18 Things I'd Tell My 18-Year-Old Self

I've been meaning to write a post like this, ever since I first put it on my 50 Creative Blog Post Ideas back a few years ago. With all the lessons learned and wisdom accumulated in my (short) life, I think I'm finally ready to address "Teenage Me" and make a list of 18 Things I'd Tell My 18 Year Old Self.

The photo above is baby me, fresh out of high school with fire in my heart. Since this photo was taken I've finished an undergraduate degree, held down a job in childcare, and met some of the best people I've ever had the pleasure of knowing. Though I wouldn't call myself an expert by a long shot, nor will I ever, there are a few life lessons I'd like to pass along to 18-year-old me. Here they are:

  1. Nothing is set in stone, and you're never going to be able to predict the turns that life is going to take. Things get easier if you embrace the fact that nothing is going to stay the same for long.
  2. Kiss your dog. She won't be around forever.
  3. Your mom is always right, just accept it already. You'll appreciate her even more when you do.
  4. You will get mono, and it will suck. Kiss your enemies. Make out with them right in their stupid faces.
  5. If he tells you he loves you on the night you meet him, run. Not many guys your age will buy you pizza for no reason. When he asks for you to come over to watch a movie, he usually means something else. But of course you already knew that.
  6. Try not to regret things. Turn unfortunate experiences into stories or lessons instead.
  7. Enjoy Fireball Whiskey while you still can. When you're my age, even the smell of it will make you want to dry heave.
  8. Think before you speak. You might hurt someone, including yourself if you don't.
  9. Not everyone is going to be your friend, and that's okay. The sooner you realize that, the better.
  10. Moving in with someone can ruin your friendship.
  11. Though sweet, revenge isn't always worth it. Often times you'll end up feeling worse about the situation (or yourself) after your plan is executed. 
  12. There are plenty of mistakes left to make. Don't rush them.
  13. Go to the party. Even if you feel awkward at first, you'll have fun. If not, you can leave. No harm, no foul.
  14. Go on the date. Even if it sucks, the story will make your friends laugh.
  15. Don't ruin a good mistake by failing to learn from it. 
  16. Take lots and lots of pictures.
  17. Look around you. Take it all in. Remember the faces and the names and the feelings. Too often we overlook the details.
  18. And most importantly, take care of yourself. Give yourself time to rest and tune out and heal when your need it. Don't stress so much, you'll get everywhere you need to be in due time.

What would you tell your younger self?


  1. Take lots of pictures... so true. The digital camera craze didn't really come until I was closer to 20 and there's so many highschool to 20 year old memories that I totally missed documenting :( Even if it was with a stupid disposable, I wish I had taken more photos.

  2. I'd tell my younger self not to ever cut my hair and to get in better shape so that I don't have to now! Haha but this was really awesome, I liked it! Especially the part about "your mom is always right" because mine sure is.

  3. Aw! I love this!
    I think I would probably tell my younger self to hold on because it gets easier and it gets way better!

  4. I love this! "Kiss Your Dog" tugged at my heart. =-/ It's a really good post, and I'm glad you did it. I'll be turning twenty in March (yikes), but this has definitely inspired me to do a post!

    rebekahkoontzsite.com // US Lifestyle Blog

  5. This is a really great post! It's funny to think back on yourself at that time, I remember at 18 I thought I had everything figured out and I "knew" exactly what was in store for me. I wish I would have realized sooner that my parents were actually cool, and realized that I could have been having real conversations with them instead of blowing them off like a typical teenager does.

  6. I could seriously burst into tears reading "kiss your dog she won't be around forever". My dog Daisy died while I was away at college, she was hit by a car. It was so sad.

  7. This is really beautiful! I got shivers around Not everyone is going to be your friend'
    Moving in with someone can ruin a friendship! So true and I think everyone learns this at some point, because everyone thinks its going to be such a great idea!
    This is some great advice whether you are 18 or 68! Although I hope you know about the Go To The Party one by 68!

    Kelsey x

  8. This is such a good post, beautiful :D

  9. Go away to college, and don't listen to anyone else when deciding what you want to major in.


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