Recently I have been getting asked a lot for advice. This has gotten me thinking about what I wished I had known between the ages of 16 and 25. So instead of just mulling over this in my own mind, I thought I would blog about it and we could all share what we wished we had known when we were younger.
1. Work hard at university
Although I worked very hard through school and got great grades, once I got to uni, things went a little pear shaped. Apparently not attending classes and partying a lot means you probably are not going to graduate. At the time this did not seem like a big deal because I decided I didn't want to be a teacher anyway, but now working for just above minimum wage while trying to support two kids, the partying and wagging class were really not worth it.
2. Some guys are just losers and they will not change
No matter what romantic comedies teach you, a guy will not change. A great test I learned later on in life was that you can judge a guy by how he treats his mother. So if he treats his mum like crap, then guess how he's gonna treat you. However if he treats his mother with respect, then you are in luck. And no matter how much you want them to, YOU CANNOT CHANGE THEM! And don't listen to those stories about how some guy used to be a loser then he met the right girl and now he's amazing. Yeah it happens but so does snow in Wellington. It's the exception not the rule.
3. What others think of you is sometimes important
Notice I said sometimes. If a random person thinks you are a horrible person, then that doesn't matter. It doesn't affect your life in the slightest. But there will be people in your lives whose opinions matter. This doesn't mean you should change who you are to fit their expectations, however sometimes (again I say sometimes) they may have a point. If it is coming from a place of love, then at least listen to it.
4. There comes a point when you have to be responsible
I think most people go through an experimental stage (otherwise known as a speed bump to becoming a grown up). Whether this is drugs, smoking, drinking, random dancing on police cars etc most people do something that they look back on and shake their heads in embarrassment. This only becomes a problem when it doesn't stop. By all means live your life, but if you are getting to the point when all your friends are settling down with careers, studying, kids, marriage etc and you are still out every night living the vida loca, then maybe it's time to look a little deeper.
5. When you have kids, some of your friends will disappear
I really wish someone had warned me about this one. Again, romantic comedies LIED to me. This isn't necessarily because your friends don't care about you anymore, it's more because you are at a completely different stage in your life. Your world is consumed by a small person (or people) who is incredibly demanding. This makes maintaining friendships hard. Thank God for Facebook or I would never talk to some of my friends! But there is a silver lining. When they start having kids, they may make their way back. But at the beginning, realise a lot more changes than just having to buy nappies at the supermarket.
6. You are not as fat as you think
I realised this when I was 8 months pregnant. I had taken my little waist for granted. Oh the clothes I could have worn! But seriously, you are not as fat as you think. And, unless you have to be removed from your house by a crane, no one is judging you by how much you weigh. And if they are, they are random people and see bullet point three. Love your body and value what you have.
7. Your parents are not always right
In the end you have to make the decisions for your life that may contradict your parents views. They may not like it, and in some cases may not be able to get over it, but (unless you are Buddhist) you only get one life. You have to live it as you see fit.
8. Foundation comes in lots of shades
Yep. AND if you don't pick the right shade, it looks gross. When the lady in Farmers says 'can I help you?' say YES! Or get a mother in law like mine who is a wealth of knowledge in this department.
9. Everyone is a little weird, it's not just you
This was a huge revelation to me. I always assumed I was some freak of nature that was TOTALLY unique. Nope. I am just as messed up as everyone else. Everyone has their quirks. Also everyone's families have quirks too. Compare notes sometime with a friend. You are not as weird as you think.
And my last thing I wish I had known,
10. ALWAYS close your curtains before you have a shower
This is in case you have to make a mad dash to the dryer to grab a towel or the phone rings or your child wakes up. The time that you don't is the time the MP for your area shows up at the door and then RUNS for the gate. You have been warned.
Please share your advice here! I would love to hear it :)