Turning 18 was a birthday I had dreamed about. I would finally be an adult, out on my own, running the real world. While 18 was in fact a big year for me, it wasn’t all that I thought it would be! Here are ten tips I wish I had known at 18.
- DAVE. Ramsey
Learn about this guy. Read his book, listen to his podcast, attend his class. Google him and learn from him. You will never have to call your dad begging for $$ to be wired to your account if you get to know Dave.
2. Freshman 15 is the real deal
We all say “that won’t happen to me”. Listen and understand… it will. It will happen to you. Continue some kind of exercise routine, walk to your classes, eat more salads and less Roman Noodles, and for the love, put down the beer and pick up a bottle of water. Your body will thank you!
3. Your friends will change
One of the best parts of this time of your life is that you will make lifelong friends. That girl in your orientation class, you’ll probably be her kids godmother. Your first roommate, you’ll be in her wedding. It’s an exciting time, finding your tribe. The sad part, those friends from High School you thought would always be there, won’t. They’ll have their own new friends, new adventures, stresses, and issues. While there will always be love and respect there, seasons change.
4. That boy you’re dating probably isn’t your forever
Just as friends change, so do relationships. That boy that you were going to marry in High School, will more than likely be a memory your shudder at a few years later. Chances are he’ll break your heart. BUT, you will move on. You will find yourself again and you will understand how much more you deserve.
5. Wash your face
Seriously. I wish I would have learned this one at twelve. I was one of those fortunate individuals who never got a single pimple all through High School. Apparently while in college, your skin changes (something to do with lack of sleep and your new diet choices apparently). Get in the habit of taking care of your skin now!
6. Keep your Social Media appropriate
Your professors/parents will try to scare you with this “myth” about how employers will check your social media accounts before hiring you. You roll your eyes, post the pictures from last weekends party, and move on. DON’T. They aren’t lying, this is not a myth. Many employers do in fact do a facebook check before hiring. EXTRA TIP: What you post on the internet stays on the internet. Another “Myth” no one wants to believe but it is in fact true.
7. Don’t pick a college just because of the football team (or parties, or sororites, etc)
This tip speaks for itself, but you’ll be surprised by how many of your friends will do this… you’ll be more surprised when you wake up one day and realize that you’ve done it to yourself. Tour as many college campus’ as possible. Spend time there. If you have a friend already in college ask to bunk with them for a couple days to get a true feel of the atmosphere. I promise you, you’ll step onto a campus and your heart will know it’s home. Follow your heart on that one, I didn’t.
8. You will change your mind
You will start out knowing that you’re going to be a doctor or a teacher, an architect or a speech pathologist. And then, it’ll change… sometimes just once, sometimes many. Very few people graduate with what they originally set out to major in, and that’s okay. Enjoy finding out more about yourself than you knew before. Take classes “just for fun” when your electives/scholarship allows it. You might find a hidden talent.
9. Don’t forget to call your momma
Call her for the emergencies, the small things, the big things, the celebrations, the heartbreaks. Just call your momma. The older I get the more I realize no one in this world loves me as much as that woman. No one else hurts for me, claps for me, believes in me, and comes to my rescue like my momma. While she is so excited for you and your journey, her world changed the day you turned 18. While you have to learn to fly, there’s nothing wrong with taking her along for part of the ride. I promise, you’ll never regret the times you carve out even five minutes for her.
10. Enjoy the Ride
Last, but not least, enjoy the ride. It will feel like a roller coaster at times but I promise it’s worth it. Don’t forget to throw your hands up every now and then and just have fun! I promise it all works out the way it’s supposed to, so there’s no sense trying to be in control all the time! Learn to laugh at the inconveniences, appreciate the people who came along for the ride, and most of all, love yourself. You’re becoming who you were meant to be.