Turning Eighteen

As I child, I thought that it would be so cool to fly to Neverland with Peter Pan and to never grow up. I loved the idea of becoming a Lost Boy and spending my days fighting pirates and dancing with Indians. However, similar to Wendy, we must all realize that we must grow up. At first, growing up is cool. Turning double digits, going to middle school, then going high school, learning how to drive, etc. But then we come to the conclusion that hey, wait, growing up is actually hard. Man, do I miss the days when my biggest problem was whether I wanted sugar cookies or chocolate chip cookies for dessert (answer: always chocolate chip).

Nonetheless, we all have to do it. Grow up, that is. And with age comes wisdom (or so I’ve been told). So today, I would like to share with you all eighteen things that I have learned during my eighteen years of living.

* * *

1.

Yes, grades are important. But never sacrifice your mental and physical health over them. It’s okay. Really. Trust me.

2.

Be open to new things. You never know what you’ll discover by stepping out you little comfort zone. It’s a big world out there, so say yes to more things. Do more things. Experience life.

3.

Not everyone will like you, but that’s fine. Although being liked is nice, being liked by the right people is more important.

4.

Surround yourself with people who make you feel validated and happy. Who you surround yourself with can influence and impact you greatly, so choose your company wisely.

5.

How you think determines how you are. Try to be positive as much as you can. Not everything’s as bad as it seems.

6.

Never be afraid to like things that are “different.” Don’t be so consumed in how other people think of you. Like whatever interests you and whatever makes you happy.

7.

Your family is your rock. No matter what happens in the world, no matter what changes, they will always be there.

8.

Depend on other people. Being independent is important and wonderful; however, you can’t do everything on your own. Other people love and care about you. Let them help you every once and awhile.

9.

Take care of yourself. Don’t neglect your health. Seriously. Eat before you run and take your medicine.

10.

Being short is freaking fantastic. Don’t let anyone ever tell you otherwise.

11.

Participate more in class. It’s actually not as bad as you think. In fact, sometimes it can be pretty fun.

12.

Focus on the here and now. The future is great and all, and the past can be nostalgic and whatnot, but don’t forget to live life in the moment. Smell those freaking roses and soak in that glorious sunshine. Life is actually really great.

13.

Be a kind human. You never know what someone else is going through. Words are powerful. Use them with immense caution.

14.

Vegetables aren’t as terrible as you think. So eat them. They’re good for you.

15.

Life can’t be controlled. Life is like the wayward, wild, and unruly ocean: those who attempt to tame it only end up drowning. Go with the flow. Everything will work out in the end (as cheesy as it sounds).

16.

It’s okay to cry. Crying does not make you weak.

17.

You are loved.

18.

Don’t forget to love. Love with your whole heart. Love the world, and it’ll love you right back. To love so wholeheartedly is to be vulnerable.  Vulnerability is utterly terrifying, but it will make you stronger. It will make you a better person. So love. Love with everything you’ve got.

* * *

Hopefully a learned a valuable lesson or two these past eighteen years. Thank you for reading.

Love,

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