Turning 18 seems monumental, but in reality, it’s not. My teenage years were hell especially when I became a legal adult. There are so many things I wish I had done differently. Here are 7 things I wish I knew before turning 18.
Don’t Move Away
When I was 17, I moved away from my home in Massachusetts to live with my aunt and uncle in Philadelphia. Things were so bad at home I thought it was the best thing. I was so wrong. I gave up my big room for essentially a tiny one. I gave up my somewhat lenient household to live in a strict, conservative one. I made some friends but ultimately, I moved back home so I never see them anymore since they’re 6 hours away. I realized that once you live with someone you start to hate them. I started hating the rules and my family. I thought I would have some peace of mind and freedom but it was the complete opposite. My depression deepened and I was severely suicidal.
Go To A State School
If I had stayed in Massachusetts, I would have gone to a state school. Going to a state school would have helped financially and I would not have had to travel back and forth. I could have lived at home and not far away like I did with my current school. I could have made lifetime friends that aren’t far away.
See A Therapist Right Away
I feel like my future suicide attempts could have been avoided if I had gotten help sooner. My mental health only got worse after I turned 18 and moved away. Of course, I eventually saw a therapist at Temple University and she helped, but I realized I was just venting and not progressing. If I had seen a therapist sooner I could have learned how to cope with my trauma, anger, and all of my other problems before I hit college and essentially, the real world.
Get A Job ASAP
I was a lazy teenager. I was taken care of. I didn’t think I needed a job. If I had a job early on I could have learned proper money management skills.
Save Your Money
Whenever I got money, I spent it. I didn’t think about future bills, wanting to have pocket money, etc. Life comes at you hard and life is expensive. Because I never saved my money I had to ask my mom for money all the time and I hated it.
Get Your License Immediately
Let me tell you, taking public transportation is s***. If I had gotten my license earlier I could have had access to a better job where the buses didn’t take me. I could have gone out and explored the city instead of staying a sheltered kid.
You’re A Writer
If I had known I was a writer before I started college at 18, I would have started working on my writing skills early instead of wasting time studying early childhood education and liberal arts. I also wouldn’t have wasted so much energy and money. My student loans are more than what they should be because I was trying to figure out what I was good at and what I wanted to do for the rest of my life.
Where I’m At Now
Well, it’s 8 years later and I’m finally on track with my life. I know it seems like I wrote nothing but negative things, but there are some upsides. I’m finally seeing a therapist and going to progress instead of just venting. I got my license the day before my 24th birthday. I got my own car earlier this year so I don’t have to worry about taking public transportation. I’m getting better jobs as well. I started saving my money so now I can comfortably pay some of the bills I have. Although I am far away from my friends in Philadelphia, I’m so glad I met them. Also, when I moved away, I got to experience the city, went to concerts, and had the best time. All in all, before turning 18, there was a lot of things I wish I knew, but I’m happy with the way things turned out.