from being a teenager to becoming an adult but it’s full of full of obstacles. Once you get there, things get a bit more complicated and serious so enjoy while you don’t have that many things to worry about.

Don’t be afraid to make mistakes, the sooner the better.


Written by Manuela Rio Tinto

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