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What older women wish they could tell their 20-year-old selves

The Independent logo The Independent 21/12/2016 Rachel Hosie
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They say youth is wasted on the young, and there are few people who have no regrets from their younger days.

So if you could give your 20-year-old self some advice, what would you say?

Older women have been sharing their messages in a forum on Reddit, and the comments range from sad to inspirational.

The top answer and most common piece of advice women would give their younger selves, however, may strike you as somewhat depressing.

Most women wish they could tell their 20-year-old selves either to lose weight or be careful about gaining weight:

“You WILL gain a s**t ton of weight from all the beer and fast food you consume. You DO NOT have a ‘really good metabolism’,” wrote one woman.

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Many others agreed, one adding: “I've spent the prime of my life overweight and self-conscious. Don't let that be you.”

Gaining weight is clearly a huge regret for a large number of older women: “I’d grab past me by the shoulders, shake her and say 'STOP F***ING EATING'' and then I would tell past me exactly how to lose weight and beg her to please just count her calories and maybe eat one less large pizza before bed,” wrote one.

Similarly, a lot of women wish someone had told them to exercise more in their 20s and specifically to start lifting weights.

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Many women wished they could give their younger selves advice on men - an incredibly common lament was staying with a boyfriend for too long. One woman summed it up, writing: “Dump him. You don't need him to get by like you think you do. You also won't be alone forever if you leave him.”

A lot of the women wished they’d listened to their mother's advice when it came to men and trusted her intuition - it seems a lot of mothers knew who their daughter would end up marrying.

Some of the pieces of advice were sad but meaningful, with many women encouraging their younger selves to take care of their mental health: “Pretending your depression isn't there will not make it go away, no matter how much you want it to,” wrote one.

And other women simply wished they’d appreciated their fathers more. One woman shared some heartbreaking advice: “Hug your dad and start recording his voice. Ask him questions and tell him you love him. He won't be around for forever.”

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A lot of women wish they’d taken more control of their lives and done what they really wanted:

“Don't go to law school. Do something you actually like,” said one. “Don't ever let anybody else steer your ship,” added another. 

And many simply wished they’d started putting themselves first from a younger age. 

Some of the comments were inspirational, many women wishing they’d been less afraid to fail when younger.

One had a motivational message for her 20-year-old self: “You have so much potential. Save. Don't take heartbreak so seriously, don't be afraid to love again. You are not as fat as you think you are.”

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