If I Were 17 Again, This Is What I Would Do Differently

Being older really does mean getting wiser. While I can’t change the past, others can benefit from what I would’ve done differently if I were 17 again.

Seventeen is a tough age for every girl. You’re incredibly insecure about every inch of your mind, body and soul, and you think everyone around you is judging you. Add boy (and girl) drama and your teenage years have just skyrocketed with stress.

I had an especially hard time figuring out the difference between who I was and who I wanted to be when I was going through high school. I never felt comfortable with myself, so I decided to take drastic measures in order to try to figure it out. Here are some things I wish I could’ve told myself when I was seventeen.

1. Stop starving yourself

pretty woman eating potato chips in bed at home and scared of gaining weight

Honey, you’re allowed to eat when you’re hungry. I know that you think all of your beauty is correlated with how thin you look, but you’re taking this to a dangerous level. Your family is worried about you. Your friends are worried about you. They always knew you were a beautiful girl. Why couldn’t you just see it for yourself?

Yeah, you’re the thinnest you’ve ever been, but you still hate what you see in the mirror. You still think you look ugly. Who’s winning here? You’re so afraid to eat and make excuses as to why you can’t. You weigh yourself six times a day. Why? Is that going to make you love yourself? Apparently nothing will.

You need to start eating again. You’re going to mess up your stomach for the rest of your life. You don’t need to starve yourself to look pretty. Ice cream tastes amazing. Stop lying to yourself about how great frozen yogurt is and how pizza isn’t that good.

2. He isn’t good enough for you

You think he loves you, don’t you? This guy who’s told you straight up that he’s too embarrassed by you to let people find out that you’re friends. Oh, you talk 24/7? What about that time you needed him and he wouldn’t pick up the phone? Your 16th birthday, remember? Who wasn’t there?

He was your first kiss. Okay. Remember him telling you how he kissed his now girlfriend later that night? Or, how he started dating her two weeks later? Remember that? Remember how he told you that you’d never be able to hold a candle to her? Remember how he cheated on her with you?

Okay, do you remember how heartbroken you were when he convinced you to have sex with him and the condom broke? Remember how scared you were? Remember how he didn’t want to come to get a pregnancy test with you because he was embarrassed to be seen with you?

It’s not you who isn’t good enough for him. He’s not nearly good enough for you. The two of you were best friends, and he threw that away. That was his loss. Not yours.

3. Stop looking to guys for validation

Summer young modern stylish couple in sunglasses rest in the city

We get it: you don’t think you look good, so you think you need guys to tell you it over and over again so that maybe you’ll finally by able to believe it. You’re so much better than that.

Having random guys ask you for nudes isn’t going to make you feel better about yourself. You’re going to end up feeling so vulnerable. You’ll give attention to any guy who’s willing to give you attention.

You feel like you’ll finally start believing it when they call you pretty, when you send them pictures of yourself and they give you a vulgar compliment.

You need to know that you look good because you feel confident with yourself—not because a guy said it for you.

You don’t always need to be talking to a guy. It’s okay to be alone. It’ll be good for you in the long run. You’ll be able to appreciate a lot more about yourself.

4. You’ll know what love feels like

One day, you’re going to meet a guy who takes your breath away. He’s going to treat you like you’ve always wanted to be treated. He’s going to be proud to call you his girlfriend, and he’s going to want to show you off to everyone. He’s going to make you feel so loved, and so beautiful without you having to beg for the attention.

You’re going to be so in love. I’m so excited for you to finally experience it. I know not having your father around has been tough, but he’s going to make you know how a man should treat you.

Be careful, though. We made mistakes with this boy. You won’t know just how well you deserve to be treated once he gets comfortable, and he will take advantage of that.

I’m warning you now that it is not going to work out. Don’t let that scare you, though. He was worth every second. I know that sounds odd now, but you’ll eventually understand what I mean.

Some people are meant to be in your life for a short period of time and teach you something about yourself. He taught you a lot. He’s going to teach you how great it feels to fall in love.

5. You’re an amazing human being

Bright lifestyle portrait of young smiling surprised woman

Girl, you seriously need to stop doubting yourself. It makes me so sad to think about how critical you are of yourself. It makes me so sad to think about how much you hate yourself.

You deserve to be happy. You deserve every good thing that happens in your life. You worked hard for everything you have and everything you’re going to get in the future. Don’t feel so guilty. It’s not worth it. Not everyone is going to like you, and not everyone is going to be worth having in your life. That’s okay!

You have so many people in your life who love you so much, and always will. You don’t need to hate yourself because you aren’t perfect. No one expects you to do everything, even though you really want to be able to. It’s okay. You’re going to be okay. These are all growing pains.

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About the author

Myranda Siegert

Hey, I'm Myranda. I'm an absolute hopeless romantic. I've always loved writing about subjects that will hit close to home, and make people really think more deeply about themselves. I show myself through my writing, as well as my photography.

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