Here’s What the Women of POPSUGAR Would Tell Their Younger Selves

What’s one piece of advice you’d give your younger self, if you had the chance?

Today is International Day of the Girl, a day that empowers and amplifies the voices of young women around the world. This year, the theme is “Digital Generation. Our Generation.”, which got us thinking just how much has changed for women during the digital evolution so far.

Women’s voices are being celebrated more now, than ever before. With the power of social media; creating a platform of transparency and connection for us to speak our truths, we have access to the stories of women that we’d never heard before and it’s pretty amazing.

To celebrate the power of women, girls and the digital evolution, we asked the women of Val Morgan Digital what they’d tell their younger selves if they had the chance.

This is what they said:

Little Laura and her Mum (left), Laura now (right)

Laura, Culture Producer

“Listen to your instincts. Only you know what’s right for you. Whether it’s a job, a relationship or even an outfit, go with what feels right for you. There will always be people and things that tell you what you should be, how you should look and which direction you should follow, but trust me, you’ll be at your happiest and fullest self when you go with your gut.

I would tell my younger self to: go after your dreams of becoming a writer. Don’t stress about your body changing, you’ll learn to love all of it. Never stop dancing, it’s a part of who you are. Don’t be afraid to go against the grain, because it will all work out in the end. You will exceed your own expectations and achieve your absolute best when you’re doing what you love.”

Little Sangeeta (left), Sangeeta now (right).

Sangeeta, Lifestyle Editor

“The one thing I’d tell my younger self is to not care so much what other people think of you. It’s probably something I still tell myself now but I really wish I’d followed more of that advice back then.

Celebrate your uniqueness and stay on your own life path!”

Younger Ange (left), Ange now (right)

Ange, Commercial Shopping and Content Editor

“The advice I’d give my younger self is something I’ve only learned in the last couple of years: there can be power in quitting.

When I was younger, I thought quitting anything was wrong, so I stayed at the school with the bully, finished the degree that made me miserable, and put up with toxic jobs for years too long. Now, I’ve learned that staying in a situation that not only doesn’t help you, but harms you, is a terrible life plan.

I’d tell her to learn some self-preservation and quit more.”

Alyce, Agency Partnerships Manager

“Growing up, I was so worried I wouldn’t find my people, and I always felt a little lost in the world. My mother always told me that I’d find my best friends at work, and they’ll be people who inspire me to strive for more. She was so right. I’ve met the most amazing friends who have pushed me out of my comfort zone and it’s inspired me to be the best version of myself.

So I guess I’d tell my younger self that: life gets better as you get older. Always pushing yourself to do something that’s scary, usually gives the best growth. It’s okay to not know what you’re going to do with your life, I still don’t really know, but I wouldn’t change where I am today.”

Younger Tash (left), Tash now (right)

Tash, Lifestyle Producer

“In my younger more vulnerable days, I would listen to others to the point where I didn’t have my own goals or dreams. I wasn’t living the life I wanted to, and it took me a long time to stand up for the life I wanted. The life I have now.

So I would say: rebel against those who say you can’t, and prove to yourself that you can. You don’t need to justify your actions and decisions. Do what feels right for you, not what other’s want you to do or be.”

Little Lyndsey (left), Lyndsey on her 40th (right)

Lyndsey, Entertainment Editor

“Hi! I hope you’re having fun being a little weirdo and playing ‘international spies’ — which you think involves putting on a terrible Russian accent and smoking a fake cigarette.

“I just wanted to let you know that you are not going to be ready to do anything “normal” with your life until you’re almost 40 and that is more than okay (even though at times you will feel like it’s not).

“You will go through (many) phases where you just want to be free of commitment and don’t want to get married or have kids and that does not make you “dead inside” nor does it make you less worthy of having those things now that you actually have them (well, the kid part anyway). Everyone does things in their own time and it’s better to wait until you are 100% ready to do them rather than rush and regret it just to feel “normal” in society.

You are a total freak, girl. You are weird, eccentric as shit and nuttier than squirrel poo, but you are also strong as hell, incredibly brave and have the most glorious, unexpected, tumultuous, brilliant adventures ahead of you.

Never stop being a weirdo — it has gotten you to where you are today, which is happier than you’ve ever been and with a lifetime of experience to share with your own (surely equally weird) kid.

Also, invest early in crypto and please don’t go blonde in 2014. It really doesn’t suit you. Love, Big L-Rod x”

Mini Nicola (left), Grown-Up Nicola (far left in right photo)

Nicola, Strategy and Content Manager

“This is the advice I would give myself sitting here at 26: be confident in who you are and make decisions that prioritise relationships in your life, especially your female friendships; they will make life very fun.

My advice might change later down the track! But if I reflect on my 20’s so far one of the things that has really served me has been my strong female friendships and having a loyal group of women to navigate through this period of life with.

Whether it’s career decisions, family stuff or dating/boy dramas…my group of girlfriends are my go-to for giving me perspective and helping me feel confident in who I am and the decisions I am making. They’re also great company to share a bottle of bubbles with on any day of the week 😉”

Baby Amanda (left), Amanda now (right)

Amanda, Publisher

“Dear Mandy,

Stop worrying about things you can’t control, or worrying about things before they even happen. It’s a waste of your time and energy, and in the end, everything always works out the way it’s meant to. Instead, take more risks, and have more confidence in yourself. Don’t let the introvert in you dictate how you move through the world — you’ll miss out on opportunities and having your voice heard.”

Basmah, Entertainment Producer

“My advice to my younger self would be to not focus on the little things. The world is so vast, that at the end of the day, the problems you think are enormous, aren’t really that big at all.

I’m a chronic overthinker, and I have anxiety, so every time I go into a bit of a panic about something that I feel is huge but really isn’t, I always remind myself that the problem isn’t as bad as I’m making it out to be. I feel like if I knew that earlier in my life it would have saved me from a lot of stress.”

Mini Valentina (left), Valentina now (right)

Valentina, Managing Editor

“Hi Tin,

It’s time to use your voice and speak up for yourself, even when you really don’t want to. Stop hiding behind Mum and asking her to be your representative and when she says no, your sisters. As you get older, you’ll learn that what you have to say is of value and your opinion is just as valid and important as everyone else’s. So better to start now than later.

Stop worrying so much about what others think of you, and focus more on what makes you happy. And while you’re at it, stop over analysing everything and coming up with imaginary scenarios in your head. I know you love writing stories so put your imagination to better use and keep writing because believe it or not, that’s what you’ll be doing for work one day.”