Recently, I was doing some house chores while listening to a YouTube playlist (I love listening to music as I work). Among the songs in the playlist was Little Me by British girl group, Little Mix. This song is basically a lyrical tune emoting some of the sentiments the girls would say to their younger selves, should they have gotten an opportunity to do so. This got me thinking, what would I tell my younger self if I could? I thought of an age where I could consciously remember my actions and found that I could clearly remember myself at 21. The excitement and zeal I had for life. The silent fears I thought about when I was alone. This lead me to thinking, if I could tell 21 year old Jules one thing, knowing what I know now, what would it be?
My advise to my 21 year old self would be that it is okay to say no and not feel guilty about it. I would let her know that it is a waste of time to not do something out of fear of what people will think. You’ll one day look back and realize people’s opinion don’t really count for much at the end of the day. If you’re passionate about something, go for it and do not let anyone try and talk you out of it. Make mistakes, they are normal. Most importantly, identify your circle, a circle that can show you love and support when you need it. They’ll get you through so much in the coming years.
I extended this question to some of my friends, and below are some of the responses I got concerning the advise they would give their 21 year old selves if they could. I hope you enjoy the read and I hope some of this advise can be applicable to you or give you some inspiration, no matter what point of life you are in.
What would you tell your 21 year old self if you could?
“Hmmm, I don’t really think that anything I’ve done has been a mistake(rather anything I did back then). But what I’d tell my 21 year old self would be, to be authentically you without fear of judgement or criticism. I used to care alot back then what my friends or those around would think or say about me and it held me back from myself. So yeah I guess that’s it.” – Tessy
“Live life to the fullest but remember choice have consequences.” – Magnifique
“What I would tell my 21 year old self?
Follow your dream when young and try out all those stuff that people consider to be risky. Make the mistakes when young and have room to do so, coz adulting and independence, well its not that friendly.” – Kefa
“I would tell 21 year old me not to worry about going into the wrong career. That it is one thing to study a certain course, but it is a totally different thing to apply the knowledge. How and where he applies the knowledge is on him and sometimes fate. Take time to learn about themselves, their strengths and weaknesses and find a mentor as soon as possible. I would tell him to really enjoy campus life and not to worry too much about the future, do right by now and let the future take care of itself.” – Mugo
“Hmm, cliché but I would tell my 21 year old self to get comfortable saying no.” – George
“I was 21 in 3rd year campus I guess. I’d say; Live life with lesser expectations. Live in the present. Do all the risky things. Invest in good friendships as well as skills. Forgive often and pray.” – Marie
“It is okay not to know what tommorow holds, it is okay to be single, have a broken heart because every experience holds a lesson, it is okay not to have everything together because my future is in God’s hands and above all, enjoy life ,eat and don’t worry. God got you.” – Stella
“I would say to my 21 year old self, opportunity only knocks once, never be afraid to try the daunting, venture into the unknown, dive into the deep end, you get to learn so much about yourself in the process.” – Nick
“I would tell her to love herself more and pursue a journey towards realising her that she is worthy.
I would tell her to trust no man, no woman, no beast! Everyone will let you down at one point but you shouldn’t give up on life.” – Beryl
“I would tell her its all about her happiness don’t stress over trivial matters even if they feel life changing
and always have a Julez (sidekick) to go on suspicious adventures with.” – Krysse
“I would tell 21 year old me to build a good communication network with others but above all a great communication within yourself; find words to define your identity, to write down your life’s strategy and strike the balance between you and nature.” – Lelei
“I would tell myself a couple of things. Friendships will evolve and it’s totally normal, in the same way we outgrow things we outgrow people as well and the sooner you are okay with that the better. And that doesn’t mean that because you’re friendship isn’t the same you are now enemies. Be bold to enough to make mistakes because that’s the only way you learn. You really do have a lot of life left ahead of you. Say what you mean. If you mean yes say yes if you mean no say no. You’re not too young to say what you mean ever! Doing that will give you peace of mind.” – Ventura
“I would tell my 21 year old self to not wait for the right time to do something they’re passionate about, that she should take a risk and not to fear about the outcome.” – Wendy
“It gets better, don’t stress so much about the current situation you’re in.” – Lynne
“Free yourself from expectations.
Just let go and allow things to flow as they should.” – Lavender
“I would tell my 21 year old self to not be too hard on herself. To keep focused on her goals and keep working to make them happen but to also accept that life doesn’t always happen the way we want it to and that challenges and setbacks are part of the process. I would tell myself to relax and not sweat the small things. And I would also tell myself to continue investing in healthy relationships with family members and friends and above all walk with God and trust that He has good plans for my life.” – Jacqueline
“Don’t be in a hurry to be an adult. Take your time in life and enjoy being young. Adulting will come at its own time.” – Joy
“Good things take time . That she should be patient. And also its not always going to be okay. At that time I never thought that things wouldn’t go as i have planned😅. Another one is dont give that guy your money.” – Lynnet
Dedicated to anyone who needed to hear any of this. Cheers!
Cover image courtesy of Cathryn Lavery.