Blogmas Day 20 | 18 Things I’ve Learned By 18

18 years old is a milestone in my family and in most communities in America. I’m legally allowed to vote, to get arrested, become an adult, etc. At the ripe young age of 18, I feel like I’ve learned many lessons within my many rotations around the sun. I thought I would get sappy and write a post of my ideas instead of telling you who made my dress and where I bought it (FYI: it’s by Maison Jules).

  1. It’s okay to ask for help, especially when you’re asking the people you love and care about. It may seem embarrassing or stupid to ask your mom for life advice or your dad about how to deal with your boyfriend, but those are the people who love you the most and know what’s best for you.
  2. Surround yourself with good people and you too will become good. I’ve been blessed to become friends with some of the most caring, compassionate, and funny people with whom I can cry, debate, and enjoy.
  3. Laughing and crying go hand in hand. It’s important to laugh as to lighten up your life, but it’s also okay to have a good cry too.
  4. Count your blessings. There are so many people who would kill to have that left over sandwich you’re about to toss in the trash can or the close relationship you have with your mom.
  5. Friendships change. I’ve lost friends over the years which hurt, but I’ve also gained a whole new set of people that I can now call my family.
  6. If you want to eat that second piece of cake, eat it. Life is too short to stress out about how much food or calories you’re consuming. If you eat well and take care of your body, it’s okay to eat “unhealthy” food as well.
  7. Be a leader, not a follower. I’ve gone from a semi-soft spoken girl to an unapologetic, confident young woman who doesn’t care about what other people think. I’ve learned how to be independent and not rely on someone else to take care of me. 
  8. Listen to both sides of the argument and then form your own opinion. I learned this lesson from my sister Megan. She taught me to research every side of any argument, whether it be political, religious, etc, and then think about what I believe. Don’t believe something just because your friends or family do. 
  9. Good music can change a life. As a musician, I’ve discovered countless artists that have really touched my soul such as Marvin Gaye, Ryan O’Neal, Ella Fitzgerald, The National, William Fitzsimmons, Louie Armstrong, etc. Each musician has taught me how to pursue my love of music and to live my life in a creative way.
  10. The choices you make now will shape your future. If I hadn’t signed up for marching band when I was in eighth grade guidance, I would have missed out on lifelong friendships and my passion for music would have never been noticed. If I never went on my trip to Texas in 2012 to visit Baylor, I wouldn’t have wanted to apply there and would have missed out on my dream school.
  11. It’s okay if people don’t understand you. My level of maturity and thought process often makes it hard for me to interact with my peers so it’s normal for me to not understand them and vice versa. Although it frustrates me when people don’t understand what I’m saying or feeling, it’s very natural.
  12. Learn how to work with tough teachers/bosses and you will learn the keys to success. Even though it sucks to deal with mean or nasty teachers, I’ve learned key life lessons as to how to handle myself in those situations where I have to maintain my composure and be respectful.
  13. If you want to do something or be involved in an activity, just do it. If I were braver back in 9th grade, I would have auditioned for Song Contest director or paddling, but my fear of rejection or what other people think of me got in the way of my extra curricular activities. The next time I want to be involved in something, I’m just going to go for it.
  14. Even though late night Netflix marathons seem like a better idea than doing homework, they’re not. Netflix is a crazy, mind-sucking black hole that takes my mind off of my daily tasks and duties. 
  15. Put your heart and soul into the things you love. Whether it’s sports, music, drama, or art, make sure that you’re putting 110% into your passions. 
  16. A blog can connect you to new friends and old ones. I’ve discovered that family members and old family friends are huge fans of my blog while I’ve also met some pretty amazing people over the internet as well.
  17. Stay culturally and historically aware of the events going on around you. Don’t live in a bubble of Facebook and Instagram where you only care about yourself. There are some crazy things happening around the world and it behooves you to stay current as to what’s occurring.
  18. Love and take care of yourself. It may sound like a cliche, but taking care of yourself is so important in this fast paced century. Take some time for yourself where you can listen to music, create art, write in a journal, etc, and make sure that you know what’s going on in your mind, body, and soul.