Everyone always says that uni is the place where you change the most. I totally disagree. I think it's the years following uni, when you are in the real world and have to mature really quickly that you start to really shape who you are. Now I'm 25, in true Generation Y style (or am I a millennial? I think I'm a Y), I thought I would reflect on what has fallen off my radar almost completely.
1. What my parents think of my life choices. I am about to start my dream job and I never would've gone for it if I was paralysed by 'well, what will my parents think about this field? Will they be proud of me?'. I've realised that all parents (well, the good ones anyway!) just want their children to be happy. My grandparents think I do 'something on computers' because they just wouldn't understand. But they are delighted that I am happy and progressing and work hard. It's the same with everything really. Sometimes people will be shocked or saddened by your decisions, mainly out of fear and lack of understanding. But it is your life. So do what makes you happy!
2. How many friends I have. Back in the days of the 'Myspace top 8' (Remember that? Choosing was agonising!) I used to count my friends and try and work out if I was 'popular' or 'cool' or how close I was to these stupid ideals. Being honest and cutting people out who were not benefiting me was an amazing decision. I may not have a million friends, but I absolutely have the right ones and they are there for me no matter what.
3. Staying in relationships that no longer make me happy. Break ups are hard. Change is hard. Really hard. But you know what's worse? Regret. If you know something isn't right, deep in your gut, then don't do it.
5. How much money I earn* As long as I have enough to eat and pay rent. Life is about being happy. I can honestly say I don't care about status, or income, or any of that stuff as long as I have enough. And trust me, the people who fall into super high paying jobs in their twenties will be caught up by people who followed their passions later in life.
6. The 'Fashion Rules'. I love fashion, I love reading up and looking at all the latest trends, but if something doesn't suit me, I won't wear it for the sake of being fashionable. Likewise, I don't care if something I love goes out of fashion, I'll wear it anyway.
8. Being 'too smart'. When I was at school, I was badly bullied for being interested in classes and getting good grades. I remember lying and hiding my exam results to something lower so I wouldn't have to deal with it. Now, I won't let anyone dumb me down for their own comfort levels. So what, I have a good memory! I can't catch a ball or reverse my car. People are good at different things and I'm proud of what I've achieved.
9. Being 'too talkative'. I wish all little girls who were told they were 'bossy' would be told they have leadership skills. It wasn't until I entered the business world that I finally felt like I didn't have to bite my tongue or be called names for being loud and opinionated.
11. Everything Cosmopolitan stands for. If you want to know how to please your partner in bed- shock horror- ask them. Don't read ridiculous Cosmo sex tips, because they're ridiculous things that most people- even the kinky ones- would be baffled by. Your entire worth as a woman is not dependent on 'what your crush thinks of you' or the 'latest lipgloss trends'.
12. Pushing for the right contraception for me. Most women are afraid to talk to doctors (See number 4), but it is your body and your right to choose. Yes, even if they ask you to change everytime because it's expensive for the NHS.
13. Getting messy. I am happiest in a festival field, with wet hair and running make up and more than a bit of vodka spilled on my shorts. I do not care if I don't look attractive.
15. Doing things on my own. I LOVE shopping on my own and going for coffee on my own. I like other people, and I love company sometimes, but I'm not worried about looking weird going somewhere alone.
16. Family drama. I used to get so upset at family gatherings. You know what they're like. Now, I subscribe to the philosophy that if someone tells me they have a problem with something I've said or done, I will of course, probably very apologetically, address it. If they don't say anything, I'm not going to worry about it.
18. People living in the past. Childhood is hard. I get it. You are not responsible for whatever hardship you faced. But you are responsible for your emotional and physical health now. I totally totally understand that addressing and facing your issues is terrifying, but I have huge respect for people taking responsibility and working to be a better person as an adult.
19. Shaving everyday. It just takes so long and ahhhhhhh I just don't care. If I'm not getting my legs out and I don't look like a yeti just live and let live.
20. Staying in the same place. I have serious wanderlust. I never wanted to stay at home. As soon as I could I was out at uni and exploring the world. My list is huge and I don't intend to only see a corner of this beautiful planet.
22. Always feeling safe. Life is scary as hell, and don't let anyone tell you otherwise! It means your growing. There's that old cliché- life begins outside your comfort zone. It absolutely does.
23. Comparing myself to other people. Different people are just that, different. You don't know their journey or what they are like outside of facebook/instagram. Chances are it's not what you expect. There is no benefit to it and it will make you miserable.
25. Getting old. I started using moisturiser the other day. And I'm strapped in for the ride.
Inspired by ThoughtCatalog and Words from Pinterest.