When I was a teenager, I was so anxious to turn 18 years old. It felt like forever for anyone to take me seriously. But in the blink of an eye you finally turn 18 and you feel like you are finally in control of your own life. Taking responsibility for yourself and what you do with your life. Some of the decisions when you make when you’re 18 are sometimes good and sometimes they’re not so good.
Wouldn’t you like to know what you wish you would have learned when you turned 18?
1. Friendship is about quality, not quantity
Of course, when you are young you want to explore the world and meet some pretty rad new people. Most times, you will place yourself in situations (and even places!) where you get to meet all sorts of interesting people. That is pretty damn great, as long as you do not find yourself falling for the cliche illusion that amazing friends is so much more worthwhile than a couple of real friends (or fake friends, for that matter).
Only your true friends will be running by your side if you need them. Hell, they will stop whatever they are doing and help you if you are in an upsetting mental breakdown in the middle of the night. No matter what happens, your best friends will be on your side 100 percent and will give you the strength that you need in times of sudden despair. Sure, everyone else that you meet might be nice acquaintances – hell, they might be nice people to hang around with from time to time. However, they might not be the people that you can rely on 24/7. Now, if you are able to distinguish between real friends and fake friends, you will definitely end up going on a very smooth sailing path later in life.
2. Don’t worry so much
Can I just let you in on a little secret? Worrying is such a big waste of time. Being troubled over something gives you unnecessary headaches about things that you really will not care about in a couple of years. Plus, there are much more important things that you should place your concerns on: your grades, your future, your mental and physical health, the economy, global warming. The list is endless.
When I was growing up, I have always worried about pleasing others. However, I have realized that there is another thing that I should place my focus on: pleasing myself.
So, what do you do if something is troubling you? Get up and do something about it. Just worrying about it alone never really solves anything. Push yourself to solve the problem on your own, not to ignore the problem and sweep it under the rug. If anything, the advice that I would personally give my 18-year-old self about worrying is this: Take it one day at a time. Do your best and everything will be just fine.
3. Live within your means/avoid getting into debt
Here is one thing: spending money that you do not have is not a great idea. If anything, just do it the old-fashioned way. If you really want something that your eyes can not get off the model mannequin at the store or off of the computer screen, save it until you can afford it. If you cannot afford it, just do not buy it. This simple yet very easy-to-follow rule can help you stay out of a lot of trouble.
Buying things on credit is the definition is the definition of “not cool”. Instead, you end up paying interest on top of the price. Let me repeat it now: You pay more than everybody else.
Drowning yourself into debt can easily turn into a real nightmare. One day you will realize what you have done. First, that your paycheck is now largely spent on paying back the debt. Secondly, now that you could have bought some pretty expensive things from the increased interest that you have paid all over the years.
4. Don’t marry too early
According to the National Center for Health, if you get married at a younger age – the higher that the divorce rates will be. As a consequence, the highest rate of divorce occurs for couples who marry under age 20; even though the divorce rate decreases for couples 20-24 years old and is even less likely for couples 25 and older. So, if you are young and want to avoid making a stupid mistake, then wait for marriage until you’re really sure – see how the relationship develops over the years.
5. Take responsibility for your mistakes
It is said that most people will blame anyone else but themselves for the events in their life. Of course, that;s the easy route to take – you’ll always find someone to blame. Where does that lead? Victimhood: you become a victim as opposed to taking action. Stop doing that – grow up and take some responsibility.
Yes, mistakes happen so that we can learn from them. If the “blame game” is played, you will learn nothing. The same mistakes will begin to repeat itself. That is, until you find out why these things keep on happening to you.
6. Learn to appreciate the little things
When you’re young, you want to take over the world. We dream big and have huge plans for the future. However, not all wishes come true (even though we wish that Tinker Bell or The Fairy Godmother would grant our wishes!). Here’s an equation that’s pretty easy to solve: Too high expectations = pretty big disappointments.
Sometimes we do not realize what we take for granted. Try to appreciate what you already have. If you are not happy about what you got, then nothing is going to change that.
7. You only live once, so what?
Have you ever heard of the phrase “YOLO”? Even though it serves as a great excuse for making crazy decisions, that type of attitude will lead you nowhere in life. Acting like a moron is never a good idea, you will end up looking like an idiot. Nobody wants that.
However, I never said that there was anything wrong with living your life to the fullest. Just make sure you do it responsibly and safely.
8. Cherish your family
Have you heard of the song “We Are Family” by Sister Sledge?
Duh! Family comes first, need I say more? Never put down the people who supported you from the beginning and will continue to do so. Spend some quality time with them and enjoy their presence.
9. Know what you want (10 Things Every College Girl Wish They Knew When They Turned 18 #9)
This isn’t always easy to do. If you have a goal, vision, or a dream, you focus will be a lot sharper. Not only does it prioritize what you want to do the most, but it will also increase your willingness to make sacrifices.
If you are clueless as to what you want, start looking now!
10. You always reap what you sow
Karma is ugly. As a young person, you did not really care what you did as long as you had a good time doing it. Now that we are older, our actions take on a whole new meaning. Whatever comes around goes back around, so do not do anything stupid.
You have two choices: one, learn it the hard way. Or two, try and be a good person.
As we grow up, we are constantly learning and teaching ourselves new things. But it doesn’t stop when you turn 18. What are some things you wished you learned when you turned 18? What are some things that you hope to learn? Comment some words of wisdom down below!
Feature Image Source: https://thoughtcatalog.com/leslie-cole/2014/04/50-things-every-college-senior-wishes-they-knew-freshman-year/
Nicole Gibson is a junior at Quinnipiac University in Hamden, Connecticut, where she is pursuing a bachelor of arts in journalism and theatre studies.