10 things every 18 year old girl needs to know
One of the interesting things about having a business Instagram account is that I can see my demographic, which means I can see the age group of people engaging with my posts, as well as what countries they are from, and whether they are male or female.
I'll let you in on my audience.... It's 68% women and the biggest age groups are 25-34, followed by 35-44 then 18-24. It's exactly where I want to be.
I write a lot about mum-life, because this is where I am at the moment. But this post is for you 18-24 year olds..... I see you. I'm sorry if you think I should be calling you a woman instead of a girl. I've typed and deleted, replacing the 2 words many times before publishing this post because I'm torn between where you are in life. You're no longer a girl, but I don't quite want you to be a grown-up woman, just yet.
Here are 10 things I want you to know.
1. You don't need to have it all figured out
What type of work you want to do, who you want to marry, how many kids you're going to have, if you even want kids.
When I was 18, I was doing my degree in Public Relations. I wanted to be married by 25 and I wanted to have 4 kids.
I never got my foot in the door in Public Relations, but I've tried other things, and am still trying and learning. I got married at 28 and I have 2 kids. :-)
Plan, but take one day at a time. The universe will provide when you are ready.
(Dear universe, I'm still waiting to win the lottery. If you can sort that out for me, I'd appreciate it very much, thanks).
2. Respect yourself
R.E.S.P.E.C.T, girlfriend.... that's where it's at. Know you are worth it and love yourself. It really is the only way. Don't let anybody treat you badly. That guy you are so in love with? If he doesn't treat you right, tell him to jog on. Your heart will physically ache. It will hurt so much. But, in time you will get over him.
3. Use what your mama gave you... your brain
You are allowed your own opinion. Religion, Politics... everything in between. Someone is always going to try to get you to believe what they believe. Always be respectful of other people's opinions, but at the end of the day, that's just what it is. Question things that don't sound right and be true to what you feel in your heart.
4. Take social media with a (huge) pinch of salt
Everybody knows pictures are photoshopped and Instagram feeds are just a tiny snippet of everyday life. Remember that and you will feel happier. Go through people you are following. If any of them makes you feel bad about yourself, unfollow them. It really doesn't matter who they are, where they are and what they are doing. It matters who you are, where you are and what you are doing.
5. The world doesn't owe you anything
Work hard, and continue to work hard. We live in a world of instant gratification but nothing good comes easy.
6. What other people think of you is not your problem
I spent a long time wanting to be everybody's friend, seeking everybody's approval... all the while wondering what they thought of me. Until I read this line. You can be the nicest person in the whole world and someone will still think you're a bitch. As long as you try your best to be kind and not screw people over, you're doing alright.
7. Be friends with people who like you for you
You are your tribe. Find friends who you can laugh with and talk to about anything.
8. It's okay to be alone
You don't always need to be around people. You don't always have to have a boyfriend. Being alone can be a good thing, so you can find you. It's cool to do your own thang.
9. If you have an opportunity to travel, do it
We can't all just take 6 months off and travel the world. Start small and go away for a weekend somewhere. Save up if you can and go for an extra few days somewhere else. You don't have to go to the other side of the world (though wouldn't that be fun?!) A new place will make you try new things and give you a fresh take on life. Try it if you can. I'm so glad I moved to England, and I've travelled alone in Europe too (on a side note and this is the mama in me talking, please please please be careful when you do. There are so many weirdos out there)
10. Crap happens
People you love die. You don't get the job you really wanted. Your favourite dress rips. You find out your boyfriend cheated on you. Life isn't always a bed of roses. There will be shit times. It will get better, if you let it.
I'm feeling all emotional now because I'm thinking about my little 5 year old daughter and her going through all of the things I've written about. I picture her dancing in the kitchen without a care in the world now and think of her heart getting broken one day by some little jerk who I already hate with my entire being. :-)
I think of me dying like my mum did.
I see her sad, worried, scared, and my heart aches for her. But here's what I want her to always know, what I want you to know. Everything will be okay.
Thanks for reading. x