As I approach 19 years old, I realize being 18 has been an eye opening experince for me. Turning 18, society makes you feel like you should have your entire life together. Truly, that isn't the case.
There are a lot of new things that come into your mind when you turn 18; you get excited because you're now fully considered an "adult". You can legally move out, you're going into college, you can start getting more advanced jobs, and more. It's like you expect so much from yourself now when in reality it isn't much different as before.
Like any age, as I approach a new one, I want to reflect on everything I have learned being 18.
1. I come first
I have learned to put my own needs first in any situation. I have learned to be selfish, but in the best way possible.
2. Being an adult is a big responsibility
Being an adult consists of paying bills, planning how you're going to pay for college, and various other responsibilities. It's not easy. As society likes to define 18 year olds as an adult, in reality most 18 year olds are still under super vision of their parents. Therefore, you may not fully experince all of the responsibilities it takes to be an adult just yet.
3. People come and go
People will come and go and that's okay. Through this, you will find the people who are meant to be by your side.
4. Nothing in life will ever be "handed to you"
You have to work for what you want in order to be happy, and get where you want to be. Depending on others in anyway will only disappoint you. You know what you want, so work for it.
5. Money doesn't buy happiness and it never will
Materialistic things may feel great in the moment, but they are a sense of temporary happiness. Those new Ugg boots won't fulfill your happiness. I learned this the hard way, more than once in my life.
6. It's OK to ask for help
It's okay not to be okay. The people around you are more then willing to help you.
7. Your mental health is just as important as your physical health
I can't stress this enough. Your mental health should be treated as urgently as your physical needs. Your mind needs to be healthy in order to fulfill your happiness.
8. Your grades do not define you
As much as college is important, your mental health is more important. It is good to learn your limits when it comes to studying and stressing over school. If you're struggling with a class, be proactive when it comes to your mental health. One bad grade won't define your future.
9. Appreciate the people around you, no matter what
Letting your loved ones around you know how much they mean to you will significantly strengthen your relationships, and its important to show appreciation for those who do so much for you.
10. Make your dreams come true and don't let anything stop you
I know life can throw curveballs. I have definitely experienced a lot of them while being 18. Having goals will help you be successful and creating the life you want to live.
11. You're the only one who can decide your future
There may be people trying to sway you away from your goals, although you have to do what you want because it's only you in the end. You need to do what you want, what you love, what you're passionate about.
12. Don't let your past define your future
Dwelling on things that have happened in the past will only hurt you even more. You cannot let what happened in the past define your future: this is your actions, the people around you actions. Its not healthy to hold someone's past or your own against you, or them. It will get you nowhere.
13. I am much stronger then I think
This year, I have found my true strength. I am strong, and I can get through anything. All of the curveballs you get through only make you stronger.
14. Loving yourself is the root of all happiness
When you're content with yourself, everything seems to come easier. Your confidence increases and knowing yourself more will only lead you to your right path.
15. I have learned to enjoy being alone
This one was the hardest lesson for me to realize. Being content with loneliness is important, it shows you don't need people to depend on your happiness. It's good to spend time alone.
16. My existence matters on this earth
In times when depression hits hardest, this is the thing I struggled with the most. Reminding myself I am important, I matter, and I have so much to offer to this world. This feeling is truly liberating and life-changing.
17. Trusting people is OK
I've always had trust issues my entire life, and I have definitely struggled with creating meaningful relationships because of it. Although, I am currently learning to trust those around me to strengthen relationships in my life.
18. Last but not least, turning 18 isn't that cool
In the media, turning 18 seems like the best thing in the world. You finally have this new profound independence when in reality, you aren't ready for all that yet. Everyone grows into themselves at different times, and me personally approaching 19 years old, I can honestly say I'm still growing and becoming who I'm truly meant to be.
Cheers to 19.