18 Things I Wish Someone Told Me When I Was 18

There are several lessons which are very important to learn. Here are 18 things I wish someone told me when I was 18. Maybe you can relate to them as well.

To be honest, 18 is a wonderful age, when you’ve just stepped into adulthood and cannot wait to explore the real world. It’s an age where you make the most important decisions related to your future.

As we grow up and face the challenges of life, we wonder what if someone had warned us about these beforehand. Maybe things would have seemed easier if we learned certain things at the age of 18.

1. “School isn’t everything and textbooks don’t teach us enough.”

There’s so much more to the world beyond the four walls of the classroom; so much more to life as well. Textbooks don’t teach us the most valuable lessons.

The marks we score wouldn’t make much sense after a while, and once we move ahead in life, it’s our values & experiences that matter.

2. “Your friends in school aren’t necessarily going to be your friends for life.”

We tend to make promises to be friends forever, but with time, people drift apart – and that’s absolutely fine! The ones who are worth will stick around and the others are just meant to be in your life for a certain time.

You’d meet amazing people ahead, from different walks of life, and knit beautiful memories with them.

3. “A lot of people will walk in and out of your life. Learn to say Goodbye.”

It’s gonna be hard & painful, but you’ll heal. Make sure to have good times as long as they stay, and when they choose to go, end it on happy notes.

Don’t hold onto bitter feelings for anyone. ‘Letting go’ is an important lesson of life that I wish we were taught much earlier in life.

4. “Your parents won’t be there forever. But you’ll be okay without them.”

Aging is an inevitable process – it’s driven by the laws of nature. Our parents, being double of our age (mostly), wouldn’t necessarily live as long as we do. No matter how difficult life might get without them, you’re going to survive.

The loss of parents can’t be compensated, but you’d still grow and make a wonderful life, knowing that they are always blessing you.

5. “You don’t need to figure out everything in life.”

When we graduate from high school, we feel a strange pressure – to figure out what to do next – which course to pursue in college, what profession to choose, so on and so forth! But that’s not necessary. You can take things easy and follow your heart.

Opt for a subject that you wish to study, without thinking about what career options it’ll fetch! It’s okay to not know what you want to do in life – you’ll eventually figure it out.

6. “Change is the only constant.”

However good or bad a situation is now, it will change. That’s the one thing you can focus on – impermanence.

So be open and learn to embrace change; realize that change happens for a reason. It won’t always be easy to accept at first, but in the end it’ll be worth it.

7. “Don’t worry too much about what others think about you.”

When we give over our power to others and allow their impressions to become how we perceived, we lose out on who we really are. We tend to think a lot about how others will judge us – but trust me, it doesn’t matter.

You should follow your heart, always, and not be scared of what society will say. You are the master of your life.

8. “Ask questions until your doubts are cleared.”

You should never be scared to ask questions – a lot of them! It’s one of the greatest ‘adventures’ – to inquire and understand everything in better lights, Sometimes in the process of inquiry, the search is more significant than the answers.

Answers come from other people, from the universe of knowledge and history, and from the intuition and deep wisdom inside yourself. These answers will never surface if you never ask the right questions.

9. “Never be scared to make mistakes.”

When we were kids, we often got scolded by our parents, teachers, or elders for making mistakes, which generated a sense of fear. We tend to think that making a mistake is bad, but actually, it’s not. Our mistakes teach us the difference between right & wrong actions.

The biggest mistake you can make is doing nothing because you’re too scared to make a mistake. Remember, if you never act, you will never know for sure, and you will be left standing in the same spot forever.

10. “You must explore as much as you can!”

Our education system doesn’t teach us to explore, but we always have the hidden inquisitiveness within us. It’s important to keep the fire of exploration alive.

Explore everything that intrigues you. Find your boundaries and break them. Walk an extra mile and you’ll get to know how beautiful this universe is; and you’ll discover a new you!

11. “Doing what you love will bring you happiness.”

When I passed out of school, none told me that I should follow my dreams rather than opting for something that seemed like a stable career option. It took me years to realize that I love to write and words make me free.

That’s when I knew that doing what I love would not just be a thought career to choose, but it would also fetch me happiness and contentment. Nonetheless, it’s never too late to do what we love.

12.”Count your blessings.”

While growing up, life seems very easy and we tend to take things for granted. Parents are there to support, teachers are there to guide, friends are there to fall back on.

But as the years pass by, the number of people protecting us would decrease and we might not always be lucky enough to experience goodness.

Tough times would be there, people might take advantage of you, you’d fail – but that shouldn’t stop you from rising again.

Be grateful for whatever life blesses you with, and know that everything has a meaning.

13. “Live in the moment”.

We always keep postponing things, never realizing the uncertainties of the future. If you love someone, tell them. Color your hair. Get that tattoo. Go for that solo trip you’ve been dreaming of. Hitchhike. Try yoga on the beaches.

Read a motivational autobiography. Listen to pop music. Life is what is happening now, and this time will never be back.

14. “Speak up, ‘coz people won’t read your mind”.

People will never know how you feel unless you tell them. If someone hurts you, tell them that you’re in pain.

If you like someone, let them know how you feel. When you’re hoping for a promotion, let your boss know about the efforts you’ve put in.

If you’re feeling too shy to talk, you can write & express – a letter or a mail, or maybe a text message! In life, it’s important to communicate. You have to tell people what you’re thinking. It’s as simple as that.

15. “You are your first priority. Always make time for yourself.”

We often keep ourselves too busy with everything else, that we forget to care for ourselves.

Off late, I made it a point to take at least 15 minutes out each day, to sit and meditate or just be blank, while watering my plants or cooking my dinner. Well, it did wonders!

It’s very important to take time out for oneself and listen to good music, eat good food, read a good book, and watch a good movie. It’s only when we care for ourselves, can we care for others too.

16. “It is important to grieve.”

While growing up, we are often told that crying makes us weak and vulnerable. However, it doesn’t.

In fact, it’s the other way round – crying is a way to let out sorrow and makes us feel lighter. It is important for us to grieve.

I realized it much later in life when I lost my mother and couldn’t express the pain through tears.

17. “Be yourself”.

We are all unique in our own ways. We all have something special in us. It’s important to be yourself. It’s easy to be a carbon copy of someone else and it’s really hard to show your true self around others sometimes, but in the end, it’s worth it. Nurture your well-being. It’ll help you to grow beautifully.

18. “BREATHE”.

I took this for granted – breathing – it felt like something obvious, something that we all are doing, every day, every minute, every second.

But when I first went for my Vipassana course, I realized that we were never taught to ‘Breathe’ – to be mindful of our existence, to be grateful for this life, to appreciate the joy of living.

 

I wish someone had told me all these when I was 18. But nonetheless, I’m glad that life taught me these lessons over the years, and now, more than ever, I feel empowered – to be here, now, rejoicing the blessings that came my way.

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