Dear Younger Self,

What do you think your life would be like had it come with a step-by-step handbook? Would you follow every direction, or would you say, “I don’t need this, I’ll just wing it?” In a few short years or months, you will be a college graduate. Being young is fun but it’s unfortunate that these are the prime years of making mistakes and learning a series of life lessons. I often find myself wishing I could go back in time to tell my younger self a few things about how to deal with this thing called life and what to do when you’re faced with adversity. Right now, you’re in high school and for some reason there were times when you cared too much about what others thought of you. Why? Now at 23 years old there are some things that I would like to go back and tell your young high school soul.

Here are the top ten things I wish I could go back and tell the younger self.

1.) Accept Yourself as You Are: Not everyone is going to like you and that’s okay. Your opinion of yourself is the only thing that matters. Don’t waste your time caring about what other people think of you. Their opinions have nothing to do with you but more of how they see themselves. If you’re happy with yourself that’s all that matters…period!

2.) Life Is a Journey: You’ll learn more about this in college after failing a class and having to retake it and spending an extra year at your university. There will be many road blocks and detours. You may not have the same friends forever. However, you have to understand that you must let go of the things and people who no longer serve a purpose in your life in order to make room for the things and people who actually matter. Life moves at a rapid pace, so don’t get stuck in one place. Move with it. Trust me, it will be worth it.

3.) Stay Curious & Take Risks: This world is huge and there are over seven billion people in it. Don’t wait for other people to do things with you, take a shot at traveling alone. Do not stay in your comfort zone, all the opportunities are on the other side. Stop playing it safe and learn to be a risk taker. That’s where all the magic is.

4.) Forget the Social Norms: Live life the way you want! Stop being the person everyone else want you to be. People will disapprove of your tattoos & piercings. That’s okay, it’s your life. Don’t miss out on your purpose because you’re too busy living for everyone else instead of yourself. Again, if you’re happy with yourself that’s all that matters…period!

5.) Be Grateful: No you may not have had the perfect life, but you are alive and healthy. Don’t dwell on the past and don’t worry about the future. Everything will work itself out when the time is right. At the end of the day, “You are happy,” because you are equipped with everything you need to be successful, but you have to be the one to tap into that potential and use it.

6.) Stop Being a ‘Know It All’: Sometimes you can be pretty stubborn, but don’t worry you get that from your mother even though she’ll probably deny it, because she’s stubborn and that’s what stubborn people do. The truth is you don’t know everything, even if you think you do…you don’t! Write down every piece of good advice people give you and incorporate it in your life. Always be a student at life because there’s always something to be learned.

7.) You Are Not Alone: Sometimes in life it’s normal to think you’re the only person going through something, but you’re not. We’re all connected in some way and someone is waiting to be inspired by your story.

8.) Luck & Coincidences aren’t real: Maybe in a sense of winning the lottery, but I once heard Oprah say. “I don’t believe in luck, that ‘luck’ is when preparation meets opportunity,” I’m starting to believe this. There’s no such thing I think as being over prepared. If you put 100% into everything you do and do it well when opportunities present itself it’s only natural for good things to happen.

9.) Surround Yourself with Good People: This one can be tough! Often times we allow the amount years we’ve known a person to determine whether or not we should stick around. Whether it’s a friend you’ve known your whole life or just met in college, if they’re not being good to you let them go. Find people who will support you and your “bizarre” dreams. Stand up for yourself and be assertive. Remember you are the person that teach people how to treat you.

10.) Know That Everything Happens for a Reason: Although it’s hard to believe this, it is the absolute truth. Every obstacle that is placed before you are there to prepare you for what is to come. In order to get where you want to be it is absolutely necessary for you to experience failures. Please for the love of Justin Bieber have a lot of PATIENCE, everything happens in due time.

Now I would like to hear from you, don’t forget to comment below a piece of advice you would give to your younger self if you had the chance.