What I Wish I Knew At 18

I’ve been seeing this trend going around the internet for a while now, & I wanted to jump on the bandwagon. I’ve been thinking about growth & how much I’ve changed as a person since the young age of 18, & although I’m someone who doesn’t like regretting the past, I do have a few things I wish I knew back then. I was someone who was very hard on myself, a bit naive & a huge hopeless romantic. I wish I could let her know everything is going to be ok.

YOU WON’T HAVE EVERYTHING FIGURED OUT & YOU WON’T BE ALONE

So, at 18, I was studying at my local community college, pursuing a degree in journalism. Being in 13th grade (as people called it) made me feel lost & I dreamed of the day I had it all figured out & was headed to my four year university. Fast forward a few semesters, & I transfer to a four year school & ended up earning a degree in psychology. Life is a funny thing. You think you are on the path for once thing & years later you realize all the twists & turns that lead you to the future you probably needed more. And although it may feel like you’re the only one going through it, you aren’t. Everyone else is as clueless as you are. And those feelings don’t necessarily go away with age. But that’s the thrilling part of life really.

FILLING VOIDS WITH PURCHASES WON’T HELP YOU FEEL BETTER

When I was younger, I didn’t realize I hid my emotions through shopping. Instead of communicating my feelings in my dating life or family matters, it all was mended through new clothing or makeup. And although at first, it made me happy & distracted. It was just that. A DISTRACTION. I sucked at communicating my feelings. I think I spent almost 4 years too long in my first love/relationship for this very reason. If we talked more about real shit & how we felt , I would have ran the other way years before. But those were just lessons I slowly learned as I got older & I’ve gotten better. Not perfect, but definitely better. Along with this, I attributed new clothing as way to express the “new me”. Anytime I felt like I needed a change in my life, I thought changing my appearance would do that. I got this adrenaline rush anytime I stepped foot into a mall. Like, “Yes, this is the day I start a new!” “This sweater will lead me to a better me.” I’d be “different” for maybe an hour. And then I’d just slump back into my old habits & behaviors.

THE WAY I PERCEIVED LOVE WAS SUPERFICIAL & ENTERTAINMENT

My first relationship in high school which lasted a little bit before my 21st birthday was true love. You couldn’t convince me otherwise. I had a promise ring to prove it ok? But now that I look back, I see it as a way I stayed entertained. I had a place to go & things to do on Friday/ Saturday nights. And sure at the time, I felt like this person was “the one”. But dear god, I clearly was confused as to what love really was. Especially knowing I’m in a unconditional, forever type of relationship now. There’s a difference between loving someone selfishly & unselfishishly. And I really didn’t know this person whole heartedly. I mean, the guy dumped me at my front porch steps while I was eating Chick fil A nuggets. As devastated as I was back then, that was so immature for someone who was supposedly my forever person. I chucked that ring in the trash & discovered what love truly is supposed to be. But to give him the benefit of the doubt, we were rather young.

YOUR ANXIETIES AREN’T SOMETHING TO BE ASHAMED OF

I used to think I was so alone in my worrisome battles. And I was so ashamed of feeling this way all the time. Socially, I thought I was a burden to others. Every task or situation seemed like such a problem. My ex used to tell me “Stop being a worry wart all the time, it’s annoying.” And that’s the worst thing you could say to someone like me. But also, I never wanted to admit there was an issue. And I still don’t. I’ve learned to handle it myself. And I can say, living with less & switching my mindset on life has helped me dramatically. I’ve found ways that truly help me. And half of it has to do with me accepting it & reluctantly working on myself each day.

I’M ENOUGH JUST THE WAY THAT I AM

I talk about comparison a lot on here & the reason for that is because it’s something I’ve been working on for years. I can say, now I am not fully there but am better than my younger self in that matter. I used to think I wasn’t pretty enough. Or smart enough. Or ambitious enough. And I think half the problem was being surrounded by people who didn’t have my best interest at heart, not listening to the ones who did, & not having the confidence to just think those rude people were full of shit. Sure, there are still times where I struggle at being enough for people. But there’s strength in accepting yourself fully as you are. Flaws & all. And although I’m always bettering myself, I am not rediculing myself over my setbacks either. I’ve learned to take pride in myself & see every side of me as beautiful.

THERE IS SO MUCH MORE TO LIFE THAN FOCUSING MERELY ON YOURSELF

Being selfish can be a healthy trait. But at 18, I had this idea that the world revolved around me & my problems were the main event. I’ve learned that there are bigger things in this world sometimes. And you have to put your energy into other people & issues besides your own. I believe it’s important to learn from other people, share opinions & inspire. Don’t let yourself stay in this box of one sided perspectives. That’s when you become ignorant.

All this boils down to is GROWTH. And everyday, I try to evolve into a better individual. And the battles you may be going through today will be a thing of the past soon enough. And never look down on your past self, as they were YOU at one point & you should never be cruel to yourself.

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31 thoughts on “What I Wish I Knew At 18

  1. Love this! โค What resonated with me the most is that you aren't alone.Sometimes it feels like you are. sometimes it feels like you are the only teenager or early twenty-something going through your issues.But you aren't. Chances are everyone else is going through it too. Some people are just good at hiding it better . Some aren't. I wish I had known this when I was younger

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I’ve never related to a blog post so much! There are so many quotes I want to write down and keep with me from this post. There are so many times where I felt alone like I was the only person facing the problems I had. Looking back, I realise that everyone was going through a similar phase, especially in high-school and college.

    It really is an ongoing process of working on yourself each day and taking it one step at a time. I love the message ‘I’m enough just the way I am’, and ‘it’s important to learn from other people’. Thank you for sharing such a positive and inspiring post, while reminding people they are not alone. ๐Ÿ’œ

    Liked by 2 people

  3. This is so insightful. I think weโ€™d all give ourselves a good talking-to if we could go back in time and give advice to our 18 year-old selves. Thanks for sharing!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. This was really interesting, and some great advice for younger people too. It got me thinking about what I would have said to myself at that age and I’d probably add something along the lines of stop trying to please others before yourself.

    Sophie

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I really enjoyed this post! I think all of us had that stupid love story that definitely made us a little dumb, but it is definitely part of life. I like to say all the idiots I dated taught me to appreciate my husband!

    Liked by 1 person

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