Gender & Identity Life

10 things I wish I could tell my younger self

We all have things we wish we knew when we were younger, right?

It may sound a bit weird, but I enjoy writing letters to myself, whether it’s for the past, present, or future. It’s therapeutic and allows me to recharge my personal battery to continue pursuing my goals.

Because let’s be honest, life can get a bit robotic and mundane at times. Pausing to reflect on my past definitely brings me more hope, optimism, and joy.

Isn’t it amazing how, although we all have our own upbringings, and personalities, that somehow there are common themes we can all relate to? My hope is that my list will inspire you to create your own as well. Try it out, you’ve got nothing to lose!

So here’s what I would want my younger self to know:

1. There will be people you come across in life who you become close to, but who manipulate or hurt you. No matter what, keep your heart open. Learn from these people, but never generalize a few rotten tomatoes for the whole crate.


I know you love Spongebob, but for the love of God, please don’t follow Squidward’s philosophy.

2. You will never be able to make all of your family and friends happy. Once you accept this difficult reality, you will feel much more empowered.


It will probably take you a long, long, long time to learn this, but that’s okay.

3. Your parents will get on your nerves. But remember that they are not perfect humans and they’re trying their best.

Be as kind as possible to them because you wouldn’t be where you are without their unconditional love and support.

4. Spend your time wisely. Even if those around you are wasting it away, realize that you will never be able to get it back.


Oprah is a wise woman who will help you in life – listen to her!

5. There may be people who try to project their insecurities onto you. Do not take it personally. Although it may not feel like it, what they say has nothing to do with you.


I couldn’t have said it better myself.

6. Please don’t rush yourself into knowing what you can only learn with time and experience. Take a deep breath and relax.

No matter what happens just keep swimming.

7. You will definitely get lost at times and feel like you’re completely on your own. But you’re not. 


However, on many days, it will all seem to make sense and you’ll be able to connect the dots.

8. Some guys may only like you for your physical beauty–politely distance yourself from them. Don’t fall into the trap of only focusing on how you look. You are so much more than that.

Once again, don’t just generalize those dumbos to all men.

9. Sometimes you will say and do hurtful things to those you are closest to. Never let more than a day or two pass before you find the courage to let your ego down and apologize.


I know it’s not easy sometimes, but life is short. PS: If you’re too scared just send an email or text.

10. No matter how many times you mess up, you will always be loved.

No matter what you are a person deserving of love.

None of us will make it through life without having some sort of realizations we wish we had known sooner. That’s part of the fun (and pain) of growing and evolving. I need to remind myself of these messages on a daily basis.

The difference between my attitude now and around a decade ago is this: I refuse to beat myself up over not being perfect. I embrace my strengths and my areas of improvement because those are the qualities that make me who I am. These are lessons I will have to learn over and over again, but I accept that I will fall down many times. However, I will also rise back up. And so will you.

By Yasmin Irfani

Yasmin Irfani is a graduate student at Cal State Northridge, pursuing a Masters in College Counseling & Student Services. She received her BA in psychology from UC Santa Barbara in 2015. Yasmin loves to read, write, travel, and play with animals! She’s lived in California, Pakistan, and New York for different periods in her life and loves meeting new people. She is currently a Summer Editorial Fellow at the Tempest and loves connecting with others through writing.