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50 Things I’m Waiting to Tell My Younger Brother About Life. 

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Ashoka chapter.

15 is a daunting age. The urge to flee from tuition classes, the huge rage you have to keep contained within your tiny fists, falling in love for the first time until you realize there will be many more, permissions for weekend plans, and the terrifying truth, if there is even one, about growing up. 

I’m not preaching. I would be a fool too. There is so much I don’t have figured out. I want to bang my head against many walls. But there are experiences I have come to know more intimately now, just by the virtue of being six years older than my younger brother. 

These experiences and their narcissistic need to feel all-consuming. Such lies. 

At the end of the day, you breathe. 

You realize you are still alive. 

Your heart is beating – even if it feels like it’s running a marathon. But it’s still beating. 

You’re still here. And you’re okay. 

It’s okay. 

  1. You can do whatever you want to. There is nobody to stop you from the decisions you make – whether good or bad. Pour yourself a glass of wine at 3pm on a Wednesday, that should be okay. Go to sleep at 4am, or 9pm. Nobody has the right to question you about either. 
  2. You will get lonely. Inevitably. You will at some point get so focused on trying to figure out what you want to do and who you want to be, that when you pause, you will realize you have traveled, and will be traveling this entire road alone. On some days that thought will leave you with a formative thrill of autonomy over your own life, and on some days it will leave you suffocated. Both are okay. 
  3. You will change. Like wind and seasons and dadi’s tv channels. There will be no escaping it. You will be scared when you do because it will happen without your volition, but GOD, will it be freeing to be able to meet so many new, evolved versions of yourself. 
  4. You will fall in love. With girls, or boys – or both, with shows and movies, music, a very specific kind of coffee sold at a very specific cafe, pretty skies and taking their pictures, with friends who teach you the values of life, with your freedom of choice and the rest of the days ahead of you that are waiting to be lived. You will fall in love, and it will hurt, and it will make you feel things you have never felt before, and that will be okay because you will have lived. 
  5. You might find yourself in phases of self-blaming, or self-hatred. You might feel that the world is coming crashing down on you and everyone you care about and that it is happening because of you. It is not. I know it might feel otherwise, but trust me, it is never because of you. 
  6. You will learn to live with yourself. Your flaws, your strengths, your dreams and your demons. You will be at peace with them all, eventually, and you will cherish each one of them because they are yours, and yours alone. 
  7. You will make mistakes. Some reversible, some irreversible. You will be allowed to make them. You literally cannot escape them, because perfection is so inauthentic and so very boring. Some of them will feel like the world is ending and it might even, as you know it, for a few days. But then it will rise back up in ways you didn’t know possible, and it will be fascinating. 
  8. Nobody has it all figured out. Everyone is good at pretending, and it takes time to make good actors. 
  9. You will start liking healthy food that you hated earlier! It is such a liberating feeling to have your tastes mature. 
  10. Be sensitive. Cry. Express your innerness through art and eyes and words and actions. It is not cliched. It is not lame. 
  11. Leaving home is hard, even if you’re doing it for the sixth or seventh time. There is no mastering this.
  12. You can start all over again if you wake up one fine day and that is what your gut tells you to do. I will stick by you, as will many others. 
  13. Rest is good. Please take breaks, please go on vacations that recharge you and make you happy. Go alone, go with friends, go with us. Just go. Please. 
  14. Purpose is important when you decide what you want to do with your life. Money is not enough. You should find value in the time you invest. It should feel worth it to you.
  15. It’s so much fun to eat meals alone on days it gets too overwhelming. Take those 30 minutes to reflect on your day – pivot if needed. You don’t always need people around you.
  16. Nobody will love you like your family does. No one.
  17. It might be difficult in the start, but you will learn to be okay with rejection. And that’s when you’ll know you have grown up. 
  18. Okay, growing up is not a categorical process. It is continuous. You will never feel grown up enough, no one does. But that doesn’t mean you’re not making progress. 
  19. Read as much as you can. 
  20. Latch onto hobbies that make you happy. Selfishly find ways to make time for them, no matter how silly. And know that it’s okay if you grow out of them. You will find new ones. 
  21. Farewells are not so terrible. They are heavy, but they’re cleansing. They always make space for newer and better things, places and people into your life. Isn’t that fun?
  22. No matter how much they say, taking the difficult route is not always the best option. Sometimes it’s okay to be easy on yourself. Who cares?
  23. Meals by Mumma really fix most things. 
  24. People can suck out your energy and leave you feeling drained. Choose wisely. 
  25. Always have a plushie next to you when you go to sleep. Gravitate towards comfort.
  26. You will encounter heartbreak even outside romantic relationships. It is a scary feeling. But you will recover from it each time. And each time will teach you something new about yourself. 
  27. You can want different things from other people in your life and around you. That’s all right. 
  28. Hard conversations save so much overthinking. Just have them. Nothing terrible will happen. 
  29. Eat all 3 meals even when you’re forced by Mumma. 
  30. Your body is your best advisor. Listen to it, take care of it. It will show. 
  31. It’s okay to believe different things than mom and dad do. Times change. You don’t have to feel guilty. 
  32. Laughing helps. Even in very serious situations. Laughing always helps. 
  33. Your definition of home will change. It will blur. You will realise there is more than one meaning to home – you will meet new homes in people, spaces, ideas and cities. This is especially scary and isolating, but you will always find your way back to Mumbai. 
  34. A good sleep schedule will solve 99% of your life problems. 
  35. Kindness is rare. Practice it as much as you can. 
  36. Hold onto formative, beautiful, silly, warm memories. They will get you through days when it gets hard to breathe. 
  37. It’s okay to hug yourself when there’s no one around to help. It feels empowering. 
  38. You are always, at any given point of time, doing enough. I know we have big shoes to fill, but they are all different sizes. Find yours. You are doing enough. You are enough. You don’t need to be like me. You don’t need to be like anyone. 
  39. It’s okay to ask really dumb, stupid, basic questions. Nobody cares. There will always be someone eager to answer. You’re so cool for asking.
  40. Condition your hair. 
  41. You are never too old to try new things. 
  42. Build your life around the feeling of fulfilment and love, no matter where it stems from. 
  43. Your gut is always right. Always. 
  44. Traveling solo at airports will feel like the most control you will ever have over your life.
  45. Therapy is helpful. You don’t need to be sick to deserve this space. Start it if and when you have the time and resources. 
  46. You will hurt. You will heal. 
  47. No matter how much of a rock bottom you think you have hit, I promise you will be okay each time. 
  48. Don’t wait for special occasions. You’re alive. That’s a special occasion. Use that perfume on a random Tuesday morning. 
  49. Calling back home regularly will make your day better, no matter how busy or tired or drained you are feeling. 
  50. All your feelings are valid. There is no “should” or “shouldn’t”. Whatever you feel is very real, and the more you feel, the more emotionally rich you are. Embrace all the lows and highs. It’s a beautiful experience.
Stuti Sharma

Ashoka '24

Stuti is a third year Psychology major and Creative Writing minor at Ashoka University. She loves writing and can be found impulse-buying jhumkas, unnecessary outfits and fridge magnets, and consuming the most absurd media ever. She is the token mom of the group surrounded by walking reminders of how short she is. She already loves you.