5 Things I Would Tell My 17 Year Old Self

Do you ever wish you could go back in time and tell your younger self a few things? I sure do and I’m sure you do too. If you could, what would you say? We think we have life all figured out when we are young but once you get older you realize you had no idea. It’s hard to explain this to a teen and I feel like my parents told me this many times but I literally believed I knew everything. I didn’t think about the future at that time in my life. I kept telling myself I would figure it out when I’m older. Well, here I am at 27 years old and I still don’t have my life figured out. Here are 5 things I would tell my 17 year old self if I could go back in time.

Your anxiety and depression will not go away

Ever since I was a little girl I remember being so nervous about everything. Wherever I went I had butterflies flying around in my stomach and had the feeling that I was going to throw up. I was always afraid something bad would happen. I worried that my parents would get hurt or never come back and get me or that someone was going to be mean to me. Sometimes I didn’t even know what I was worried about, I just was. Whenever I had to do a speech in front of the class, my nerves were so bad that I thought I was going to cry. Once I would get up there, I could barely speak and my voice was super shaky. I was very shy. I always thought that this would go away but it didn’t. When I was in my older teenage years I thought that life would get better once I was older and these nerves would go away. Of course it didn’t and if I could go back I would tell myself to get help with how to cope with these struggles in life because they only got worse as I got older.

You think you know everything, but you basically don’t

I think this is pretty typical about any teenager, but at 16 I felt like I had life totally figured out and I knew everything. Boy was I wrong. Once I went to college and experienced life without my parents constantly by my side I realized how much I still needed to learn in life. I basically thought that things would be handed to me, that I would just “figure it out” when I got older and that nothing bad would happen to me. I think this is pretty typical of my generation and I wish that I could go back and tell myself that I needed to work really hard if I wanted to succeed in life. Would I have listened to my older self? Probably not, but it’s fun to think about.

Enjoy being a teen

With my anxiety and depression, I was always anxious about getting my life going. I knew I wanted to fall in love, get married and be a mom some day and I just wanted it to happen right then (when I was 16. Yea, I was crazy). I was so focused on finding the love of my life and I dated someone for about 2 years when I realized he wasn’t the one. When I was 16, I wished that I was 25. Now that I am almost 27, I wish I could go back and live the life of a teenager again. I am very happy where my life is at now because I have a wonderful little girl and a super handsome fiance’ and wouldn’t change that for the world but I do wish I would have lived in the moment when I was younger. Instead, I was so focused on the future.

Don’t go to college

Going to college is probably one of the biggest regrets I have in life. The experience was great and I had a lot of fun, but it was a very expensive 5 years of my life. I really struggled with depression so I had to drop a lot of classes, change schools and majors and finally realized that school wasn’t for me. Now I am in about $40,000 in debt with no degree. HORRIBLE, horrible mistake and if I could go back I would tell myself to not go to school and just work until I figured out what I wanted to do. I still to this day don’t know what I want to do!

Save as much money as you can

This kind of goes along with telling myself not to go to college but I would tell my 16 year old self to save as much money as you can. Again when I was younger I always told myself I would get more money when I was older and I would spend like crazy. I would buy clothes, go out to eat, and just spend it on the most useless things ever. Maybe that was all part of growing up and I am sure a lot of people go through that but I wish I would have saved so that I wasn’t in so much debt.

With that said, I am very happy with where my life is right now! I really wouldn’t change it at all. I think I have learned to love the things that I have and develop better relationships with the people around me. I love my job right now and I am learning to live in the moment and stop worrying about the future or being depressed about the past. I think it is important to move on with life and stop letting your past get in the way of your future.

  • If only we could turn back time, right? We always tend to think we know so much when we are young!

    • Bridget

      Yes!

  • Indira

    So inspirational! I love it! I am starting a series on my blog that is going to be a “Dear 13 Year Old Me” letter collection from several different women. I would love it if you would like to write a letter for the series! Feel free to email me at indirakaurbusiness@gmail.com if you are interested!

    Best wishes,
    Indira from indirasinnerbeauty.com

    • Bridget

      Awesome! I would love to. I will send you an email 🙂