At the age of 18, I am somewhere in the midpoint of life. I have just become an adult, but I still have so much more time left to learn about how this whole life experience is supposed to go. While there are many years ahead of me, I often find myself thinking about lessons I have learned so far, especially with my transition from a high school teenager to a college student.
I look back on my life and recognize mistakes I have made, but also recognize the great decisions I have made. My successes, my failures, my struggles, and my strengths that have affected me so far are important to recognize in becoming an "adult" (which is still weird for me to consider myself). Here are lessons that I wish I had known earlier in life, or that I have always held with me.
1. Always have a water bottle in your car.
2. Carry an extra lighter (even if you don't smoke).
3. Get something new where you go to eat often, not just your usual.
4. Make a budget for yourself.
5. But don't forget to give yourself some play money and always round up on how much things cost, so you have money left over.
6. If you're texting someone, but nervous to send it, just click the send button. You typed that out for a reason.
7. Stay out late, but wake up early. You'll be glad you had all of your day to use.
8. If something makes you laugh until your sides hurt, write it down in your notes, you'll want to remember it later.
9. When you're talking to someone and you suddenly think of something to say, put up a finger and wait for them to finish talking. It'll help you remember what you wanted to say but won't interrupt them.
10. Go to plenty of concerts, especially outdoor ones. Get drunk with your friends, but not sloppy drunk. Just drunk enough to scream your favorite songs and dance without feeling embarrassed.
11. Have some snacks in your bag, or in your car. You'll be thankful when you forgot to have breakfast and need the extra sugar to get you through your day.
12. Always keep a change of clothes in your car, including a pair of shoes. You never know when you may need them.
13. Keep at least $20 cash on you at all times. Gas is usually cheaper when you pay with cash and not everywhere you go will split the check.
14. It's okay to be sad, but try not to forget about what makes you happy.
15. Coupons are always fantastic. Never feel embarrassed for using them.
16. If you think something is cute, wear it. Don't worry about what everyone else thinks. You'll look great, I promise.
17. Sex stores are fun, especially if you just need a good laugh.
18. Plan out your days off with your friends, that way you aren't stuck around asking the "I don't know, what do you wanna do?" question.
19. Don't forget to remind your friends how much they mean to you.
20. If someone gives you a compliment, smile and say thank you. They wouldn't say it if they didn't mean it, and even if they did, they still took the time out of their day to tell you.
21. Drink plenty of water. Not only does it keep you hydrated, but it clears your skin.
22. I know you might want to be tan, but is it really worth being burnt and exposing yourself to all that possible skin cancer? No. Use at least SPF 15. It's not that hard and you'll still be tan. So stop putting your life in possible long-term danger.
23. You're allowed to be happy. Don't ever let anyone tell you otherwise.
24. Aim to be better, not bitter.
25. Some days are better than others, and that's okay.
26. You can never over-pack. Pack what you want, you'll be glad you have options to choose from.
27. Take those extra hours at work, it'll be worth it when you see your paycheck.
28. Clean your room and make your bed. It'll look so much nicer and you'll feel ready to take on your day.
29. If you have to, make the first move. It's scary, but someone has to do it. Don't wait until they do and then regret that you didn't do it sooner.
30. Take plenty of pictures. Take pictures of the sunset, your food, your friends, your dog, selfies. Everything. That way, later when you scroll through your camera roll, you'll remember everything about that day, good and bad.
Last but not least, staying hopeful for the future is so important. In hard times, think about how far you have come. I like to think about how many amazing things have happened within the past year, and how I would have never seen them coming when I was younger. There is always something wonderful coming to you, and I think every once in a while, we need a reminder of this.