Recently I just turned 20 and I can’t help but feel really fucking old. I am completely aware that some of you are sitting, staring at your computer/phone screen thinking “is she serious?”, but this is a real issue for me guys, i’m feeling it.

Nevertheless, I’m actually excited for my twenties; I can’t wait to see where I decide to leave my footprints. I’ve been thinking about my actual life a lot lately what with my sister graduating high-school, being two months away from jetting over to the other side of the world alone and turning twenty, and i’ve particularly been focusing on who I am. I may only be twenty, but you need to remember that i’ve basically had the mentality and behaviour of a twenty year old since I was 14.

I know that in the past five years i’ve done so much to ‘find myself’, and to be quite honest, I think that now- at the age of twenty- I have a pretty good grasp on who I am as my own person. So, I thought what better way to reflect on my life and celebrate turning twenty than to give some words of advice to a hypothetical younger Racquel. In case any of you were wondering, younger Racquel was a completely different person to the one she is today. Well, maybe not completely, but she was an introvert who tried SO HARD to be like the others around her; I kind of want to go back in time and slap her, but instead, I’ll just write a completely honest blog post with it all laid out on the table for the world to see. Here. We. Go.


You will never have that really cool 2012 emo-style hair cut that everyone else had

Stop trying, it will never happen. Your hair is currently natural, thick and pure, meaning it has that dorky, awkward waviness to it that will never sit right, you don’t own a straightener which evidently means you’ve already failed this hairstyle, you don’t have bleached hair and won’t be allowed to until you’re older and when you do decide to be full-rebel and bleach it blonde you will have so, so many regrets, and lastly, you don’t own hair extensions. But all of this is completely fine, by 2014 this hairstyle will be the last thing on anyone’s mind and you’ll look back when you’re twenty and realise how silly the whole phase actually was and how much more of a bigger bogan you would have looked like if you tried harder to accomplish the a-la-goth look.

Don’t overdose on the Twilight franchise


Twenty-year-old Racquel will give it to you, the Twilight Saga franchise was the shit back in the day, and to this present moment twenty year old Racquel still reads the books or watches the movies every now and then. This franchise taught you a great deal of valuable morals that you will cherish about yourself in the future; for example, twenty year old Racquel still sees the value in being with only one person for your whole life. But this series also hints that Bella is completely dependent on someone all the time, is very self-conscious and has no real talent or skills in anything; and you’ll realise when you’re twenty that you are not similar to her in this way.

Believe it or not, you will actually be a greatly independent person and you will learn to stand on your own two feet, you will challenge yourself on a daily basis to complete tasks without anyone’s help and you’ll be successful in most of these endeavours, you will hold a range of skills like confidence in public speaking and mentoring younger people throughout their career choices, and skills in graphic design, management practices and marketing functions- heck, you’ll even try to teach yourself French and won’t give up easily, and lastly, you will have confidence within yourself, it might not be completely successful yet when it comes to physical appearance (that will come in good time), but you will have so much confidence through your mentality and thought processes. You will speak out when you don’t agree with someone/something, you’ll have a stack of core values and principles that you will live by- and you know that these values and principles may not be common amongst most people your age but you will be completely accepting of this and disregard negative opinions towards it.

Concluding this point, you used to live and breath the Twilight franchise by reading the books around 15 times in the space of two months, you closed yourself off from your family and friends because you stayed in your room all day mesmerised by these books for some reason. Read them at least five times each max- because they are still pretty damn good and you’ll still be a massive fangirl at the age of twenty-, then set them aside for about a year, okay?

Don’t rush into career choices

When you left high-school you wanted to go to QUT and study a double degree in Interactive and Visual Design and Business with majors in advertising. You had your heart set on this since you taught yourself how to use Adobe Photoshop CS3 when you were 13 and you always wanted to go to university.

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You NEED to go to university younger Racquel, you have always loved education and your love for this will continue to grow and never fade. Although, I have a question for you. Why the business degree? Thinking back, you did the business degree because you were good at business in high-school, but did you really enjoy business as a subject? Yes, you did, but you didn’t LOVE it. Twenty year old Racquel reckons she made a huge mistake. She’s currently one semester away from completing her business degree in Marketing after quitting her degree in design and she’s regretting her choices. Business is something you like, and yes it will be of a huge advantage to you in the future, but you don’t love it.


Your heart is still in graphic design and you’ve found a new love for tourism. Don’t quit that design degree just yet. Take a step back and really think about your choices, don’t let pressure and stress con you into making rushed decisions, you have plenty of time.


Don’t EVER bleach your hair blonde

Yes it may look indie but honey… 1) you’re way too pale for bleach blonde hair, you will look very close to an actual real-life albino rabbit, 2) you aren’t as much of a girly-girl as you think you are and you’re a little lazy so you won’t feel like putting treatment, conditioner and toner through your hair every time you shower, 3) your scalp DOES NOT react well to bleach, it’s already dry enough let alone just about lighting it on fire with bleach, you’ll have horrible reactions and feel really shitty about yourself, and lastly, 4) there is a very real chance that you’ll end up with chemical burns, and because you’re way too nice you wont want to go and say anything to the apprentice hair-dresser who supposedly washed all the bleach out but obviously didn’t.


Don’t let people walk all over you

Twenty year old Racquel can remember the year four Racquel who used to sit by herself at lunch because she had no friends. This is quite sad, but you kind of bought it on yourself; you let a lot of people walk over you. If someone needs an answer for a question in class, don’t give it to them, just help them out, if someone makes fun of your awkward hair or acne-prone face, be the bigger person and ignore it. In high-school things got better, but you still didn’t really stand up for yourself until year 12. By the time graduation came around you were known as one of the ‘nicest girls in the school’, you always helped others out, you had started to grow into yourself, you were friends with almost every cliche there was, and you had genuinely grown so much from that year four girl who used to sit alone at lunch, but you still didn’t fully stand up for what you believed in. Now that you’re twenty, you have succeeded in this personal goal; you firmly stand up for everything you believe in and you don’t let other people’s opinions easily change your thoughts. Don’t let this process take eight years, take charge when your younger.

Take risks and try new things

I know you’re an introvert who likes to stay inside your comfort zone, but don’t be. You are not fully taking advantage of what life has to offer if you don’t take a step out of your comfort zone. Start small and work your way up. Twenty year old Racquel has adventured throughout New Zealand and will be flying out to London to tour England, Ireland, Scotland, Wales and Europe by herself in two months time. Choosing to fly to the other side of the world and live there for two months by herself on a budget is something that you will want to do, and you will be hesitant because of the money, and to be honest you will be fucking terrified to do it; but you need to do this, you need to be terrified and excited at the same time because that is the very definition of stepping outside your comfort zone and you’ll be so much more content with life if you do so.

I could name so many more lessons for younger Rac, but I think that covers the basics.

Images via Pinterest, fanpop.com

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Racquel Hardie
Racquel Hardie

A twenty-something Aussie woman passionate about travel and documenting everything.

Find me on: Web | Twitter

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