The photo from the left was taken at 17 and the one from the right was taken at *almost* 22.
I was inspired to write this letter by Amy @ Mamyology ‘s Post. I am 22 years old now, so five years ago Cristina was so different and had no idea how life works.
Hey 17-year-old Cristina,
First of all, in one year and a half you will go blonde. Don’t do it!!!! It will ruin your hair. Also, bangs are not an option. You will regret them every single time. But, you will have red hair again. You loved it at 17 and you will love it at 22.
Stop looking in the mirror and thinking you are way too thin. You will realize eventually that it’s the last important thing about yourself. At 22 you will be worried about more profound things than the way you look.
For the love of God, stop thinking that you need a boy in your life. Happiness comes from within, not from a spoiled little brat who doesn’t see anything else than how cool he is. You don’t need anyone, just you. So stop crying and watching soap operas trying to identify your non-existent drama with those crappy love stories and hoping you will get your happy ending. Life is not a movie. Get out and enjoy this beautiful time of your life. Trust me, you will never afford to be that careless again.
Stop caring what other people think of you. You don’t need their validation. At 22 you will keep in touch with only a few people, those who actually deserve your friendship. Also, stop comparing yourself with others. Stop it now, because later in life it will become a habit hard to control. You have no idea how hard it will be to love yourself and realize how amazing you are. At 22 you will still be struggling with that and it will get more serious.
Start trusting yourself. If you could see you in five years. You’ve been through a lot, you fought amazing battles and you’ve come so far. You can do amazing things. You’ve done pretty good.
You should appreciate your careless life at home more. Appreciate the time with your family, appreciate silly laughs and random girl talk and the fact that you have no responsibilities. Trust me, you’ll miss your parents so much, and you’ll only see them 3-4 times a year. Also the moment you realize that you have to make decisions on your own will hit you like a hurricane. You will be scared, but you will manage to go through it. Also, you will see how hard it is to remember to pay bills and how hard it is to manage your monthly income. So yeah, appreciate the time you have left at home when someone takes care of you and helps you with your decisions. It soon will be gone.
Try ro be optimistic, to trust yourself, to enjoy life. When you’ll start having panic attacks and anxiety you’ll regret your current mindset.
Also try not to lose your courage and enthusiasm, the future you lost them and it is so hard to find them again.
Med school will be probably the most interesting experience of your life. First of all, you will get in! You will find the power to work hard for it and you will get in! The first two years will be like hell for you. You will be confused, hurt, you will feel overwhelmed, you will feel like it is too hard for you and at some point you will be so discouraged that you will want to give up. But in that critical moment, you will find the power to work hard and to get through it. And in that moment you will realize that you can do it, that you would choose it all over again, that it is definitely the only thing you want to be doing with your life. After that it will get easier. You will stop crying out of fear for exams, you will become more confident in your knowledge and you will learn how to study efficiently.
You’ll see that living in a big city opens the world for you. You will meet exactly the people you need in your life. The ones who don’t appreciate you, the ones who break your heart, the ones who disrespect you, the ones who mend you, the ones who are there for you, the ones who support you, the ones who inspire you. You’ll see eventually that every single one of them had their role in your life. They will teach you how to deal with them, how to spot them the second time, how to love them and how to understand them. You’ll realize from this that the most important lessons in life don’t come free. You have to pay for them with tears and sadness but eventually you wouldn’t want things to have happened differently.
Overall your future will be amazing. It will have it’s ups and downs. You will be happy and sad, you will have a lot of amazing experiences, a lot of heartbreaks and disappointments but you will learn so many things. About yourself, about life, people and how things work in the real world. You will achieve so many things, you will learn so much, but the most important thing, your heart will stay the same. The future you is caring, willing to help others, has so much love to give even if she built walls because she was scared to get hurt. It will be so hard for you to understand that you can’t avoid being hurt by people and how important it is to take a chance, to let yourself be hurt, recover from it and learn from it, but you will eventually.
P.S. I don’t want to scare you, but at 22 you won’t have it all figured it out. You will struggle a lot. At 22 you will still be in a process of discovering yourself but you will be hopeful that you will figure it out. Also your 22th birthday will be the best because you will be incredibly selfish and you will be doing whatever the hell you want and that will make you incredibly happy. Trust me!