I can remember my 20th birthday like it was yesterday. It wasn’t. It was TEN YEARS AGO. It pains me to admit that a decade has just whizzed by, without permission I may add, and left me here on the cusp of thirty, what I consider to be ‘real’ adulthood. But unless a miraculous turn of events occurs in the next 96 hours, I’m not entirely convinced that maturity will rear its ugly head anytime soon.

I can deny the last ten years until I’m blue in the face and even though Saturday was spent playing rounders in the park, running around bases marked by flop flops and back packs, I have to admit that I’ve learned a lot.  They say ‘hindsight is a wonderful thing’ which I have to disagree with. Hindsight is rubbish… there’s absolutely no use for it, but if the ability to be able to pop back and unmake some bad decisions did exist, this is what I’d tell my twenty year old self:

  • Stop drinking white wine immediately.  It’ll save you ten years of thinking you’re just the sort of person that gets really bad hangovers. You’re not. You’re allergic.
  • Don’t dye your own hair to save money. This little nugget of advice will in fact save you £100 worth of corrective styling on your orange bouffant.
  • If you’re not sure if your car will fit in the space between the bus and oncoming traffic, it probably doesn’t. Just wait.
  • Stop crash dieting. Just eat healthily and exercise. There’s no shortcut.
  • Doing shots results in vomiting. You think it doesn’t, but I have over ten years of experience… it WILL happen and if not on the night, 100% the next morning.
  • Don’t go out with anyone just because people said you ‘should give them a chance’. It’s not that you’re unreasonable or too fussy, you just don’t fancy them.  Plus it saves the whole ‘ignoring their texts’ thing, which at 20, you think is the only solution, but at 30 you realise that it was probably quite rude.
  • If a small size doesn’t quite fit, don’t buy it in the hope that it will one day. It never does and you end up throwing it out.
  • Don’t put too much pressure on yourself to achieve everything straight away. You waste a lot of time worrying and when you’re older, you care a lot less anyway.
  • What other people think about you is irrelevant and actually none of your business.
  • Friends will come and go but you learn who the real ones are as you get older. Don’t be sad about the ones that slipped away because so many more amazing people come in to your life.
  • Always be grateful for everything you have.
  • You can’t poach an egg in the microwave.
  • Stop buying pink crap. Marketing teams have cottoned on to it and will exploit you every way they can by manufacturing EVERYTHING in pink. You are just a victim of consumerism.
  • Read the news. You know very little about current affairs and getting in the habit will help you later in life at pub quizzes.
  • Imagine a mobile phone with a touch screen and one that you will be able to do EVERYTHING on. Even watch the TV. It happens.
  • It’s not your job to make other people happy. Stop bothering, they’re on their own journey and they’re the only ones in control of it.
  • Don’t stay with boyfriends if you know it’s not going to last. It’s a waste of time and being single is a lot more fun.
  • Take a step back and really consider whether you should be wearing that sweat-band.
  • If you see a sign that says NO PARKING, don’t park there because two scary skin-heads (imagine Phil and Grant Mitchell) will show up at your door and demand the entirety of your student loan in return for your car.
  • Start doing squats. They make a difference and I can only imagine what my 30 year old behind could look like if I knew this 10 years ago!
  • When you get to 25 and the trappings of a quarter-life crisis throw you into a panic… just decide not to. It’s totally in your head, things are good so enjoy it.
  • Stop talking about doing something, just crack on and do it!
  • Go freelance. You hate being in an office and become very bitter and resentful when forced to ask permission to take holiday. Learn about tax first though, because it’s a real b*tch.
  • Do what you want to do, not what you think other people want you to do. You will end up doing it anyway, but this way it means you’ll get there quicker.
  • DO NOT under any circumstances take the job at Abercrombie and Fitch. Even if they tell you there are international opportunities and talk about expansion. It’s just a shop and you will spend your time telling very attractive people how to fold clothes.
  • Under no circumstances give Suzanne Bailey responsibility of your passport. Ever.
  • Never fly Ryan Air. It’s really not cheaper and unless your handbag is the size of an envelope, they charge you at the gate anyway.
  • Always wear a bra. There’s only one direction for your chest and it’s not up!
  • Always take your make up off and moisturise.
  • Don’t regret anything. It just takes up a lot of energy on something that can’t be changed and you’ll learn from it all.