I know what you’re thinking. 16 years old. An adult. How wise you are at 16. At 16 you’re thinking the world is so big and full of opportunities. It’s exciting and Scary. Now, 20 years later, there are so many things I know now that I wish I knew then. But I’m going to look back and remember what I needed to know and hope to help you in that respect. Some tips and hacks for growing up.
16 Is An Important Age
Tip and hacks Number One: 16 is an important age. I thought back then very much about where I would be now. I hoped then I would be living in NY or somewhere exciting as my future takes off, doing some interesting and successful job. But I’m not. I live 20 minutes from my childhood home. I don’t really have a glamorous or exciting job but its steady and pays the bills and most of the time, I’m okay with that. If i had to do it all over again, one tip I can give you is to be more aggressive and vocal about what you want. Try something that scares you.
College will be Challenging
Tips and hacks number Two: College will be challenging for you. The first year will test you in ways you will never know. Don’t panic. The tip i would give you is to try more things and take your time in deciding what you want. If feels overwhelming and rushed to all of the sudden decide what career you will have for the rest of your life. Stay true to yourself, keep drawing and painting and writing. It will be rewarding one day and it will keep you grounded. Stay creative.
Cherish your Friendships
Tips and Hacks number Three: Cherish your friendships. If a friend walks away, let them. I have lost friends in the long run that still hurts a little bit, but overall the ones that stay are the ones that matter. Your friends will support you in ways that you won’t understand. They won’t always understand you but they will still support you. And you will be happy to know that you are still friends with them to this day ( you know which ones I’m talking about). Everyone grows up , gets married and starts a family, but you still make time for each other and it keeps you grounded since you have known these people since you were a child.
Stop Looking up Towards Your Sisters
Tips and Hacks number Four: I know how much you look up to your sisters. Especially the older one. I know you try really hard to impress her and bring her close. You want to be like her and envy her. But here’s a tip. Stop it. Admire her for her. But don’t try to be like her. It wont work and it’s not you. It wasn’t until i was in my 30’s that I realized were nothing alike and that’s okay. I still get to a part of her life as an adult and we try to understand each other, but it took me that long to realize her opinions didn’t affect my life and my decisions. And that was a good thing.
Dream Jobs Are Hard To Find
Tips and Hacks number Five: Your dream job is hard to find. Its okay to have dreams, and try your hardest to get them, but it’s okay to find a different path that makes you happy as well. As long as you work hard and believe in what you do, you will be happy. Having said that. Stay in school longer. Study multiple things. Always keep learning and keep your education strong, so you are never behind on what is happening in the world.
Find Someone Who Compliments you.
Tips and hacks number six. Find someone who compliments you. Don’t settle for someone who only wants to give half. Let them understand you and accept you for all your goofy things. When you grow up and away, make sure the person who is helping build your new home and life is just as weird and goofy and loving as you are. Happy isn’t always easy. There are always going to be up and downs. Changing of jobs, succeeding financially and living the life you think you want to live. The tip I would give you is to be brave. Move to another city far away from family for a month to see 1.) if you get homesick and 2.) are you thriving differently there than you would at home. Are the opportunities better than what you can get somewhere else.
See The World
Tips and hacks number seven: See the world. As much as you can. Take every opportunity to travel. It is so important and you will see why in college. You get to travel and it is some of the best experiences of your life. You get to take your husband to places he has never been and it helps both of you discover new things. It will build who you are as a person.
Give It Time
Tips and Hacks number Eight. Give it time. Be patient. Not everything lands in your lap at the same time. You think you will know where you will be in 15 years, but you’re wrong. Things don’t happen the way you think they will but it’s okay. I don’t think I really got the hang of things like adulthood until I was 26. That year was a good one, everything in life started to make sense. Ironically, I had just lost what i thought was my DREAM JOB and I was devastated. But it moved me to a different job, also in the same field, and that was where I started dating my now husband. But I didn’t know that at the time. It wasn’t that obvious “ This IS IT moment”. Like everything else it took time. I assumed by 32 I would have one or two kids. I’m 36 and I don’t. But everything still works the way it is right now. Sometimes not everything in life lines up in the order or time frame that you think it will. But it still works out okay in a way you unexpected.
The World Is Just Beginning
16 can be hard and exciting. For you the world is just beginning. These tips are just ideas that i wish someone would have shared with me then. Try not to be scared but be brave. Keep your eyes open to opportunity and try new things that come your way. Take new paths if the path you took didn’t get you where you wanted. I would have gone to art institute after all. You can never take enough school. I would have tried moving to New York for a little bit. I would have not asked for my sisters approval so much and just done my own thing without worrying what others thought. It might not have changed much, but then again, you never know.