My 18th birthday is tomorrow, and I will be celebrating it Ladybird style by going out and buying a lotto ticket and a pack of cigarettes simply because I can.
Being 18 opens up an exciting new world of possibilities and experiences. We're expected to be adults, and yet are still considered children who can't make real adult decisions just yet. But aside from all of that, 18 is the perfect to look back on reflect on everything you've learned. Because when you're standing on the edge of adulthood you start to see just how much you've grown and how much more you still have to learn.
1. Devote time to self-help
Get an app, start a journal, listen to a podcast, or just go on a walk. Life is tough already, and it gets a whole lot harder when you don't understand who you are, where you're going, or how you can be better.
2. Look the way you want to look
Change your hair, and your shirt, and your shoes. Buy what makes you feel comfortable, not whats featured on the Instagram trending page.
3. Planning isn't stupid
A lot of times the concept of being spontaneous is revered, and people are put down for careful planning and methodical actions. But making a plan and sticking with it will be an absolute lifesaver when life starts getting crazy. There's a time and a place for going with the flow.
4. Take care of something
A plant, a fish, a mason jar filled with snails. Anything really, just to prove you can, and to make your existence important to another living being.
5. Do something big
Just one thing. One, well-planned, perfectly executed thing.
6. Value free-time
Old people are always talking about never having enough time, and despite being only 18 I'm starting to see that they're right. When you've got the time use it wisely, because tomorrow you might be cursing yourself for wasting your time today.
7. Have faith in something
Life gets scary when you don't believe. At the very least, have faith in yourself.
8. Love everyone and everything
Hate solves nothing. It gives you nothing. But love can give you everything.
9. Appreciate the sky
It is the most fleeting and most beautiful thing that exists on this planet. Soak it up.
Daydream about stupid things, outlandish things. Daydream about the kind of things you daydreamed about as a kid. Get lost in something wonderful for a while.
11. Read everything
As a book lover, my biggest regret is not reading enough. Books are so, so important, and can teach you so much about yourself and the world around you. Read as often as possible.
12. Stand up for yourself
Life is pretty crummy when you let people walk all over you and leave every argument feeling like you let yourself down. Stand strong, be firm, don't back down about something that matters because you want to be polite. Your voice matters.
13. Be happy with yourself
Right now, exactly as you are. Don't do any of that, 'I'll be happy when I'm skinny, and have no acne, and a boyfriend, and a good job,' BS. Be happy with every part of you right now. Don't waste time being upset with the one person you spend the most time with, which is you.
14. Listen to new music
This I discovered very recently. Its a small thing that many of us probably don't realize is holding us back. Music is a comfort, and so deviating from our normal playlists can actually be a bit uncomfortable, but the worst that could happen is you don't like the song, and the best thing that could happen is you find a new one you love.
15. Realize other people aren't everything
Despite books and movies making it seem like having a wonderful significant other and a good group of friends will magically solve all your problems and make life a bundle of fun, the truth is that people are just people. And more often then not they let you down. And the faster you realize that your self-worth and the value of your life goes beyond what other people think and the relationships you have, the better.
16. Try new things
Its like with the music. Open yourself up, and be curious, and be amazed.
17. Go against the norm
Try doing something just because no one else is doing it. Its fascinating, as well as eye-opening, because suddenly you start to realize just how much of your life you're living because everyone else was doing it.
18. Keep moving forward
Don't get stuck. Beat on.
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