18 Things I Would Tell My 18 Year Old Self

Another year, another birthday.  With every new year it’s a new time to reflect on what happened previously and to plan ahead for the exciting year to come.

It’s only been a few days into 2017 and all I’ve been hearing is, “Oh, are you excited to turn eighteen? How does it feel to be an adult?” Well for me, it doesn’t feel much different. I finally get to say I’m turning 18 on January 18, a once in a lifetime opportunity, but other than that, this birthday doesn’t feel much different than any other one. Nevertheless, turning one year older is the perfect excuse to document myself as I am now. Without further ado, I’ve made a list of eighteen things I want to tell my eighteen year old self.

  1. Everything happens for a reason: I know it hurts like hell in the moment, but I strongly believe everything happens the way it’s supposed to. Sure it would have been fantastic to have been admitted to that college, and yeah, hanging out with friends would have been awesome instead of studying; yet I wouldn’t be where I am today if a few obstacles didn’t occur along the way.
  2. Go express your feelings! The world isn’t always out to get you!: I think I take the #1 title of someone who refuses to reveal her feelings. I’m 100% guilty of bottling up my emotions until I explode. This needs to end! However, I know that’s much easier said than done, regardless, it’s a point that needed to be put into words.
  3. Keep your friends close and your best friends closer: It’s easy to ignore texts and give one worded responses when you know the person you are talking to will be there when you need them. I often take for granted how incredible my friends are. I honestly feel like the luckiest person in the world to have such a solid friend group. Even if someone is getting on my last nerve, I know how important these people are to me, and I wouldn’t trade our friendship for the world.
  4. Say I love you more often: I honestly can’t remember the last time I told my best friend I loved her. I truly wouldn’t be the person I am without her impact in my life. Of course both of us know the weight of our friendship, but it doesn’t hurt to throw in an “I love you” once in awhile just as a reminder.
  5. Do something spur of the moment and don’t think twice about it: Doing something without planning for months in advance isn’t going to kill you. Go wander around New York City for the day, or do something, anything, you wouldn’t do everyday. You only live once, as cliche as that might be, so go enjoy yourself!
  6. Stop looking at life like it’s a competition: After countless college supplements and applications being written over the last couple of months, it’s time to let that mentality go. Sometimes you lose in life, that’s just how it goes. Be happy for others when something good happens to them, you know you’d want them to do the same for you.
  7. Not everyone is going to love what you love, but that shouldn’t make you love it any less: This is something I’ve been experiencing all my life. In the past, I wouldn’t pursue a passion because I lacked a friend by my side. To this day, I regret this choice. In the future, it’s important to remember that just because the people around me don’t like the same things as me, doesn’t mean I shouldn’t put my all towards something or love it any less.
  8. Just be you, the opinions of others don’t matter: At the end of the day, you know yourself better than anyone else. So, if you want to wear an “out there” outfit or continue to eat a bizarre breakfast, go for it! Even if people give you a side eye here and there, does it really matter? Not at all if you’re happy with yourself that’s the only valuable opinion.
  9. Stop procrastinating!: I cannot express enough how much this practice needed to be left in 2016. In the amount of time you’ve been procrastinating, the essay you’ve been dreading could have been written and more productive things could be occurring in your life. If you miss one episode of The Bachelor in order to do something with your life, guess what, you’ll live. Plus, The Bachelor will be On-Demand anytime, but the time you wasted watching it in that moment can never be recovered.
  10. Sure you’re not good at everything, but you’re great at a lot of things: Who cares that you’re failing Calculus? Newsflash, half of your class is failing right beside you. It’s a given that you’ll never grow up to be a mathematician. Yet putting this aside, there’s a lot of things you’re incredible at. Don’t put yourself down because you don’t know how to take a derivative, it’s not going to help you in the long run anyway.
  11. Enjoy New York City while you still can: I’ve been nothing short of spoiled with how close I live to such an amazing city. Yet college is next year and my distance from my second home is going to increasing widen. Nows your chance to enjoy every nook and cranny of the Big Apple.
  12. You’re never fully dressed without a smile: Even if you’re not having the best day, it’s important to remember to smile, not just for yourself but also for the sake of others. Giving a smile and a wave to someone makes the ultimate impact. Even though it only takes two seconds, it truly makes all the different. Don’t forget to smile, if not for you, do it for someone else.
  13. Spend more time with your family: Even if mom embarrasses you one too many times, it’s not too long until you’ll miss her subtle remarks. My mom means the absolute world to me and I couldn’t ask for a more amazing woman in my life. I’ve also grown closer to my dad this year than I ever had before. Going out of your way to spend time with the people you love is worth having to go the extra mile to do so.
  14. People change and there’s nothing wrong with that: No one stays the same forever, including you. It’s okay to move on and say goodbye to some things you once loved. No one is judging you for taking up a new interest and leaving behind an old one. Pursue what you love in the moment, there’s nothing wrong with a little change.
  15. People like you because you’re a good person. Don’t stop being one: If I’ve learned anything over the years, I’ve realized the impact a small gesture can have on a person. Whether it be saying hi in the hallway or holding a door up, it’s the little things that matter most. Doing these random acts of kindness make you who you are. Even if you don’t always realize what you’re doing, it’s important to continue them. You’ve made a lot of great friendships this way.
  16. It’s okay to have an off day, everyone does. This is called being human: With point #15 in mind, it’s okay to not always be the most cheerful person in a room. There are going to be days where you’re sad and don’t want to talk to anyone. Just make sure these are only days and not months. Remember #2 and you’ll be fine. You’re allowed to feel bad without having a justified reason.
  17. Binge watch a TV show, you deserve it: Don’t feel bad about taking days doing absolutely nothing. Last year was hard, you deserve a break. Sure laying in bed watching Netflix for eight hours straight seems unproductive. But who knows, this new series might change your life. Everyday doesn’t always have to be an adventure. Sometimes staying at home does the trick.
  18. Be happy: When people ask me what my goal in life is, this is the answer. Sure money and fame is great, but those things mean nothing if you’re not happy with your life. Always be happy even when times get hard. Just know that happiness is the cure for even the worst problems.

Hopefully these tid-bits can be helpful for someone else in addition to just myself. Here’s to a healthy and happy new year! I look forward to following this advice and sharing it with Aura 32 along the way.

Lauren Toneatto

Staff Writer

An aspiring artist, avid reader, and Disney princess in training. Commonly found eating Cheerios and creating. She wishes to explore the world and all it has to offer.

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