You’re eighteen and you’re, thus far, the only person at college not to celebrate turning so by going out on a Thursday night to Chicago Rock Café. It’s okay though. You’re super nervous about the huge dinner party your parents have thrown you (you’re secretly excited for the heart-shaped cake and to watch dramas as soon as you get home). You’re worried that you’ve somehow slipped into six separate friendship groups and that at the dinner, people won’t know each other and it’ll get awkward. (It does and it’ll continue like that for the next 6 years, btw.) Moreover, you’re secretly sad that he never showed.
You’re eighteen and you’ve just finished up University applications. Selling yourself in X characters or less is not your forte. No-one believes you when you tell them you’ll be studying fashion journalism in September. In fact, you know you caught that girl whispering, “fashion journalists are usually cool, right? She wears glasses,” it’s okay, one day you’ll love wearing glasses and that girl will spend 5 out of 7 days lurking your LinkedIn profile.
Once you get to University, you’ll feel even more wildly out of your comfort zone. But that’s your chance to be the person you want to be. Take baby steps towards being someone with a smidge more confidence – mate, at this point, anything is an improvement, confidence wise. You’re going to meet flatmates that you’ll make crazy, hilarious, sad, ridiculous and treasured memories with. That girl who you suspect is from the same area as you? Be brave and chat: she’s going to be your sister-from-another-mister friend who leaves Uni but remains in your life over six years later.
When you’re secretly worried because your flatmates tell you you’ll never get a job with your ‘Mickey Mouse degree’ (c’mon, they study even more ridiculous subjects and industries), just know that somehow things will fall perfectly in place. More perfect than you could imagine. Keep doing what you’re doing, don’t hesitate to create that blog because it’ll do wonders in the future.
Yes, there’s more to life than watching anime on a Saturday night and squirrelling hours away to reading about cultural theory, but you’ll realise that a) your interests will prevail, and b) once the degree is in the bag you won’t have, like, anything to do. So what if it’s been a year and you’re still nowhere near over him? Lemme warn you that he’ll pop up out of nowhere on the day you print and bind your 15,000 words about the fashion journalism landscape, and also on the day you move home. Somehow you’ll end up bound together again, just the two of you, always wondering and never knowing.
Did you know? When you’re 23 and deciding to have the best of your life, you’ll spontaneously book holidays and weekends away with new and old friends. You’ll realise that playground arguments are just that. You’ll reconnect with your two best friends and one of them is going to get engaged!! Aside from that, you’re going to strike your luckiest match yet – you’ll apply to ONE overseas job. And get it.
So Michelle, don’t sweat it. Don’t worry about the pressures of being ’18’. Go to work even if it’s forcibly so. Cherish those family evenings in even if everyone thinks they’re uncool. There’s no place like home. Work hard and play harder. No matter how hard you want things to work out right now, they won’t. But they will eventually fall into place 7 years later.
Love, Michelle x