18 year old Sarah

An open letter to my 18 year old self

Dear 18 year old Sarah,

You’ve just turned 18! Yay, congratulations! You’re now technically an adult (although you may not feel like it now – you certainly don’t feel like it when you hit 21).

Go forth girl and legally drink those Woo Woo cocktails you love so much! But not too many. So far, you’ve dabbled with house parties during college and have royally ‘flopped the sesh’ on many an occasion. I hate to break it to you, but your alcohol tolerance won’t really improve over the next few years. Just accept it, there’s just no changing it but hey, you won’t have to buy loads of drinks on nights out! While I don’t want to give you too many spoilers, all I’m gonna say is that there will be more vomming, you’ll turn up to work hungover a few times (and realise why it’s so stupid to do that) and even make a tit of yourself at your work’s Christmas party, just to top it all off. But hey, that’s what Christmas parties are for.

I don’t think we can go much further without mentioning the boy. The boyfriend. Ahh, your first love. And boy, were you in love. If I remember rightly (because you know as well as I do that your relationship is a bit of a saga – not as bad as Ross and Rachel, but still), you’re currently single and are feeling incredibly sorry for yourself. Being dumped out of nowhere sucks and it literally feels like your world is over – I get it. I was there, you know. But, here’s another spoiler, there is light at the end of the bleary, teary tunnel and your world isn’t over. In fact, it’s only just beginning.

I’m sure you can guess that your dealings with the boyfriend are far from over and you know deep down in your heart how the short term and long term will pan out. But I have hindsight and you don’t. So, I won’t moan about him – I know he makes you ridiculously happy and feel all mushy inside. All I’ll say is girl, stand up for yourself once in a while. The sun doesn’t shine out of his arse and it’ll do you good to grow a teeny-weeny bit of a backbone. Oh, and break ups suit you. Because whilst you feel shit on the inside, you can easily make yourself look like a complete and utter QUEEN on the outside. Put that little pink dress on (you’ll know the one I mean later), curl them locks and you’ll be SLAYING for days.

In between being love’s nauseating young dream (and possibly nightmare), you’re studying for your A Levels and are stressed AF. Nothing new there. Let me assure you, your hard work will pay off and the stress just isn’t worth it. You’re 18, you know you’ve got a job secured for when you leave college and you’re a bit of a clever clogs too (despite what some people insist on telling you – you are clever!). I know you’re a perfectionist and want to prove to everyone what you’re capable of, but Sarah – they’re A Levels. When you start work I promise you that no one gives a shit what you got in your English Lit, Spanish and Psychology. Like really.

With stress has also come depression (boo), and it’s been about one year since you started taking anti-depressants. That’s really nothing to be ashamed of – trust me. I know you want to come off them and feel pressured by a few sources, but there’s 100% no shame in staying on them. It’s better than yo-yoing on and off. Stability and consistency are key for you.

Arghhh, this all got very serious, very quickly, so I’m going to lighten the mood.

Sarah, what the fuck is going on with your eyebrows?

Seriously girl – the thinness is unreal. I get it, you had big bushy sluggy brows at secondary school and you want to counter the current trend of having super thick brows. But Sarah, they’re too thin! I know you won’t listen to me now, but I’m just pointing out that you look constantly surprised and that’s something you’re going to have to live with until you see sense and grow them out *sighs*.

Another thing you may want to take up is exercise. Yes, your metabolism is on FIYAH now and it feels like you can just look at cake and magically lose weight, but unfortunately, this won’t last forever. Exercising regularly now will make it less of a shock when you actually have to exercise to stay slim. But, having said that, don’t turn down free food. Your love for free food at 21 is just as strong as at 18.

And finally, your career. You know you’ll be starting at a marketing and design agency in July as a marketing assistant. First of all, let’s address the haters that are saying you should go to uni and won’t have a good career without a degree. I call bullshit on that, my friend! If you wanted to be a doctor, then yes, go and get your degree. But you’ve always known you want to be a writer and that requires talent, ambition and determination… and not necessarily a degree.

People have mocked you for wanting to be a writer and sadly, they will continue to do it. Not many people, but you know who I’m talking about.

Sarah, you were born to be a writer. You adore your craft and that shines through in your work. Your writing is passionate, considered and bursting at the seams with creativity – and don’t let anyone convince you otherwise.

Above all else, I want you to remember that you’re only 18. Since you were a little kid, you always wanted to be perfect at everything, but it’s only you putting that pressure on yourself. You can be successful and have fun without mentally burning yourself out.

The next few years will go crazy fast, so enjoy them! In between dating fuckboys and useless man children (and writing about them), you’ll become a copywriter (and finally work in Birms – eek!), gain some much-needed self-confidence, buy your dream car, make the most wonderful new friendships and even go on your first ever girls holiday. Eeek! Yes, you’ll make mistakes and yes, I know you’re a perfectionist who hates making mistakes. But in the words of those overly clichéd quotes, life is a journey not a destination. Every mistake you make will help you learn for the future and help shape you into even more of a sassy bitch than you already are.

SO GO GIRL. Seize the day. Seize the D single lady (wehey – sorry, couldn’t resist)! Have a blast. Make memories. Feel yourself getting stronger. And be proud of who you are. You’re the best and you don’t need anyone else’s validation to make you believe that. I believe in you and that’s really all you need.

MWAH 💋

Lots of love,

21 year old Sarah

xxx