dear twenty-one year old me; an open letter

dear twenty-one year old me, it’s time. and by time, i mean to sit down and get some things straight that you need to know happened over the course of my entire life so far, and that you don’t take those things for granted and learn from them. so here goes nothing.

you need to know that friends come and go; no one will ever stay in your life forever, not even your family will be by your side for eternities, because we all die at some point. so the friends you consider family, cherish them, but dont prioritize them, because like adam and eve, you never know whose out to hurt you, despite the huge amount of trust.

but that doesn’t mean you dont have to make friends, no. meet as many people as you can as possible, because as much as you love books, you love getting to know people as well, and you never know when you may meet an astronaut or a future president, so seize the moment. love your friends, show them the good and bad side of you, show them your raw emotions, and show them your interests, but dont forget to take in their own.

dont forget to show them you listen. let them know someone out there cares for and about them, let them know they’re never alone, and teach them to love life and laughing, even if your day is going down the drain. make friends, make memories, share your love, and most of all, show them the beauty and privilege of life. your friends come in all shapes and sizes, all colors and nationalities. they come and go. you’d much rather have a few friends than a lot, you’ll find your friends in the most unlikely places; dont take them for granted, trust me. you’ve been through a lot, and its time to look at the good things in life.
but don’t let friends, or anyone for that matter, take over your life and decisions. i know you’ve been insecure for a long time, and i know your childhood has had a traumatic effect on your sanity, but you have to learn to say no and take a no. rejection will always be awkward, and difficult, but once you hear it or say it enough, buckle up and move on, you’ll thank yourself later. it’ll be easier with time, i promise you.

the only person you have to impress is yourself. i assure you, nobody else deserves your attention and achievements other than yourself. even if it comes off as attention seeking, do it for you, and nobody else. dress nicely, not because people need to give you compliments, but for you to feel good about yourself, and put together. the more care you put into yourself, the better you’ll feel. do crazy workouts, wake up early, clean your room, journal, listen to good music, drink good coffee, and read as much as you can and expand your knowledge, because you are you, and you deserve it.

people will judge you throughout your life and thats okay. remember that people only see in you what they hate in themselves. yes, you read books, yes, you enjoy reviewing them and talking about them on social media platforms, yes, you love learning new things, yes you love art, and thats okay. nobody can take away your willpower, and if they try to put you down, turn the cheek away, because you dont need them, and they’re not worth your time and effort. reading is beautiful; you’re learning so many new things by the paragraph, and your imagination goes over what you thought were limits, and your brain is stimulated by all the thoughts going through your mind, and its beautiful, so beautiful, what ink on paper can do to you and everyone else, and how you have the privilege to be literate and read so much history just by setting your eyes on a piece of paper, and learn so much that people take for granted because of pure ignorance.

find something that keeps you going, whether its faith, or books, or the sunrise, or that one favorite band, or the smell of a freshly brewed cup of coffee, or the sound of rain, or a bunch of puppies wiggling their little tails. its okay to go against the norm. not everyone will accept the fact that you’re interested in what you are, and not everyone is going to agree with you, but its important to be positive about everything, preaching or not, because once you become negative, the message gets thrown away, and you get labelled as toxic, so love what you do, but be cautious.
and be aware. know that theres rape culture, theres sexism, theres xenophobia and homophobia, inequality still exists today, and your cautiousness and voice matters, even if all of that still exists in our world today. your voice matters, so does all womens voices, and thats why you should preach and talk about it, so other people can open their eyes to whats happening. but again, be careful, and dont be negative, the longer you stay positive, the easier it’ll be for you to get the message across, and more people will listen and follow your beliefs as well as everyone else who does the same.

listen to your parents; they may sound crazy or delusional or paranoid at the moment, but chances are they know a lot more than you think, even if they haven’t experienced what you’re currently going through, they’re almost always spot on in the end. + listen to your dad when it comes to finances, because that dude knows how to handle insurance and paying bills. dont be afraid of asking for help, your parents have the best interest at heart, and they are, if not only, the people who will always be there for you, and are only trying to raise you right and guide you through life until their end of days, so take great care of them, like they took great care for you.

heres a piece of advice most people need; dont date anyone at your high school or university. trust me. it’s gonna sound bitter, but you and i both know im speaking for everyone whos going or have gone through that vile experience. nothing good comes out of it, public display of affection disgusts everyone, and its awkward + on top of it, once you break up, its going to be seriously awkward to walk around the halls and campus with that person around and its gonna cause everyone to have secondhand embarrassment over the both you. so for the love of god, all the mythical gods, and your self respect as well, dont do it. i can assure you nothing good will come out of it, and you’ll thank me now, unless you actually go through with it, you’ll look back and thank me afterwards.

you’re probably studying a degree you like or dislike, or working a crappy or nice job, but you got a lot of stressful hours a day or night; know the difference between good and bad pressure. if you’re in a bad situation, or you’re under a lot of stress, you’re probably working harder than you can handle. its okay to take a break sometimes, or maybe take a step away from the direction you’re going. good pressure will make you feel motivated and happy about what you’re doing, while bad pressure will only leave you depressed and stressed, and i can assure you, you dont wanna be living the rest of your life stressed.
with that being said, there are no shortcuts in life, and you have to work hard for where you wanna go. its okay to dream, and if you have a dream, turn that dream into a goal, and work hard for it. ask yourself where you wanna be in 5-10 years, and work accordingly and strategically to be there. reality is, this world is competitive, and nothing will come easy, so do what you have to do for the things you love and enjoy.

you’ve always loved learning new things and the world, so travel as often as you can, to any destination, at any time. seize the opportunity, because no matter where you go, traveling means infinite amounts of knowledge, life long memories, and nobody can take all that away from you, so just do it, because you love it, and because you want to. it’ll cure your wanderlust, your depression, and anxiety, and you’ll feel like a new person every time you reach a new destination.

most important of all, love yourself, but don’t take yourself seriously. life is too short to make everything seem serious at all times, its okay to joke sometimes, and its okay to fail, you just gotta brush it or laugh it off, and move on in life. you’ve gone through so much crap in your life, you deserve a break. calm down. go out to the art museum, travel to that place you always wanted to go to, go on roadtrips, go camping, eat good food, its okay to drink expensive lattes sometimes or every day; live life care free. you dont know everything yet, you’re still young and you’re still growing and learning, and thats okay, because you will get there and there will be limits, and it will tear you apart or pull you into anxiety and depression, but remember to love yourself. blow bubbles, buy flowers, laugh, hug, jump, exercise, kiss, dance, but for the love of god and everyone you know, dont you ever degrade yourself or doubt in yourself. do what you love, and screw what anyone thinks, because this is your life and its your future, and only you can control what happens and in the end, its your happiness that matters, and when you’re in your happy place in a few years, you’ll look back and you’ll cry, and not because you’re sad but because you did it.

you did it.

you’re 21 and you’re still alive and you’re so strong and im so proud of you.


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My name is Batool, but I’m mostly known as Bat or B, so you can call me whichever you prefer. Not only an avid reader and goofball, I’m also a student and professional procrastinator.

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