An open letter to 18 year old me


It’s me, well you, but from the future. I know you’ve been through some rough times lately – A-Levels have been hard and life in general hasn’t been easy. I just wanted to let you know that things are going to be okay. It might not seem like it now, but soon everything will be so much better.

In a couple of months you’re going to move to a city a hundred miles from home. It’s a gorgeous and quaint place – you’re going to love it. You’re going to be so far from home that you don’t even need to look back, you’ll be so caught up having fun that there won’t be time to miss a place that hurt you so badly.

This is going to be a time for change, to put all the bad behind you. You’ll be able to cover the upsetting memories with fresh, happy ones. You’re going to find your place and your people, and they will love you for the person you are. There will be a lot of socialising with new people but you have to remember that everyone is just as scared as you are (or at least that is what they will tell you).

On a whim, and because you are not cool enough to join netball, you are going to join the university’s badminton club. You will remember when you used to play on the school team and figure that you’re not awful so why not? You want to be good enough to get by but you know you aren’t anything special. You don’t expect it when you’re roaming around the Freshers Fayre but joining this club will be the best thing you ever do. In the three years you will improve so much and will eventually play singles against county level girls – and you won’t perform too badly either.

The badminton members are going to become your family and will make you feel so loved. You are going to fit in and yes, you’re going to worry that they secretly hate you but they don’t, not really. After all the broken friendships you’re going to feel at ease here, with people who think you’re great. It’s going to be the first time that you are able to breathe and relax, knowing this is your place, knowing you belong.

University isn’t going to be an easy ride but it’ll be made easier by doing a subject you love. In first year you’re going to panic constantly that you don’t write enough to be here. You’re going to feel like everyone else is amazing – and it’s true they are – but you aren’t awful. You will find your feet and discover that you can write, and sometimes your work is really good. Your confidence is going to grow so much, with the help of your peers and your lecturers, and you’ll realise this is exactly what you’re destined to do.

The three years are going to fly by and you’ll barely have time to stop and look around you. Soon you’ll be handing in your dissertation and packing up to leave this life behind, just as you did three years earlier. And get this, you’re going to graduate with a first. Yes, a first. You’re going to do it. It’s going to be hard work and it will hardly seem possible for a while. But it will happen and your confidence will grow, just a little bit, and you will feel worthy of all the positive comments you receive.

Now here’s the big thing, you’re going to become president of the badminton team. I know that sounds scary and like something only the popular people do but it’s going to happen. And that will be nerve wracking. You’ll spend sleepless nights worrying that you’re not good enough but you needn’t worry. It won’t be that bad and it turns out you’re actually quite good at leading people. You’re going to love it, every minute, you really are.

When you graduate you’re going to be inundated with messages from people telling you they’re going to miss you. They aren’t lying, you really do mean a lot to them. You’ve been a great president and so many people admire you. Although you probably still won’t see it, you are great, people do love you.

You’re going to hand your work in on that final day and it’s going to be bittersweet. You’re not going to want this chapter to end just yet, and it feels as though it has only just begun.

When you look back on your university experience, you’re going to be amazed – of how far you’ve come, of how you’ve changed, of how much you have achieved.

It will be sad knowing that you have to move on, and it’ll be scary to feel so alone. But you aren’t alone. You have more people now than you have ever had before. You have loving and supportive friends. You have confidence. You have a purpose.

Don’t be scared, this is going to be your best adventure yet. Enjoy it.

Image courtesy of Kate Macate

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