Hello, 18-Year-Old Idil

Uhm…

Alright, come out already.

You probably expect great things from yourself but are afraid to vocalize them, since you are kind of getting crushed under the weight of the societal pressure. You know very well that if you tell others that you want to be this generation’s feminist Cronkite, they will laugh at you, murmuring “how cute” as if there is a teddy bear on your lap. The anger gradually bubbles your blood in your vanes; you hiss “my dreams are not cute.” Don’t bother to convince anyone otherwise; let them watch and learn.

Do what you love, if possible. Whatever path you choose, make sure you can actually do it. However if you can’t combine love with doable, that’s okay. There is a reason that there are tests to find your strengths. See, you have more than one strength, so you may equally love doing something else. Never settle for the “secure”. Same goes for the person you might fall in love with – fall in love with the person you can be with. If it’s not possible, still pursue love. It may seem a little too painful for your taste, but you will learn from loving someone unconditionally. Eventually, when his/her time is up, you will wave goodbye and move on to the person you can be with, but never pass on love just because you are afraid of getting hurt. Don’t be a pansy, you always wanted to love someone helplessly, so do it. Do not let growing up intervene with your naive dreams.

See that fella walking towards you with a smirk on her face, probably some weird gossip to tell on her mind? Hold her hand and never let go. There are going to be only a few of them in your life. Unlike your 1600 Facebook friends, they will actually remember your birthday without a social media notification. Those people will teach you how to be happy for someone without any envy and show you that you are still lovable even at your worse.

Don’t blame others, don’t come up with excuses. Don’t ever say “prof gave me a B,” say “I got a B” instead. Be responsible for yourself, for others; if you have wings, use them to let others rest in your their shadows, not just to fly. Instead of just asking, give answers too. Or just give, without expecting anything back.

You better believe the best curve of your body is your smile. The “ideal” measures like 36-24-36 are for perfect people who are plain greek yogurt; a little sour and maybe twisted with some bitterness but more than anything, just blah. Numbers will remain as numbers, mathematics of anything should not be your basis for your argument against life. Use your words, your character instead. Use facts, as much as you use your charisma. That GPA on your transcript, or any college student, only shows how successfully your brain could cram a semester’s worth of information at the last minute. That’s it. True/False sections that play role in your GPA don’t even make sense; life doesn’t divide up as 50-50. There are exceptions, there are always “but”s. Write an essay instead. Reveal your thoughts.

Time to time walk away from everything, or you might forget who you are. Take some time to familiarize yourself with, well, yourself. Give thanks that you are you. Whatever you did must have worked so far, because you are alive and without knowing, you cross many people’s minds countless times in a day. People know you exist. Don’t let that mess with your judgement though; don’t let the question “but what would X say?” be the last question you ask yourself before pursuing anything. X will talk for 24 hours, or 48 hours tops, but you will look back to remember that decision for the rest of time.

Don’t fake your stance. Don’t be like an Oreo that looks tough but dissolves in any kind of liquid; be biscotti that only softens in very hot drinks. That might make you appealing to a smaller crowd, but at least everyone will know you are not easy to bite or cheap.

Wherever you go, take your loneliness with you because at the end of the day, that is the only thing you will go to sleep with. Don’t share it; it is more valuable than you think.

Finally, live every emotion to the fullest. If you are afraid, scream; if you love, fall for it; if you are sad, cry; if you disappoint yourself, bench your pride… Listen to me, 18-year-old Idil, you might stand in the same river, but the water you touch will never be the same. Drink every drop of it.

Published by Idil Ozer

Senior at Hope. International Studies major, Political Science minor. The Anchor, World News Co-editor. Blogger for the Odyssey and Thought Catalog. Feeds on news, politics and donuts.

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