Messages to our 18 year old selves, when we regularly messed up but meant well.

What do you wish you’d known when you were 18? Hindsight is a wonderful thing, because it brings hard-earned knowledge and a genuine sense of “What the hell was I worrying about anyway?”. Thanks once again to the Audrey community for sharing their pearls of wisdom.

Don’t drop your school friends for your boyfriend, you numpty.

Be wise with ever step, in your career, friendships and in love. When you see the red flags, believe them and move on. No time wasting – if you see no return, growth or improvements, it’s not for you.

Don’t get married at 19!

Kindness is underrated – it’s the first thing you should look for in friendships and relationships. And try not to get overwhelmed by your decisions. You’ll never know where the other path would have taken you, so once you’ve chosen one try to make the most of it and don’t beat yourself up if it goes wrong.

Trust, love and believe in yourself.

Your career does not define you. Any time you spend feeling miserable because your friends have great careers and you do not (yet) is wasted. Spend that time making things instead.

“Your career does not define you.”

My many ‘mistakes’ have brought me to where I am now, which is a good place to be.

Learn to fix stuff yourself and to have the confidence to try even if you’re not sure where to start.

Do not waste time on men you know aren’t right for you or who don’t make you feel like a queen.

You are beautiful, a one of a kind creation. Other people’s opinions of you are of no importance. That’s their stuff to deal with and none of your business ❤️

“You are beautiful, a one of a kind creation.”

Turn off all the white noise and know you’re good enough and you’ve got this.
And those 18yr old boys that think they know it all, especially about sex? They don’t.

Be confident and show love and compassion to yourself. You are amazing just as you are! You’ll grow, you’ll make mistakes and these are part of life’s rich tapestry to make you the women you’ll be. Stop comparing yourself to others. Don’t dim your light to be the same as others. This body you have…. embrace it! But more than anything, have love for yourself, you are wonderful and your whole life is ahead of you. Don’t get caught up with the “boy” because in a few years you’ll have grown and you’ll look back and think – why was I so obsessed? There are plenty more fish in the see so go for the nice ones, the ones that will treat you right – you’re too good for a “bad boy” you deserve respect and love and attention from a “good one” .

Wear sleeveless tops!

Stop worrying so much about what other people think of you, they’re busy worrying about what you think of them. Such a waste of energy! Get on with the things you are good at and improve the things you’re not as good at. And – YOU ARE NOT FAT! X

“Make friends with your flaws so you can work with them.”

Be open minded, adaptable and know you have it in you to cope with whatever life throws at you.

Try to be your own best friend or look after yourself like you would your little girl – when she’s tired make sure she gets enough sleep etc. Sometimes you’ll feel like you’ve grown apart from friends, but try to be brave about sharing your vulnerabilities, everybody has them, it’s when everyone’s putting up a front that things feel superficial and distant. The sooner you can work out what makes you tick the better, you can seek it out professionally, personally etc. You’ll never be perfect, make friends with your flaws so you can work with them. Learning to master delayed gratification is a great way of building self esteem. Learn what really nourishing treats you can reward yourself with at the same time. Get good financial advice and don’t be scared to talk about finances with friends, it’s another gendered taboo that supports the pay gap. Cultivate friendships from all ages, backgrounds and walks of life. Wherever you are there is always an opportunity to make friends. Feel the fear and do it anyway. All things in moderation, including moderation!

“You are important, as are your opinions – say what you think!”

Really, that eyeshadow and hairstyle just don’t work for you!!

Believe in yourself – you can do it – even when others say you can’t. Aim for the sky. Nothing is out of your reach. Go on your first gut instincts, they’re always right.

Don’t worry about what others think – you are absolutely OK! You are important, as are your opinions – say what you think! Be your own best friend – speak to yourself as such.

Don’t worry about it.

You can do it.

“Don’t dim your light to be the same as others.”

Believe in yourself, don’t doubt, nor miss the opportunities which come.

Find a good therapist! We all have difficult things happen to us and 18 is a great age to process childhood stuff. Do the work now and you’ll make better, more empowered life choices during your 20s.

You are not responsible for anyone else’s well-being. You can ‘enhance’ their well-being by being you, but you are not responsible for their happiness or pain nor their successes or failures in life. In short be responsible for yourself and if that brings an element of selfishness, so be it.

Believe in yourself and never settle for second best. And be fearless!

Trust your gut instinct more and please abandon the goth phase – you’re too pale to carry it off and secretly you love acid house.

Looking for expert advice? The Audrey Members’ Club is a whole world of support, coaching and expertise for women through self-employment, changing careers, running a business or launching one. Join us to kickstart your future, whatever that may be.