This is a post I wrote as a submission for a book called People I want To Punch In the Throat. It didn’t quite make the cut. In hindsight this was probably because the brief asked for advice letters to your children as they leave home and, as we already know, the closest thing I have to a child is my Apple Mac, and I’ve just moved back home.
I should not be giving advice to anyone. Ever.
This is a letter I wrote to my 18 year old self giving myself advice about uni and what life had in store. It’s definitely is as narcissistic as it sounds but you can cope.
Anyway, seen as it isn’t going to make it to something people actually buy, I figured I’d unleash it on you lovely folk for free. No need to thank me. Your tears of despair are enough.
Also if you went to school or uni with me you may be in this.
Dear 18 year old Sophie
This already sounds very formal. You will be called many things in your life, not always positive, but not many people will refer to you as Sophie. Most of the time it’s Fox, Foxatron, or “No, I don’t want tequila!”
If I could give you any advice before you embark on the adventure that is the next four years it is to enjoy it, oh and to try and be a bit more organised. You don’t get your shit together for a really long time in the end so maybe try starting now. Your lack of organisational skills lead to you nearly being thrown out of uni for cheating as you handed in someone else’s criminal law essay by accident. Not helpful.
You will move back home a lot more than you ever planned to so don’t think this is the last time you will ever live there.
It won’t always be fun. You manage to break both of your wrists on two separate occasions, both drunk. Both times you lie to Mum and say you slipped on some ice. I’m not 100% sure she ever believed that but if she asks, stick with it.
Yes, unfortunately, you are still single. No, you don’t really mind. You are definitely not gay.
At some point you get a really bad haircut from a hairdresser who sold you a “premium package” on the street. Don’t fall for it – you looked like a mushroom. Luckily for you it is 2004 and Facebook hasn’t been invented yet.
While I’m on the subject – you know your MySpace page that you lovingly put together and colour-coordinated? You don’t have that anymore. It wasn’t the revolution it was cracked up to be. I think MySpace Tom is now living in the forest somewhere mourning the days when he had a billion followers.
As usual you haven’t sorted anything out in relation to your student loan. I forgive you as you only realised that you were going to university yesterday. What on earth were you thinking applying to Oxford?! More importantly, what on earth were they thinking letting you in?! Turns out they needn’t have bothered as you messed up your exams and had to scour the country for a university that would accept you.
Where is Hull exactly?!
Your first year is a bit of a whirlwind. You make lots of lovely friends; have a few fallings out but nothing too exciting. Oh, that guy is actually sleeping with that other girl behind your back. Just a bit of a heads up, save yourself the bother.
In summer 2005 you go to Magaluf with Anna, Tess and Becky. You are still friends with them now and love them dearly. Tell Tess she isn’t a celiac so she can eat bread on holiday. Actually, don’t tell her, it’s too funny.
Jade is your bff. Jade has a cat. I know she hates all living things at the moment but she likes this cat. You still aren’t sure.
Don’t bother watching Miss Congeniality 2. Sandy B has yet to master the art of the sequel – damn it Sandy!
Your mum is a legend. Try not to yell at her as much as you do. Appreciate her all the time. In around 2012 she learns how to make cannelloni – it is like her lasagne but better!
Dad moves back from the Middle East. You go for after work drinks with him a lot which you love. He is the proudest parent on the planet. You owe him money.
Your sister is still fabulous. You become really close to the point where you don’t know what you would do without her. Learn to value her opinion. I know she doesn’t look very intelligent but she always knows what to say to make a situation better and she loves you. I think you owe her money as well.
Your fourth year is fantastic! You live with 6 other people, 4 of whom are ginger. You have Game Night and Wine Club which essentially involves drinking a bottle of wine before you go out. Sophie – alcohol will never be this cheap again. Stock up while you can.
A bit of a word of warning here Fox; whilst you are at university you have some periods of time where you are inexplicably down for no reason and cry a lot. It always passes but when it is at its worst you feel horrible. It will get better, I promise.
Ben and Jerry’s make a flavour called Peanut Butter Me Up. This will change your life.
When you leave uni you move home and go to law school and you end up being a qualified lawyer. No, you don’t lose any weight. If anything, you get fatter.
You have two housemates over the next few years. The first one is Clare who you lived with at uni. Yes, she is one of the ginger people. She has the best hair in the world. You live with her in a gorgeous apartment in the city centre. You have matching onesies before onesies were cool. Not sure why.
The next housemate is Jess. She is very pretty and fit. She runs marathons and triathlons and does other ridiculous things. You don’t participate in this but you do go to cheer her on. She is a hoot and a half. You live with Jess in the city and have the best time two people have ever had ever.
Prince William got married and had a baby so you can abandon that dream. At time of writing Harry is still very much available; definitely worth a shot.
All in all your life does manage to sort itself out, kind of. You still make a tit of yourself every once in a while but you can cope with it. You are happy.
That would be my one piece of advice, Soph. Through all of the stresses and strains that the next few years will bring, please stay positive. Don’t spend too long comparing yourself to other people. Eventually you will realise that yes, they are prettier and slimmer than you. So what? I bet they don’t know all the words to Mr Bombastic or can dance like Tina Turner! Oh, yeah, I forgot to mention this – you are too cool.
Keep in touch with your friends; they will make your life better in immeasurable ways.
Try not to get too fat.
Maybe start a blog. Trust me, you will never look back.
See you in the future,
Fox-a-licious (trying out a new one – still undecided)
Oh, almost forgot, the winning lottery numbers are 4, 7, 11, 16, 29, 30, 41. You’re welcome.
You can still vote for Sophie, She Wrote in the UK Blog Awards 2015.
Vote here (Most Innovative)
Vote here (Lifestyle)