What I Would Tell My Younger Self, If I Had The Chance

If I Had The Chance, There Are 3 Things I Would Tell My Younger Self About

This isn't meant to make you regret your past or resent decisions you've made. Everything happens for a reason and all you can really do is continue to learn and seek the understanding you can only from exploring the world around you.

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Although I'm still very young and have a lot to learn, I think I've come a long way from where I used to be. Or at least that's what I like to tell myself. It's always interesting to look back and see how different things were and think about how certain situations may have played out differently if we knew then what we knew now. Here are the three things I wish I understood more when I was younger.

1. Stop trying to grow up so fast

Many people tend to forget that life isn't a race and the more you treat it as such, the more you'll gloss over all important experiences you may never get back. I distinctly remember just looking around at the people passing by wishing I could be older and freer and staying up all night with my friends wondering what our lives would be like. I began to rationalize every unfortunate situation by telling myself that things sucked then, but in the future, it would be vastly different. What started as a seemingly harmless coping mechanism grew into an unhealthy fixation on the future.

I focused so much on how great my life would be in the future that I skipped over all the important steps I needed to take before then. I wasn't building up to my future, I was standing in the same spot as life moved on and that successful future I had been so engrossed in moved further and further away. There's a time for everything. What I had forgotten was that with all the fun things that you get for growing up, come a lot of not-so-fun things. Yes, I can go and buy myself bubble tea whenever I want, but my bank account and credit card bills may say otherwise.

2. It's OK not to know exactly where you want to end up

Growing up, I was most passionate about theatre and anything involving art or performing, really. With this in mind, the only career paths I really saw were being a Broadway star or some famous singer. This was all fun and games as a kid until the harsh reality set in that this may not be the most financially realistic choice for me. I'm a strong believer in doing what you love, but I also know that you don't have to be doing what you're most passionate about as your main career to be happy, especially if being financially stable is in your list of to-dos. This was devastating for me as I suddenly felt lost in what I wanted to do when I grew up. Honestly, I thought about all of this way too young but it is what it is.

Not knowing what you want to do is perfectly fine. Tons of people in college, and even many adults don't know what they want to do and there is nothing wrong with that. The key is continually taking steps to figure out what you want to do. As long as you are helping yourself grow as a person and expand your skill set, have faith that you will figure it out eventually. I was set on going into PR since my sophomore year of high school until about a week or two ago when I realized that I felt more at home in experimental marketing and event production. A single job interview uprooted five years of being set on what I was going to do. You're going to change, your interests are going to develop and you will, quite possibly, end up doing something entirely different than what you may have originally imagined. Don't freak out if you don't think you "have it together" because, in reality, who actually does?

3. Learn everything you possibly can and stop telling yourself you'll "get to it eventually"

Looking back, I wasted an insane amount of time when I was younger; it's a shame I didn't realize its value until now. Growing up, you think you have all of the time in the world and you do (but not really). I'm in disbelief of how much I could've learned and accomplished if I had just used my time wisely. Life is short and you can never predict what will happen in the future so if you want to do something or learn something, there is absolutely no better time than right now. How many times have you pushed back doing something only to have it never happen?

Take New Year's Resolutions, for example. I think they're ridiculous. They are just an excuse for people to postpone having to do what they want, or are supposed to be doing, only for them to declare it to the world to seem like they're productive on a "special day." But what happens? They work towards accomplishing their goal for a while with the motivation of "new year, new me" fresh in their minds but pretty soon they revert right back to their old ways. If you want to get something done, don't wait. At the very least, acknowledge that saying you'll do it in the future really means you'll probably never get to it.

* * *

If I'm being really honest, if I could go back and change certain parts of my past, I wouldn't. No matter how awful something I went through may have been, I firmly believe that every decision I've made thus far has helped shape who I am. Even the smallest change of decision could alter things I couldn't even imagine. Are there other great ways I could've turned out and learned certain lessons? Of course. But, because hopping into a DeLorean and Back-to-the-Future-ing it isn't an option, we need not concern ourselves with such thoughts. This article isn't meant to make you regret your past or to resent decisions you've made. Everything happens for a reason and all you can really do is continue to learn and seek the understanding you can only from exploring the world around you.

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To The Nursing Major During The Hardest Week Of The Year

I know that no grade can possibly prove what kind of nurse you will be. I know that no assignment will showcase your compassion. I know that no amount of bad days will ever take away the empathy inside of you that makes you an exceptional nurse.

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To the Nursing Major During Finals Week,

I know you're tired, I know you're stressed, and I know you feel like you can't go on. I know that no part of this seems fair, and I know you are by far the biggest critic of yourself. I know that you've thought about giving up. I know that you feel alone. I know that you wonder why in the world you chose one of the hardest college majors, especially on the days it leaves you feeling empty and broken.

But, I also know that you love nursing school. I know your eyes light up when you're with patients, and I know your heart races when you think of graduation. I know that you love the people that you're in school with, like truly, we're-all-in-this-together, family type of love. I know that you look at the older nurses with admiration, just hoping and praying that you will remain that calm and composed one day. I know that every time someone asks what your college major is that you beam with pride as you tell them it's nursing, and I know that your heart skips a beat knowing that you are making a difference.

I know that no grade can possibly prove what kind of nurse you will be. I know that no assignment will showcase your compassion. I know that a failed class doesn't mean you aren't meant to do this. I know that a 'C' on a test that you studied so. dang. hard. for does not mean that you are not intelligent. I know that no amount of bad days will ever take away the empathy inside of you that makes you an exceptional nurse.

I know that nursing school isn't fair. I know you wish it was easier. I know that some days you can't remember why it's worth it. I know you want to go out and have fun. I know that staying up until 1:00 A.M. doing paperwork, only to have to be up and at clinicals before the sun rises is not fair. I know that studying this much only to be failing the class is hard. I know you wish your friends and family understood. I know that this is difficult.

Nursing school isn't glamorous, with the white lab coat and stethoscope. Nursing school is crying, randomly and a lot. Nursing school is exhaustion. Nursing school is drinking so much coffee that you lose track. Nursing school is being so stressed that you can't eat. Nursing school is four cumulative finals jam-packed into one week that is enough to make you go insane.

But, nursing school is worth it. I know that when these assignments are turned in and finals are over, that you will find the motivation to keep going. I know that one good day of making a difference in a patient's life is worth a hundred bad days of nursing school.

Keep hanging in there, nursing majors. It'll all be worth it— this I know, for sure.

So, if you have a nursing major in your life, hug them and tell them that you're proud of them. Nursing school is tough, nursing school is scary, and nursing school is overwhelming; but a simple 'thank-you' from someone we love is all we need to keep going.

Sincerely,

A third-year nursing student who knows

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To The High School Graduating Seniors

I know you're ready, but be ready.

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Seniors,

I am not going to say anything about senioritis because I was ready to get out of there and I'm sure you are too; however, in your last months living at home you should take advantage of the luxuries you will not have in a college dorm. The part of college seen in movies is great, the rest of it is incredibly inconvenient. It is better to come to terms with this While you still have plenty of time to prepare and enjoy yourself.

Perhaps one of the most annoying examples is the shower. Enjoy your hot, barefoot showers now because soon enough you will have no water pressure and a drain clogged with other people's hair. Enjoy touching your feet to the floor in the shower and the bathroom because though it seems weird, it's a small thing taken away from you in college when you have to wear shoes everywhere.

Enjoy your last summer with your friends. After this summer, any free time you take is a sacrifice. For example, if you want to go home for the summer after your freshman year and be with your friends, you have to sacrifice an internship. If you sacrifice an internship, you risk falling behind on your resume, and so on. I'm not saying you can't do that, but it is not an easy choice anymore.

Get organized. If you're like me you probably got good grades in high school by relying on your own mind. You think I can remember what I have to do for tomorrow. In college, it is much more difficult to live by memory. There are classes that only meet once or twice a week and meeting and appointments in between that are impossible to mentally keep straight. If you do not yet have an organizational system that works for you, get one.

I do not mean to sound pessimistic about school. College is great and you will meet a lot of people and make a lot of memories that will stick with you for most of your life. I'm just saying be ready.

-A freshman drowning in work

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