Ages ago… years ago, in fact, my lovely friend Jenny wrote me some life lessons – things that she would like to tell 18 year old Jenny, should time travel ever become possible. I kept them, and during our latest move discovered the scrumpled piece of paper in one of my old notebooks. I thought I’d share some of them with you, because they’re really very good:
Dear 18 year old Jenny,
It’s not love, he isn’t perfect, 10 years older than you is too damned old and eloping is a really crappy idea
Never, ever, ever, ever, let the sun set on a fight. Ever.
Save yourself an awful lot of time and heartbreak and accept these two inviolable truths: your Mother is always right and your Dad is the only boy who will ever truly love you no matter what.
It doesn’t matter how much of a sissy you are or how much waxing hurts. Never, ever shave below stairs.
Only hussies think a black bra and a white top is attractive; hussies and their gentleman friends.
Six cocktails do not make you more attractive, witty or a great dancer. Six cocktails make you very drunk indeed.
A boy who isn’t good enough to meet your family is a boy who isn’t good enough.
It’s perfectly ok and sometimes fashionable to be ‘pale and interesting’. Decent fake tan and a cure for skin cancer haven’t been discovered yet and you will regret smearing your shoulders in baby oil to sit out in the sun for the rest of your life. And every time you see a strappy top/dress.
It doesn’t matter how cool it looks, head banging will definitely hurt in the morning.
Hang on with grim determination to the only two things in life that truly matters. Your family and your friends.
So then I asked my friends on Twitter, just out of interest: what would you tell your 18 year old self? The advice came in thick and fast:
@Helencakefiend: #dear18yearoldme you CAN wear a bikini, and you are not fat!
@babaduck71: Dear 18 year old me, perms are not your friend & you really should get your eyebrows tamed
@Girlyougotstyle: #dear18yearoldme Yes you may be academic, but you love fashion and Visual Merchandising will be huge. Ignore the teachers!
@thepurplediva: ALWAYS go for the 5inch FM shoes….your feet will suffer anyway…
@ElsieAnderton: 1) nobody looks good with a perm & a straight fringe 2) don’t drop out of law 3) your skirt is too short 4) that boy’s a dick
@sarahthesheepu: #dear18yearoldme stand up for yourself, believe in yourself, make decisions taht make u happy not other people
@ItsCherrySue: #dear18yearoldme Candi Station speaks the truth! #younghearts
@1978rebecca: Stop wishing your life away, your boyfriend will propose (eventually) you’ll get married and have kids, there’s no rush!
@mummylimited: @EnglishMum stop worrying about boys & learn French #dear18yearoldself
@guineapig66: @EnglishMum you’re stronger than you know, and you will survive this and help others by doing so #dear18yearoldme
@SlatedIreland: #dear18yearoldme your bum looks tiny in everything @EnglishMum
@ImaginationTree: stop worrying what other people think about you and do a few more daring things!” #dear18yearoldme
@DomesticJules: Remember those people who gave you grief in school? You’ll get the last laugh. #dear18yearoldme
@peekaywrites: #dear18yearoldme it doesn’t matter that you don’t know what you want. What you want will find you
@Kristinson: learning another language would actually not be a complete waste of time #dear18yearoldme
So what about you? What would you tell your 18 year old self?