This is something that I've been putting off writing for a while, because do you know what? Being 18 is going to be hard. It's going to be one of the hardest years you've ever faced. It's a big year of change and a big year of everything getting a little too much, and you're going to struggle to handle it. So looking back on this time is tough, but I'm here to tackle it and guide you through.
You get to start uni this year, and without a doubt, it's what you need. The months leading up to it for you are filled with trauma, filled with tears and self harm and arguments. But whilst I remember those, some of my most important memories of that time are how excited you were whenever you got an amazon package with one of the books for your first year in.
The first day of uni is terrifying, but oh so exciting. It's your very first night in a room that's yours and yours alone, and you hadn't realised how strange that would be. You've got the cheapest room on campus, but it's finally yours. This is a blessing and a curse. It's time to say goodbye to a toxic environment, but hello to alone time, which isn't entirely what you need. Everyone's right when they say that everyone is scared on their first day in halls: no one knows anyone and even being shy isn't going to keep you from making friends.
University is fun, but it's hard. Alcohol is something you're going to learn to love, but it's also something you're using as a bit of a crutch to help get rid of how you're feeling. It's okay though, this passes too.
I said before that this is a year of change; it's also a year of exploration. You try masses of new things. You didn't know how to fend for yourself (and you'll still be trying to work out how to keep on top of cleaning five years later), but things will come in time.
Your mental health puts you absolutely through the works this year, but it's the worst you'll go through (or have so far). It costs you friends and experiences and grades that you *might* just had managed if you didn't go down that dark tunnel, but it's okay. You pull through, and you have people there to take care of you when it's needed.
It's an intense year, and it's scary, but whilst five years on you'll remember that you were struggling, you'll mostly remember all those fun nights out with friends, or the first date you and your boyfriend went on, or that seminar where you first thought 'holy fuck, THIS is why I'm doing this course'. There is light in the darkness of this year, and it'll shine forth.