As I was going through my WordPress feed today, I noticed how many university students are following my site and whose sites I actively read. Although that phase of life passed not too long ago (I won’t tell you how long though so don’t even think about doing the math), it was fun just go back in time and write this letter to my younger self. Just for some background, I spent close to six years in Japan. Two of my university years were spent alone but everything preceding was under my father’s watchful eye. I smile as I think back to my experience because for the first two years, I was on the dean’s list. After that, I was on my own and living the wild life. What that meant was quite a lot of partying, back to back jobs to sustain my lifestyle and exploring every corner in Tokyo whenever possible- after all, I had to make up for lost time! Don’t even ask what happened to my grades… you really don’t want to know!
To all my mama readers, join in on the fun and tell me what you would tell your younger self!
Michelle, chill girl. No seriously, chill! I know you think that you are so grown because you’ve finally moved into your own apartment and pay your own bills, but growing up brings a lot of responsibility which you are definitely not ready for. Enjoy this transition period, get your feet wet but don’t ever show your dad that you know better than he does because you don’t. You are technically still using his money for your bills regardless of what you tell yourself. Also, just being out of your parent’s house does not give you any more wisdom than you had when living at home, so don’t rush any decisions.
You say you want a job? Please don’t make me laugh… I know that having your own source of income is a plus and it will definitely reduce the amount of ‘advice’ your dad gets to shove down your throat, but really, just focus on your studies and use your free time to follow your passion. There will come a day when you will be stuck in an office, answering to someone who knows you as just a number. As much as the month end pay-check will feel liberating, the sweat, gruelling hours and office politics will remind you of the time you got to sleep in every morning. Your professors aren’t fairy godmothers, but they definitely wouldn’t care less if you didn’t show up. Your boss on the other hand….
Girl, you don’t need that fancy apartment with a heater in the bathroom, I mean, that’s why there is hot water! Those newly installed hardwood floors and fancy ‘key access control’ to the building are just a waste of money – even the mafia doesn’t care that you exist. If they did, they would probably give you food and money (gotta love Tokyo!). Honestly though, paying a little extra for all those added benefits will definitely require more cash … and where is that going to come from? We’ve already discussed the job thing… just relax for now if you can. Work to save up for something special, not to waste money on unnecessary items because that allowance won’t be there forever! Just remember though, if you are low on cash and feeling anxious, it is NOT a good idea to order boxes of pizza with the last few pennies you have even if you need to drown your sorrows. Money does not grow on trees and even if it did, you’re surrounded by buildings!
I know you think that you will avoid any job that requires math, but not liking something is not a good enough reason not to learn it. In any job you do, you will need to know the basics… kinda like needing to know how to cook and clean for survival. So please, learn math, statistics and marketing especially since you plan to be your own boss one day! While you’re at it, don’t get your friends to write your assignments, don’t plagiarise and do not miss any classes. They may not seem relevant now – and they may never be – but you would be surprised at how often you will need to refer back to something you learnt in school. Even just knowing more than the average person would give you so much exposure and recognition if you choose to work in a large organisation!
Ok, let me take a step back before we discuss this one because I know how touchy this is for you. Are you listening? You will not marry any of those guys who flirt with you in the bar, you will not build a family with that friend of yours that ghosts you for days on end, but most importantly, you will not care about any of these relationships that seem so real to you now. Don’t forget that you are studying in a country where you do not plan to start your life, so what makes you think you will leave with a husband? Enjoy the moments with your friends, travel, explore, shop… What is it that young adults do in your time anyway? Oh you don’t really know? Then find out and do it!
I know I sound like a boring old lady, but trust me, I know how things will turn out and only want what’s best for you. You’re a smart girl so please don’t make stupid choices! Lastly, hold on to your amazing friends because they are the ones who will be with you through the exiting and sad moments regardless of where in the world you will each be.
Your older self
I’ll stop here before I get too carried away. If you liked it, do let me know and there just might be a part 2 🙂