I turn 18. It’s hard to believe that I’ll be stepping out into the great big wide world. I have to learn all the responsibilities, such as a car note, credit, and college. That’s super intimidating, but it’s apart of growing up, and finding out who you are as a person. You set your path, you choose how you want to step into the real world. As I soon wait eagerly to turn the big one eight, I’ve had plenty of time to reflect on lessons I’ve learned before

1) Be Your Own Princess

By this, I mean be your own role model. Love yourself. Set goals, have aspirations! Be the best version of you every day. Don’t sit around and wish to be good as another person when you do just as good, or be even better.

2) Find A Passion

Find what you love to do, and embrace it! Try out new things until you find your niche. Whether it’s dance, photography, art, or music; there are many passions to choose from! Mine is writing, and sketching.

3) Be Kind To Everyone

I know this can be challenging, but be kind to everyone everyday. Always smile. Turn the other cheek to others who try to spite you, do not let it bring you down and do not stoop to their level.

4) Be Grateful

Never take anyone or anything in your life for granted. I lost a friend and it made me realize just incredibly how precious life is. Be thankful for your parents, remember to tell them you love them. Appreciate everyone in your life, and be grateful for everything you have.

5) Stay True To You

No matter what, don’t change yourself for anyone. Don’t change because someone doesn’t like you, and understand you’re your own person. Everyone is different, and you should be proud of who you are. Do not let anyone control you. Always be you.

6) Stand Up For Yourself

I struggled with this my whole life, and in result, people walked all over me. There were many disappointing friendships, and many heartbreaks that could have been prevented. There is a mature and respectful way to stand up for yourself, don’t let others use you. Learn to speak up. I know it can be scary but you will be saving yourself a lot of hurt

7) Think Before You Speak

Try your best to calm yourself before you say anything negative, you have no idea what the other person is going through. Words stick forever, remember that.

8) You Are Not Your Mistakes

Everyone makes mistakes, the important part is whether or not you learn from them. Your mistakes do not define you, mistakes do not define you as a person. You will continue to make mistakes the rest of your life, learn from them all.

9) Don’t Sweat The Small Stuff

Ask yourself, “will I be mad about this in 5 years?” and if not, then you shouldn’t spend 5 minutes worrying about it. Don’t let little things bother you!

10) Forgive and Forget

Holding grudges only hurts you. Learn how to forgive, and I promise you will find it much better that way. Teach yourself to forgive and forget.

11) It’s OKAY To Ask For Help

There’s no shame in asking for help, no matter what it is. Never be ashamed in asking for advice or guidance. It doesn’t make you weak.

12) People Will Change

I’ve learned the hard way that people will change. It’s normal for change though, and you’re always changing too.

13) Positivity Goes A Long Way

Always stay positive, spread as much to others as possible. There’s a lot of good in having a positive attitude. It not only makes you happy, but others around you as well. A positive influence can leave a positive impact.

14) Things Will Happen, Good or Bad

Remember that nothing is permanent, and that for better or for worse, nothing will last forever. We learn lessons every day of our life, and some aren’t just fair.

15) You’re In Charge Of Your Own Happiness

Leave negative thoughts, leave negative people. Only surround yourself with people who love and care about you, surround yourself with good people. People who will bring you up. Don’t let anything, or anyone affect your happiness.

16) Do Your Homework

Stay on top of your assignments, study, say no to that party this weekend because you have a big test that following Monday. Your education is so much more valuable, and will get you far in life. Stop procrastinating, and learn how to discipline yourself.

17) Time Management

Learn how to manage your time, and this fits in with anything in your life. It’s a part of growing into an adult. Try to be early to anything you’re going to, you don’t want to always to be the person to show up late.

18) Live Your Life

Make every day count. Live your life to the fullest. Take a bite of that food you’ve never tried, or ride that roller coaster you were always too scared to try. It’s better to live in the now, to have fun, and to just live. You only have one life, make the best of it.


-Rupi Kaur