In 2015 I turned 18, which is probably one of the biggest birthdays that you can have in your life. Turning 18 begins adulthood although I know for a fine fact that I’m not ready to stop being a kid just yet. Now that I’ve been on this earth for 19 years I thought I should share some of the things that I have learnt with all of you. Be prepared, this is a long one.
1. You can count your friends on your fingers.
So this one’s a little morbid but it’s honestly so true! Growing up you’ll have 739272 different friendship groups but you’ll learn who your ride or die friends are. I truly think that I could count on my fingers who the people are in my life that I’ll still be talking to when I’m 80 – and still have fingers to spare! Learn who your true friends are, those people who would drop everything if you ever needed them and keep them close because they are the main way that you’ll get through this world.
2. It’s okay to spend time alone sometimes.
Again this sounds a little sad but again it’s completely and utterly true. Sometimes hanging around with your friends and having an amazing social life all of the time can be exhausting – both physically and mentally and it can get a little bit too much. Just remember that it’s totally fine to have some ‘me’ time. Make some time for yourself, watch your favourite TV show, cook yourself a nice meal or do whatever else makes you happy! It’s totally okay to not want to be a socialite all of the time and I really do think that it’s so important to remember to reflect on everything around you every once and a while.
3. Don’t be ashamed of what you like.
This is one I wish I’d have known this sooner. I’ve always had a huge passion for TV and film and when I get into something, I really get into it. In this world, people have a tendency to try and pull you down, when I showed any interest in something that wasn’t ‘cool’ people started to joke and mock me about it. Up until about the age of 17 this really bothered me to the point where I felt like I needed to suppress my thoughts because I wasn’t allowed to share them and that is complete and utter bullshit! After I realised this I became so much happier because I no longer felt ashamed to love what I did and I didn’t feel like the things that I did were wrong. Some of the experiences I’ve had, especially over the course of the last year have been the best of my life and that’s because I learned to let go and do what I wanted to do!
4. The opinions of other people really don’t matter.
I feel like you’re told this your whole life whether it be from your parents, an adult figure or friends but you never really believe it. Truth is, they know what they’re talking about because believe it or not they’ve been in the same position as you! So many times in my life I’ve either changed myself or acted in a different way because I wanted people to think of me in a certain way and that was probably one of the stupidest things I’ve ever done. I know how it is, especially when you’re a teenager in school and everyone is competing for each others nod of approval. Don’t bother yourself with the trouble of it all, it’s really not worth it and in the long run, no one is going to care.
5. Don’t let the world spoil you.
If you’re as much of a fan of The Walking Dead as I am, you may already know this quote. I remember the first time I watched episode 4 of season 3 and balling my eyes out when I realised that we were saying goodbye to Lori Grimes. The speech that she gives Carl at the end of the episode had me in floods of tears and shaking my head in disbelief but the speech itself really hit home for me.
You gotta do what’s right, baby. You promise me, you’ll always do what’s right. It’s so easy to do the wrong thing in this world. So don’t… so if it feels wrong, don’t do it, all right? If it feels easy don’t do it. Don’t let the world spoil you.
Although this show is set in the middle of the zombie apocalypse, I feel like this could speak to all of us. Without a doubt, you’re going to face some demons in your life and these demons could be little things along the way or they could be massive life altering things that could change you as a person. Don’t let them do it! You are you and that is the greatest gift that you could ever give to anyone around you. There are going to be so man different paths that you could take in life but don’t let other people ruin you. Don’t let the world spoil you.
6. It’s okay to be different.
I think this kind of ties in with the whole theme of this post but again do not be afraid to be who you want to be. I’ve gone through some parts of my life sticking to the status quo because I thought it was what needed to be done but what I really needed to be doing was the exact opposite. Our opinions and passions are what make us all individuals and they should be encouraged, even if they are a little out there. As soon as you learn that your differences are actually your merits, I promise you that you’ll be so much happier.
7. Be passionate about the things you love.
As I said before, when I love something I love it with all my heart and I think this is one of the most important things you can do. If something makes you happy give it everything you’ve got whether this be a hobby or an interest, you’re going to love it so much more if you’re passionate about it! Like I said before I’m a massive Walking Dead nerd and I’m so incredibly lucky enough to have met a few of the cast members. At one encounter with a cast member I remember them talking to the people in front of us for maybe a minute or so but when it came to speaking to me and my friend we spoke for maybe 5 minutes. Now they could clearly see that we were massive fans, just by the way we spoke about the show and everything that was to come and honestly this made their face light up. I 100% believe that you get back what you give into this world so seeing them so happy and gracious about what we were saying was worth more than anything to me and if I could go back to that moment to see them smile again I so would.
8. Not everyone is going to be in your life forever.
Now I personally haven’t had to deal with a great amount of loss in my life and I’m so thankful for that but I still have had my fair share. Losing someone is one of the most difficult things in the world and I emphasise with anyone who has to deal with loss. This is why it’s so important to remember to spend as much time with people as possible because you never know what tomorrow will bring. Treasure those you love and those who love you, they are of more value than you’ll ever know.
9. Don’t feel pressured to follow the crowd.
In life there’s going to be so many phases and crazes that people are going to follow and 9 times out of 10 you’re going to love them too but sometimes you’re really not. This is okay. I’ve seen so many crazes and ‘in things’ go around and I’ve probably only liked maybe a third of them. Believe me I know it’s easier to do what everyone else is doing because it may feel like a good idea at the time but it’s so much better to just do what you enjoy. Don’t over stress yourself about all the little things in life like that, it’s not worth your time.
10. Experiences are invaluable.
There are going to be so many things that you want to spend your money on, whether this be a new laptop, pair of trainers or clothes but spending your money on experiences is going to make you the most satisfied. Now by experiences I don’t mean anything as extravagant as a skydiving trip on the other side of the world, unless that’s what you want to do but there’s so many other things you could be spending your time and money on. I’ve done a few conventions over the course of the last year and I’ve honestly never felt so at peace and just filled with pure happiness in all my life. There’s something about being around people who love the same things as you, no matter what their reasoning may be. I may have spent a lot of money on these experiences but to me they’ve all been 100% worth it.
11. ‘Thank you for the music’.
ABBA is my mantra in this respect as one of the things I’ve learnt in life is that music is one of the most important things out there. Different songs can bring up right up or bring you right down but sometimes you really need both. I’m lucky enough to have seen some of my favourite artists live, which I’m eternally grateful since they’ve made me feel thing that I never thought I could feel. Yes, I did cry at a twenty one pilots gig whilst hearing Goner sang live and no I do not regret it one little bit. Immersing myself in music has made me so much happier, knowing that no matter how I feel I’ll always have something to put me right.
12. Exams are not worth your time.
I can hear every single student gasping at this thought but it’s so true, exams are really not worth your time. Whilst I know that getting good grades to get into university or wherever you want to be is important, that isn’t the point I’m trying to make here. I’m more so trying to say that getting the best possible grades is not worth your health deteriorating. The amount of pressure that teachers and other authority figures put on you is insane but a lot of the time they don’t realise how many other things are going on in your life. What I’m saying is that yes try your hardest but don’t let a letter on a piece of paper dictate everything you do.
13. School is a volatile place.
They say your school days are the best days of your life, truth is that I couldn’t wait to leave. By the end of my final year in school it was all getting a bit too much for me and I really didn’t know how I had lasted that long. I couldn’t deal with the pressure and constant feeling like I wasn’t good enough any more and believe me this didn’t just come from teachers. I know you’ll have friends who are your absolute ride or die and keep them close because they’ll be your rock but a lot of school life isn’t as amazing as everyone makes it out to be. Just don’t let yourself get hung up on the little things and try to stay positive, you won’t be there forever.
14. Not everyone looks like a model.
I’m a short one at 5’3 and have always been quite petite but when I hit 18 I started developing more of a womanly figure, yes I was a late bloomer. I gained hips which I had never had before and this was totally alien to me. I remember myself and some friends looking up to models who were almost six feet tall and beautifully slim and thinking ‘Why do I not look like that?’. It’s taken me a long time to realise this but not everyone can be a Victoria’s Secret model. While those women are absolutely beautiful and no doubt work incredibly hard for their bodies, it’s okay to not look like that. I’m still learning to love my body and I know its difficult, I’m still not 100% happy with myself right now but I love parts of me and I’m so proud to say that.
15. Your creative mind is so important.
You can do as much academic work as your life requires but your creative mind is just as important, if not more so. Allow yourself time to write a creative piece, read a book or go to a concert and let your creativity flourish. You’ll thank yourself later for giving yourself a time out from everything else in the real world. I spend my time writing blog posts, thinking of new screenplay ideas and thinking of different ways I can document my life and it makes me feel so good inside.
16. Online friendships are so underrated.
If you’re all thinking like my friends or family that I speak to in person, you probably think I’m out of my mind for saying this but I can honestly say that some of the people I have met online are some of the most important people in my life. I feel as though I can tell a lot of them anything and never be judged for my thoughts or opinions, especially those people on Twitter where I share so many common interests with. Be careful online and if something is too good to be true, it probably is but remember there are just as many good and honest people out there as there are bad.
17. Treating yourself once in a while is worth it.
It can sometimes be difficult having 392284 things going on in my life for me to remember to treat myself but when I do I go all out. I’m a big pizza fan and when I can treat myself to a Domino’s takeaway it makes me feel amazing – I probably do this way too often! You are allowed to let loose and let yourself relax once and a while just keeping on working hard with everything else to help you achieve what you want to achieve.
18. Live your life as you want to live it.
I think this is the most important thing I can tell you. Your life is yours and while this post can give you some insight into some of the things I’ve learned along the way you have to live your life as you want to. Your health and happiness is the most important thing and as long as you’re living your life in the way you want to that’s all that really matters.
19. ENJOY YOURSELF!
That’s all I have to say!
If you’ve stuck with this post all the way down I applaud you and I’m eternally thankful as I know it was a massive one. I hope that some of the things I’ve said can help you. If there’s anything you feel as though you want to talk about please feel free to leave a comment below.