I feel like these posts are very generic and overdone, and I’m definitely not the first person to give advice on life when I barely know what I’m doing myself. 18 is kind of a weird age, even though everyone says 17 is. 18 is like, you’re technically an adult but I’m still in high school so it doesn’t really feel like it. Yes, I can register to vote and buy lottery tickets, but there’s nothing too fantastic that comes with turning 18.
Over the years though, I think I’ve come to realize a couple, well more than a couple, things about life that I figured might be the littlest bit helpful, or at least tell you what not to do.
1. IT IS OKAY IF YOU DON’T KNOW WHAT YOU WANT TO DO !!!
⇒ I know counselors and teachers and college advisers will shove it down your throat the moment you enter high school to start thinking about what you want to do after, but it is o k a y if you don’t. You don’t want to rush the decision because you might regret it later on down the road.
2. Take more PICTURES
⇒ I can’t tell you how important this is!! We’re living in the generation of technology and it is so incredibly important to take as many pictures of your friends, food, yourself that you can. They’re memories that you may not be able to remember when you’re older and you’ll cherish them. (in the wise words of Muriel Knudson, one of my favorite photographers, TAKE MORE PICS OF YOUR FRIENDS)
3. Your emotions are valid
⇒ No matter if you cry during a sad part in a movie, or laugh at a cheesy joke, your emotions are so valid and you don’t need to fret if someone tries to make them feel like they aren’t.
4. If you’ve found your passion, RUN WITH IT
⇒ Finding a passion is such a precious thing and if it truly, honestly makes you happy, do it until you can’t anymore. (unless it’s harmful to others, then obviously don’t) Don’t burn yourself out on it, but never hesitate to do what makes you happy.
5. Stop comparing yourself to others
⇒ COMPARISON IS THE THIEF OF JOY !!! Comparison is such a dangerous thing and it’s so easy to get lost in a never ending cycle of comparing yourself to others. You don’t know how long it took that person to get where they are, so don’t feel bad if they’re on Chapter 37 and you’re on Chapter 4.
6. Comfort zones are bogus
⇒ Yes, I just used the word bogus but it’s true! I’m very much a person to stay on the safe side of things but recently, I’ve gotten out of my comfort zone a lot and it is sooooo worth it. Obviously, if it’s not in your best judgment, don’t do it but 9 times out of 10, you won’t regret it.
7. Learn to be okay with being alone
⇒ You need to be okay with yourself before even attempting anything else. I need to focus on this more but it’s so important to learn how to love yourself, when are raw and 100% yourself.
8. You attract what you put out
⇒ I want to educate myself more on the Law of Attraction but I truly believe that you attract whatever energy you put out. If you put out positive energy, you will receive positive energy back, and so on.
9. You don’t actually have to grow up
⇒ Obviously this doesn’t mean neglect responsibilities, but you’re never too old to watch that Disney movie, or go to the park. Cherish the childish moments while you have them.
10. Write. Read. Educate yourself.
⇒ There is so much to learn and it is so important to continue to expand your knowledge as you get older. You can never be too educated.
11. Relationships aren’t everything
⇒ This is basically just reiterating #7 but it is okay to not be in a relationship. Yes, they may be nice but it is so important to focus on yourself, rather than wrap yourself up about a pretty human.
12. Friendships aren’t forever
⇒ I’ve lost my fair share of friends, whether than growing apart or other circumstances, but it’s totally okay if you grow out of friendships. There is nothing wrong with growing as a person and sometimes, the people you want to grow with you, don’t.
13. Learn how to manage money
⇒ This one is so serious and adult-y, but extremely important. Learning how to manage your money properly at a young age will help you soooo much in the future. When you’re 30, you will thank yourself.
14. You’re still figuring yourself out, and that’s okay
⇒ You’re still figuring yourself out at 18 and you might still be figuring yourself at at 28 and THAT’S OKAY. You will forever learn new things about yourself and that’s so precious.
15. Stop apologizing for things that aren’t your fault
⇒You’re not in control of everything and that’s how it should be. it is not your fault if something goes wrong that wasn’t in your control. Don’t even apologize for being passionate about something or being sad or laughing as loud as possible at a joke, there’s nothing to apologize for when it comes to that.
16. Grades don’t define your intelligence
⇒ I wish someone told me this whenever i was younger and I want to make this into a separate post but grades don’t matter!! Don’t let them tank because of that but it is OKAY if you didn’t get an A or a B in that one class. Don’t ruin your mental health because of stupid letters.
17. Smile Often
⇒ This is also so cliche and cheesy but being happy (with yourself and other circumstances) are so important and you want to make sure you’re expressing that happiness.
18. BE UNAPOLOGETICALLY YOU
⇒ There is only one of you and that’s so amazing. Listen to music as loud as you want, wear whatever you want, be YOURSELF. Being confident and happy with your true self is the greatest thing you could ever do.
There are definitely some cheesy things on that list but I feel like at least one of them is a little bit helpful. I know an 18 year old can only give so much advice on life, since I’ve still only experienced so little compared to others.