I recently just turned 18 and it was kind of a big deal for me, as it is for most people. It is the age where you're finally acknowledged as an adult and allowed to do more of what you want. Now that I've reached this age I feel like there are some things that I wished I knew before I turned 18. So, here are 18 things I wished I knew before I turned 18.
1. You will make it this far.
If you have suffered from any kind of mental illness or just general anxiety about life, or even a midlife crisis in your teens, becoming an adult may seem like a far-fetched idea. When I was 15, I really didn't think that i would manage to make it to 18. Now that I know that I did, I feel like if I was able to go back in time and tell 15 year old me that I would make it, it would change a lot about the way I looked at life.
2. Peer pressure is sometimes real, but always stupid.
3. You're going to miss family time.
18 is usually the age that you either move out or go to college, so you probably won't see your family as much as you do now. Family time may seem boring now, but you really will miss it when you don't have that option all the time.
4. Quality over quantity.
This can apply to pretty much everything in life, but I feel like it is imperative to your outlook on friends at a young age. Don't feel like you need to have a large group of friends in high school just because that's what other people have. Having a few close friends that you will actually keep in contact with after high school is way better than having a bunch of friends now and then never hear from them again.
5. Read everything you can.
News flash: reading is not lame and can actually shape the way you view the world and people around you. As you grow up, please read everything you can get your hands on, and soak up as much as you can.
6. Shut up and listen.
When you're young, you think you know everything, but you definitely don't. Sometimes it is best to be quiet and listen to what other people around you have to say. This includes people that have opposite opinions from you.
7. Pick your battles.
If you argue with everyone that says something you do not like, you will spend your whole life arguing. It is important to pick your battles. You will learn that there are some people around you that like to argue for argument's sake and there are some that have made up their mind and will not change it.
8. Being an adult is expensive.
When you're young and live at home, most of your bills tend to be paid for, but when you move out, you realize that being an adult is very expensive. Get a job in high school and save your money. Don't blow it on things that are trendy just because they're trendy.
9. Learn to cook.
Like I said, being an adult is expensive and 18 is usually the year you move out, so it's a good idea to learn how to cook for yourself. It's okay if you're not a full-blown chef, but it is good to know how to make some basic, cheap dishes to keep you alive.
10. Learn to be by yourself.
It's important to know how to be by yourself whether it's in your room or out in public. Take some time to be by yourself. Go shopping, or o the bookstore, or even for a little drive by yourself and enjoy your own company.
11. Learn to manage your money.
It is important to know how to manage your own money. This means making (and sticking to) a budget, how to do your taxes, and how to manage your credit.
12. Learn to say no.
The older you get, the more responsibilities you get, so it is important that you learn how to say no. Learn how to prioritize and learn how to say no (respectfully).
13. Have at least one business professional outfit in your closet.
Between job and college interviews, as well as any presentations, meeting, or clubs that you may join in college, it is really important to have at least one simple business professional outfit in your closet.
14. Learn how to handle a household.
This means learn how to change your sheets, do the dishes, do the laundry, mop, sweep, and pretty much anything else you may have to do if and when you live alone.
15. The perfect body is your body.
I know this sounds really corny, but most people spend their entire adolescence benign told that their body isn't "the right body." Well, that's a lie. You have a body and it's perfect. End of story.
16. Traveling is important.
If you haven't done any traveling yet, I really recommend it. I know money can be a problem, but even traveling to a town near you that you haven't been to yet is good. Traveling will open you up to new people and new ideas.
17. Say thank you.
This may sound trivial, but saying thank you is very important in life and will get you very far. It is also nice to be nice to people.
18. You still have time.
If you're anything like me, you probably feel really old right now, but don't worry, you are still young and you still have a lot of time to do whatever it is that you want to do.
I hope that this list helps anyone out there. Also, I assume most people who are reading this are going to turn 18 soon, so I just want to wish you a happy birthday!