There are a lot of things I have learned while being 18. Everyone who is 18 years old, starts becoming adults, makes choices for their own well being, and grows up. You don't realize how much you learn until you look back on the year you had and all of the obstacles that you had to face. Here is the 18 things I have learned while being 18 & I hope these help anyone out there who are about to be 18 years old.
1. LISTEN TO YOUR GUT FEELING
This is probably the number 1 thing that I have learned throughout my year of being 18. Don't do things because you "think" they are what you want, do things because you "know" it is what you want. By listening to your gut in the beginning solves a whole lot of problems than when you do not listen to it right from the start. You will have a lot of gut feelings throughout the year so make sure you listen and follow through with them.
2. DO NOT TRY TO PLEASE PEOPLE
If you are not happy with a certain situation, get out of it before it is too late. If you are scared of what others might think...who cares? You can not always try pleasing people because in the end, you will be the one that ends up getting hurt. Do things for yourself and no one else. If your "friends" do not understand that, then they were not friends in the beginning.
3. ALWAYS HAVE A SMILE ON YOUR FACE
I know this won't happen all the time, but remember that there are much worse things that can happen in your life so try not to be sad forever. I felt sadness all throughout being 18 and I regret it. Make sure to always have a smile on your face because it not only brightens your day, but everyone else's day around you. Stop and think to yourself "I am okay."
4. LIFE CHANGES
You, your friends, and everyone around you changes. You may start to feel lonely because the friends you once had, go their separate ways & it is not like how it was before. Part of you wants life to change, but the other part misses all the friends, memories, and the life you had before everyone and everything drifted away. Just remember that this is not permanent, and you will find new friends throughout this stage of life. You need to always have hope & know that things will work out eventually.
5. BREAKING OUT OF YOUR COMFORT ZONE
Do multiple things throughout this year that may terrify you. Try new and exciting experiences that will make you break away from your comfort zone just a little. I broke away from the chain a little bit this year and honestly I feel great. You never know unless you try, so TRY!
6. SCHOOL IS IMPORTANT
This is the time where you start college and everything seems like fun & games, until reality hits. College will slap you right in the face and sometimes you don't even know it. Make sure you ALWAYS have time for school & school work because it is extremely important. It is nice to go out and have some fun, but you also have to remember that school is your life for the next 9 months. WORK HARD & SUCCEED
7. COMMUNICATION IS ESSENTIAL
Since you are essentially an adult now, you have to do a bunch of communicating with people surrounding you. There is no more mom or dad telling you what to say or acting how you should act. It is your turn to make the shots and tell everyone how you feel. Communicating with others was a big fear of mine because I was always scared of what they were going to say. I learned on my own that I have to do things for myself now; I am my own person. Talk to people if you have issues with them, concerns, need advice, etc.
8. IT IS OKAY TO CHANGE YOUR MIND
I've changed my mind about a lot of things this past year and it's completely fine. Everything turned out to be okay in the end. I realized I did not want to go away to school anymore & so I made the decision to leave after I finished my year there and moved back home. At one point, I thought it was the greatest thing ever, but once you grow up and realize what you want, I knew I did not want that anymore. You are always going to change your mind whether it be with friends, schools, or big life changes. Everyone has the power to change their minds so what's the big deal? Change your mind like crazy!!!
9. MAKING NEW FRIENDS IS FUN
I loved meeting and making new friends throughout the year! It makes me so happy to have new people in my life that I can call friends & seeing fresh new faces.
10. WHO & WHAT IS IMPORTANT
This kind of coincides whar others previously states but you finally realize what is important to you in your life and who in your life is worth keeping. Like I said, we all go through changes but I think the most changes occur when you start becoming an adult. Focus on what & who really matters in your life. (There is nooooo room for the bullshit..)
11. STOP APOLOGIZING
I have and still do always apologize for the stupidest things & stuff I do not even need to say sorry for. I always worry what others think of me and I think that is why I am always saying sorry for the stupid little quirky things I do! If you have to always apologize for being you, than they are not worth your time. Never be afraid to show who you really are to others!
12. FOCUS ON THE LITTLE THINGS IN LIFE
Do not focus on the difficult things that do not matter, instead focus on the little moments in life that are important. If you are sitting by the fire watching the perfect sunset; that's a little moment. Always have fun throughout life and focus on what really matters to you. You will feel a lot happier & I can tell you that I am a lot happier :)
13. STAND UP FOR YOURSELF
I still have to work on this, but I have learned to stick up for myself when something is going wrong. Do not be afraid to tell someone how you feel & if they are giving you a hard time.. DO NOT be afraid to stand up or what you believe in.
14. IT IS OKAY IF YOU DO NOT KNOW WHAT YOU WANT IN LIFE
We are all at that stage where we do not know what we want to do in our lives in the future. All we know is that we want a family and dogs. Everyone tells you that you should figure out what you want to do before college and I would like to call that a lie. I have been in college for a year now and I am probably going to change my major maybe three more times until I know exactly what I want to do. It is okay to be confused and it is okay to not know what the next step is. Take your time, let life happen, and it will all work out for you in the end.
15. FAMILY IS EVERYTHING
I have always been a family girl, but this past year I have really appreciated my family a lot more. They are your everything and they will be there for you throughout all of your hardships. You know you can always count on them for anything & everything you need. Please do not take your family for granted because one day you might regret it.
16. FIND SOMEONE WHO LOVES YOU FOR YOU
Find someone in your life who makes you feel special & extremely important. Please do not settle for anything less than that because you will not be happy with yourself or the relationship you are in. I have found someone who makes me super happy & I am so lucky to have that person in my life.
17. DO NOT REGRET ANYTHING
There are things I have regretted not doing in my life & this past year I have not regretted a single thing that I did. You have to be happy with your life so do what makes you happy.
18. YOU ARE STILL LEARNING
Even though being 18 has taught me a lot of things about life, you are still learning more & will continue to learn more things forever. As we go through this next year, new advice will be heard, new adventures will be explored, new friends to be made, and new learning experiences we will encounter.
Here's to being 18 and to the rest of our lives....GOOD LUCK