Do you remember what you were like at 18 years old? If you could write a letter to yourself then from the age you are now, what would you say?
I feel like I have come into my own these past few years and I found the need to pen a letter to my 18-year-old self about what to expect, things to not worry about and that you will make mistakes.
Dear 18-year-old Shannon,
Greetings from your 24-year-old self! Didn’t think you would ever survive 18 huh? Well you do so suck it up. I am going to give you some helpful advice that might make the next 6 years make some sense.
You are going to make a lot of mistakes: whether it be flunking a college algebra class your first semester or dating a complete a-hole(which you will do), you will screw up. You’re human and we are not perfect. You will get bored like you always do and find something to fill your time-i.e. how you failed math. You may feel terrible about it at first but trust me, you will learn to appreciate the stupid mistakes you made. They made you a better person.
Don’t pass up the opportunity to work and save money. Pick up extra hours, stay in on weekends, don’t drive to Orlando every other day. When you start paying off those student loans, you are going to need that extra money. It’s not cheap!
Indulge in your photography classes. Shoot so many rolls of fill, work in the darkroom from open to close and don’t get intimidated when people don’t like your work. One day you will have a full-time job unrelated to photography and you will miss the crap out of photo school. So quit bitching about having to print your entire portfolio the night before it’s due. Enjoy it!
Spend more time with you parents. Go ahead, roll your eyes but one day when you live 2 hours away from them it won’t be so easy to just walk into the living room and have great conversations with them. Spend more time with your brother too. Sure you think you are bigger and better because you are older but one day he will be your age and want to have nothing to do with you. (Because older sisters are lame..) Work on your sibling relationship instead of fighting over who’s going to drive to the mall.
Take time to enjoy your friends. That means your high school friends, photo classmates and coworkers. One day you all will live in opposite areas of the country-heck even Europe! Don’t take the time you spend with them for granted. You will miss them!
Don’t be so hard on yourself. You are a great person with wonderful qualities. You probably won’t believe this until you are at the lowest point of your life but it will happen and you will be grateful. Just keep your head up and know that everything has an outcome, it will all turn out alright!
Your wiser, 24-year-old self.
P.S. You will meet a great guy and he will propose. So stop telling yourself he doesn’t exist. He is real. :)
18 Year-Old Me.