So, just before New Year’s I turned 18. Finally an adult woo! I thought it would be fitting to share some things that I have learned over my childhood years, though I think I’ll still count myself as a child until I’m into my 20’s to be honest! Obviously not tryna preach here or anything just sharing some stuff I hope can help ye out, be you 7 or 70.
1. Appreciate your family
I’m definitely guilty of not doing this. I’ll be the first to admit that out of my family of 5, I’m probably the most argumentative. I don’t mean to be I just tend to take stress out on other people. But your family are the people who love you the most in the world so I try to remember to be grateful because I know I’m so lucky to have them in my life (ok we’re already getting soppy here)
2. Don’t stress the small stuff
I tend to get really stressed about things that don’t matter. It’s like I know I shouldn’t worry but I still stay up at night thinking about things that really don’t need to be worried about! I just try to remember that in 5 years’ time I’ll probably completely have forgotten about the stress, or to be honest, 5 days time!
3. Don’t stress about things that haven’t happened yet
Same as above really. There’s absolutely no point worrying about things that maybe could possibly might happen in the future. Live in the now, you can deal whatever’s to come when it comes.
4. Do your homework
I have to be honest and say that I am a bit of a swot so this was never really something I struggled with but of course there are times when I just can’t be bothered getting up and studying. Just try to remember that you’ll never regret doing work, you’ll only feel bad when you don’t. And you get that proud feeling when you do well in a test.
5. Never be afraid to be you
I think everybody goes through a journey to self-confidence. I know especially when I was around 12 and 13, I really cared about others opinions of me and didn’t want to be seen as not “normal”. You’ll definitely be happiest being yourself though and at the end of the day how much do others opinions of you really matter? Not at all!
6. Say yes more
Stepping out of your comfort zone seems really scary. It would be much easier just to stick to what you know. However some amazing things can happen when you put yourself out there for more fun opportunities. And you know what, sometimes things don’t work out and that’s ok too because at least you got a new experience.
7. Get rid of fake friends
I get that it can be really difficult if there’s someone in your friendship group who you don’t think is a real friend but try to distance yourself from them as much as possible. Honestly, you just don’t need those types of people. Those girls who claim to be your bestfriend but bitch about you every opportunity they get? Not worth your time!
8. Hang onto your real friends
Sometimes if you get in with a new group it can be easy to forget about those who’ve been there all along. But always appreciate those who’ve been loyal the whole time and mix them with your new friends.
9. Be weird
This kinda goes back to the ‘be you’ thing but really who wants to be normal? A lot of my best funniest memories are of the weirdest things but you know what I embrace my weirdness and it makes me happy.
10. Never regret something that once made you smile
Yeah I did just steal a quote here but I stand by it. Often I’ll look back at old photos or think about things I’ve said and done and just cringe. This is especially relevant to my first year days because, well just embarrassing, but you know what? They were my happiest days so I don’t regret a thing.
11. Know the importance of exercise
It’s just too easy to be lazy sometimes. My main excuse this year is that I’m doing my Leaving Cert and have no time. That’s not really true though, it’s just that I use my spare time for other things (ie laptop time!). Not much beats the feeling of doing a good workout or going for a run. There are so many benefits and it’s like studying, you’ll never regret it.
12. Educate yourself
Our generation has the world at our finger tips, you can google anything. I don’t mean you should be spending your time learning about atomic structures or anything, unless that’s what you’re into of course. I just mean if you do have an interest in something there’s always more you can learn. For example a few years ago I had a huge interest in natural remedies for acne. I would spend hours researching it and even took notes. It was more beneficial than watching TV that’s for sure!
13. Be the best version of yourself
Reach your maximum potential, express your thoughts and opinions, be kind to others. Try not to get caught up in impressing others and being “cool”. Allow yourself to be the most fun, caring, succesful version of yourself!
14. Be happy
Life, as they say, is short. You might as well try and enjoy it as much as possible. Often things can get me down for too long and I feel like the worst has happened. Of course it hasn’t though and, as with stress, I try to remember that these things won’t bother me in 5 or 10 years time so why waste time when I could be out enjoying life?
15. Be sad
It might seem strange to make this the next point but it is also important to allow yourself to be sad. I’m not very good at expressing sadness but I am very good at expressing anger. Often when something is getting me down I’ll get mad. But it’s not being weak to show sadness, don’t be afraid.
16. Social media isn’t everything
It is more than easy to get wound up in social media. Why didn’t I get any retweets? Should I have gotten more likes? Why didn’t that person like my picture? I definitely think I say all these things. I enjoy social media, I especially love Insta, but things like that I mean who actually cares? It doesn’t mean that people don’t like you, it doesn’t mean you’re not pretty, it doesn’t mean anything to be honest. Definitely not worth stressing about!
17. Share with others
Nothing better than the feeling of sharing with others. This applies to physical things but what I mostly mean is sharing your opinions, feelings and thoughts with those close to you. I really do think it brings people closer and a problem shared is a problem halved!
18. Don’t wish away your youth
I think most kids can’t wait to be teenagers and most teenagers can’t wait to be adults. I remember people would say your childhood years are your best but I would never listen. They were right though, childhood was much less stressful! I think once you’re about 15, things get tougher. More drama for sure. But also the older you get the more independence and freedom you have. Lots more opportunities to do fun things. I really wanted to turn 18 because it’s the legal age in Ireland so I couldn’t wait. I think I’d like to stay 18 for a while now though because I’m definitely not ready to be a mature adult!
Congrats if you actually managed to read the whole thing. I didn't mean for it to be such a long post but once I get going its hard to stop!