The title of this blog post sounds like I’m in my 60’s and I’m sitting on the front porch of my house in Bergen, Norway sipping on hot cocoa and my only companion is my cat purring from hunger in the corner as I’m trying to salvage memories from my 20’s and feel a little bit, even if it’s a flicker of nostalgia and console myself that I lived a worthy life.
Sorry Martin, you know how intense I can be. There is still time to correct things seeing that I just turned 22 back in February and my 60’s is still far away. The only thing I’m keeping from that pathetic life story is moving to Northern Europe with all the beautiful fjords and tempestuous weather.
Turning 18 is a big deal, “you’re an adult now” they said, “you can vote now” (as if it counts) they said, you can do so so and so as if Nigeria (the giant of third world countries) has given you opportunities to flourish from an early age. It can be annoying and discouraging if things don’t go as planned. Yeah it’s a bit crazy and new and confusing and overwhelming to find your footing in this lonely world and it’s even thrice as hard if you’re Nigerian.
Looking back to when I turned 18 and all the experiences that have shaped me, the following are the things I wish I knew:
1. School is not a scam:
School/education, skill acquisition and networking are very important. I wish I had put in extra work and gotten better grades because if you’ve guessed, I’m very smart! (cocky much?) I was the un-serious kid that just wanted to get the barest minimum grade required to move to the next level. It’s not like I spent time partying and socializing and doing other regular ‘Uni’ stuff, I just didn’t care about studying. I’ll try again in my second degree/masters.
2. Go easy with the trusting:
I was a bit naive at 18; throwing trust up and down like the scene from La casa del papel(Money heist) where they shared money from the sky. I’ve been burned so much from doling out trust that I’m close to paranoid now but at the same time you can’t let the actions of some dimwits determine how you trust. Thinking back I wish I’d been a bit cautious.
3.Nobody owes you anything:
Less expectation, Less disappointment. You can be on your high horse thinking “oh, I can’t do this to this person, they won’t do it back”, hahaha I’m laughing in university girls. You can do all you can, tiptoe over other people’s feelings, try to be Mother Theresa to them but you don’t know the stupidity biscuit and the simpleton juice they’ve been consuming from their childhood. Do good because you are good and not because you expect it back to prevent sad stories of “Had I Known”. A lot of drama could have been avoided by my 18 year old self if I’d known this.
4. Breathe, Enjoy, Live:
Thinking back I wish I’d gone for all the dinners and parties. I wish I wasn’t in someone else’s bubble trying to shape my life according to the person’s needs. I didn’t enjoy university life until my final year; I only attended one dinner throughout (of which my friends had to drag me). I don’t even know why I was so detached from reality. Going back to live in the hostel in my final year was a blessing (surprisingly) and I’m glad I made that decision. I am trying to put myself out there and make new friends and maybe enjoy my early twenties (you sly everyone and you don’t reply messages so how dear?). There is hope, hopefully. Oh and slow down on all the chocolates and shawarma dear 18 year old Esther, at 22 you’ll be a size 14.
5. Men will disgrace you:
Love & Light.
Leave a comment, any advises for your 18 year old self?
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Recommended song for the week:
Kygo, Zak Abel – Freedom
*the links to the meanings of the words you might not know are added to the highlighted words’
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