As I approach 19 years of being alive, almost two decades (what the heck?), I have learned a few things from my first year of being an adult, other than being able to buy cigarettes and lottery tickets. Some of these things were positive, others negative, but all of them have one thing in common, they have shaped me to be the person I call myself today.
1. Putting yourself first is not a bad thing.Giphy
I wish I had known before I turned 18 that sometimes putting myself first is what is vital to my mental health. This does not mean being selfish 24/7, but sometimes we all need to say no to someone for the sake of ourselves.
2. Falling down the stairs will not matter a year from now.Giphy
I wish I had known before I turned 18 that busting my ass on the stairs in school would be something everyone forgot about the next day.
3. Making yourself laugh is vital.Giphy
If no one else is laughing at your joke, laugh at your own. You are probably more funny than you think.
4. Say yes to new adventures.Giphy
5. Don't settle for him.Giphy
There is a whole life ahead of you to fall in love with your soulmate, don't think your flaky high school lover will automatically be your husband after college.
6. Your parents are just as confused as you are.Giphy
Before I was 18, I often wondered why my parents restricted me from some of the things I wanted to do, or didn't understand what I did when I did it. They are just as confused as you are, and they are slowly learning how to parent as you are learning how to grow as a young adult.
7. You'll miss your high school friends, a lot.Giphy
To all my high school besties, you made me the person I am today. Thank you.
8. College is hard, grab a helmet.Giphy
College is a new challenge to take on, not only academically, but also socially and emotionally. Be prepared for new changes happening around you every day, ready to tackle them head-on.
9. It's okay to miss aspects of high school.Giphy
Visiting your old teachers everyday might be a stretch, but it's okay to send a thank you email to your favorites that changed you for the better.
10. If you feel uncomfortable, leave.Giphy
Do not feel like you need to stay in a situation because its what everyone else is doing. If something doesn't feel right or it doesn't feel like you, leave.
11. Listen more, speak less.Giphy
Trust me on this one.
12. Always make time for family.Giphy
You won't know how hard it is until you don't have them.
13. Ask for help.Giphy
Help is not something you should be afraid to ask for. We all need it sometimes.
14. Grades do not define you.Giphy
My senior year English teacher told us this at the beginning of the year, and I thought it was absolute bullshit. Eight months later, graduating amongst everyone else in my class, straight A students and straight D's, we were all here, throwing our caps in the air, together, as ourselves, not our grades.
15. Be honest.Giphy
You will thank honesty in the end.
16. As long as you put in your best effort, you did well.Giphy
Do not let a mark you get determine how well you did. If you put in as much as you could, you did well. Be proud of yourself.
17. Do the hard things first.Giphy
Get all the hard things out of the way before it piles up.
18. Count your blessings.Giphy
When you move away to college, you will have a huge amount of new positive experiences, but you also lose some of your favorite things about home. So gorge on your favorite homemade ice cream, go cliff jumping with your high school besties, and take everything one step at a time.
So, all in all, I've learned many valuable lessons in my 18 years of living. Some of them I had to learn the hard way, but I wouldn't change a single thing about the way my life is going, plus how I learned these lessons.