I’m merely 20, a college student with not much life experience in the grand scheme of things. Still, it’s remarkable just how much my perspective has changed in the past two years. These are the ten things I wish I could tell my high school self if time travel were a possibility:

  1. Relax. Nobody climbs a mountain by racing towards the summit, Usain Bolt-style. Slow and steady does win the race. And the only way to do so is to enjoy the process. Double down on something you enjoy the daily grind of. Things that you like the idea of having done, but don’t enjoy the process, are mere fancies.
  2. They’re not your friends. Friends don’t ridicule you, nor do they try to win over you. Real friends allow you to be who you are. You haven’t many but you have a few. Cherish them, for every relationship requires effort to maintain.
  3. No, a “slump” doesn’t last for years. It’s depression.
  4. Trust in your feelings. They’re real. They’re perhaps the only thing that matters.
  5. Your peers, their parents, and private tutors will make you insecure about your academics and all the things you should be doing. You’re doing fine, so calm down and review the fundamentals one more time.
  6. Your idea of your future life is wrong. Mine is wrong, too. Just keep on doing something and you’ll be okay.
  7. You’re completely fine-looking. There’s no reason to feel ashamed for not living up to what society expects of you based solely on your assigned gender. Boy, girl, it doesn’t matter. You’re you and you’re better than you think you are.
  8. Life isn’t singleplayer. Ask for help.
  9. Your biggest fears hindering you from doing what you want won’t amount to much in hindsight. I know it’s scary. I know it’s paralyzing. But please, trust me. Life is too short to be lived for others.
  10. Buy bitcoin and sell before 2018 comes around.