Dear 18-year-old self, Congratulations! You’ve made it this far. It’s no time to quit. Good things, the best things, are yet to come. It’s scary to think that all you know is coming to an end but trust me, life begins at the end of your comfort zone. I only wish I’d realized this sooner. Now, this doesn’t mean you’re not going to be scared or even terrified to try new thing but that’s only have the fun. Bravery isn’t about not being scared but about facing those fears head on and dealing with them. First things first, I’m the realest… JKJK, I kid, I kid… Moving on now! SMILE!!! I cannot stress how important this is. Never underestimate the power of a smile. You can get so many things accomplished by simply flashing those pearly whites. (On a side note: BRUSH YO TEETH! NOBODY likes stanky breath) Now, now, this doesn’t mean you always have to be smiling all the time like a doofus. Sometimes you won’t be in the greatest mood and that’s ok but that doesn’t mean you can be rude to people. They have no control about what is going on in your life. But, alas, smile, it might just lighten your mood. People come and go but your friends and family are there forever. Treat them well. Sometimes you won understand where they’re coming from but they’re honestly trying to look out for you. Sometimes you might find what they say to be mean or even offensive so take everything with a grain of salt. While we’re on the topic of “friends”, ditch all those toxic people in your life. Believe me when I say you’re better off without them. Don’t let people hold you back. Don’t stop what you’re doing just because others won’t do it with you. That’s what makes you special. You know what the best part of being a human being is? You can do things by yourself! You’re not a dog that needs to be on a leash with their owner to go to the park. Want to join a club? DO IT! Want to go get coffee? DO IT! Being by yourself doesn’t make you a loser, heck, you might even meet some great people along the way. Sometimes, those people you can’t stand turn out to be some of the best friends you’ll ever have. Get to know them better. Someone once told me that if you don’t like someone it’s because you don’t know them well enough. If you try your best to get to know them, you’ll find a common point of interest. It turns out that 90% of the time that’s true. FOR THE LOVE OF ALL THAT IS GOOD IN THIS WORLD, GO SEE A DOCTOR!!! Sometimes, it is ok to not be ok. Sickness happens, you’re not superhuman. Admitting you have a problem is already half the solution. Do not listen to the voices in your head. They’re only there to raise your self-doubt. Also, they have really dumb ideas. However, this does not mean you should believe you’re better than everyone else. You’re not above other people. Stay humble my friend, don’t put yourself on a pedestal. STAY HUMBLE. You’re not as bad as those horrible thoughts inside your head nor are you as great as other people make you out to be. You’re simply you, an imperfect human being that more often than not struggles to get out of bed in the morning. Last of all, get a move on. Don’t be a lazy bum. Get out of bed, put some clothes on and experience things. Life is short, don’t waste it in your comfort bubble. Sometimes, it just takes a different shade of lipstick to make everything new and exciting. DO IT! GET OUT THERE! YOU GOT THIS! Sincerely, Your 22-year-old self

Published by Dulce Medina