I’ve been looking forward to being 18 for years now. It’s the age when I can finally do things: get a tattoo, order a drink, get my license/P plates. Now that all of these new possibilities are open to me, I’ve found myself reflecting and thinking about the things I’ve learned so I thought I’d share 18 of them with you today. These aren’t necessarily going to be relevant to you but they have been and are important to me.
1. Your friends in high school won’t be your friends forever
This is something that’s been really driven home to me this year since graduating. Though this doesn’t apply to all of your high school friends, it will be true about some. Everybody is changing in high school and everyone is changing after. I think it’s safe to say that I’m a different person than I was a year ago so it only makes sense that the people I was friends with are different too. There are some friends I have grown with and become closer to, but there are a couple I’ve grown apart from. It sucks because no matter how close you were in school, those people may not stick around long after and that is totally okay.
2. It’s okay to have no idea what you want
I’ve spent this whole year trying to figure out what I want and what I want to do with my life. I’ve spent this year not studying or working and though it’s boring and difficult sometimes, I am kind of thankful for this time. This year has allowed me to re-evaluate my life and priorities and how I want to work to achieve my goals. I still don’t know what I want but I’m only 18 and that’s okay.
3. Be who you want to be
This is so cliche but it’s also so true. I spent the last four or so years trying to be like everyone else, trying to fit in and doing things that don’t make me happy. But I’ve realised that is’ okay to be different and to be who you want. Your teen years (maybe even all your years) are about creating yourself and that’s what I’m trying to do now.
4. It’s okay to be scared
Oh my gosh, is this true! I’ll be honest, I’m scared of a lot of things. I’m scared of being somewhere new where I don’t know anyone, I’m scared of public speaking, I’m scared of moths. It’s okay to be afraid of things, being scared isn’t something to be ashamed of. But it’s important to not let your fears control you and to try new things.
5. Change your hair
Dying my hair a new colour always me so SO HAPPY. It makes me feel fresh and new, like I can do anything. This one is on the list because life is too short for boring hair.
6. Have female hygiene products on you all the time
Ladies, let’s be honest: there is always at least one instance where we aren’t expecting it to be that time of the month then BAM what do you know, Aunt Flo has come to town. This has happened to me at least twice and I have since learned to take pads and tampons with me when I go places. It’s so handy to have them on you, even if you’re not expecting your period because you never know when you, or even a friend, might need them.
7. Take time for yourself
I’m an introvert and I find it really difficult to be around people for long periods of time. I find that spending a night or two at a friends or even just a couple hours in the city leaves me exhausted. It’s important to take time for yourself and recharge. It’s okay to want to spend time alone and to the things that you enjoy.
8. Find one thing to smile about every day
We all have bad days. When I’m having a bad day and I’m going to meet friends or even just be by myself, I try to find at least one thing to smile about. Chances are, no matter how crappy your day is you’ve always got something to be happy and smile about.
9. Let go of those who don’t treat you well
This has been a really important lesson for me over the past year. It’s okay to not want someone in your life, especially if they don’t treat you well. Recently I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about the people who aren’t there for me and being ready to let them go. Life is short, you should surround yourself with people who care.
10. Embrace what makes you different
I always felt like I never fit in because I wasn’t thin and I didn’t have perfect skin. But I’ve since learned to embrace these things. I love my curves and my freckles and scars. I love the things that make me different because I’m the only me there is. You should embrace what makes you different, too.
11. Be creative
I think, and have learned, that it’s really important for everyone to have some kind of creative outlet, whether that be writing, drawing, photography, arts and craft, whatever. For me, my creative outlets are blogging and photography and since I’ve started doing both I’ve been much happier. I love creating things and taking the time to make them the best they can be, it gives me such a sense of accomplishment and it just makes me feel better.
12. Exercise and water really are important
At the beginning of every year I tell myself this year I’m going to drink so much water and do so much exercise. Every year, I fail miserably at this. I’ve only recently started drinking water and exercising every day and I have to say, I feel so much better. My body feels so much healthier when I’m drinking water and working on my fitness and it makes me happy.
13. Breakfast is also really important
Imma be honest, I’m not a breakfast person. If I eat too early in the morning it makes me sick which is why for years when I was getting up at 5:30am and leaving by 6:20am I wasn’t eating breakfast (I know, slap on the wrist for me!). Even while I haven’t been getting up early I haven’t been eating breakfast every day, but the days I do it definitely makes a difference. It gives me so much more energy and I find that I’m snacking a lot less throughout the day. Breakfast really is the most important meal.
14. Appreciate the people around you and the things you have
I think we all get so caught up in drama and the newest releases that we forget to stop, look around and appreciate what we have. It is so important to tell the people around you how much you mean to them and to appreciate the things you’ve already got. Since I’ve started keeping a gratitude log in my bullet journal I’ve been so much more mindful of the things and people around me and I’ve learned to appreciate it all a lot more.
15. School is actually a pretty great time and you’ll miss it once it’s over
I miss high school. There, I said it! I miss seeing my friends every day and I miss learning things. I wish I had participated in things a lot more, I wish I had taken so many more photos, I wish I spent more time with friends outside of school. Everyone always talks about how much they hate school but it’s actually pretty great and you really will miss it when it’s over.
16. Be passionate
This is so so so important! Everybody is passionate about something and it’s so important to nurture that passion. It doesn’t matter how small it is or if other people think it’s silly, if it’s important to you and it makes you happy then that’s all that matters. Also, it’s totally okay to be passionate about more than one thing. And it’s okay to be passionate about just one thing. All that matters is that you do the things that make you happy.
17. Interact with people who love the same things as you
This is something I’ve learnt since joining the book community. I still find it so tricky to reach out to people on Instagram and start a conversation, but I’ve made some amazing friends by doing it. It is such a great feeling to find someone who loves something as much as you. Having friends in the book community makes life so much better for me because I have people I can fangirl with and that can understand my obsession with bookstagram and why I have a book blog. Though it can be scary, interacting and becoming friends with someone who shares your passion is an awesome feeling.
18. “You are wanted. You are necessary.”
Okay so I’ve taken this one from Holding Up the Universe by Jennifer Niven but that’s because this is something we all need to remember! I think this is pretty self explanatory but it really is so important.
That’s it for now, 18 lessons I’ve learned in 18 years. Can you related to any of these? What some things you’ve learnt while growing up? Let me know in the comments!