18 Things I Learned Before 18!

So, maybe it's your birthday, maybe someone close to you is no longer in your life, maybe you're graduating from college, or maybe you're dropping out to take your dream job. Whatever your scenario, if you're anything like me you are feeling extremely self-reflective and you are thinking of ways you can make the next year of your life even better. Here are eighteen things I've learned during my short time on earth. Let me know if you have anything to add. I'm open to learning!

1.) Everyone feels uneasy and anxious sometimes, you are not alone!

You walk into a room of people and instantly your heart starts beating faster than you can measure. Please realize you are not the only person who feels this anxiety. Plenty of people suffer from social anxiety and people who don't probably feel anxious for other reasons, so keep this in mind when you think or feel you are the only one feeling the way you're feeling.

2.) Friends are fleeting.

If you're human, you probably don't like losing friends. Friends are people that you tell your secrets to and share fun times with, but in life sometimes we need to shed our shell to move on to bigger and better things. Staying friends with the same people is a disservice to yourself if they no longer have the same drive and desire as you do. Don't hold yourself back to keep the peace, or make others happy. Do what you need to do.

3.) Losing a friend doesn't mean you have to be a jerk.

This isn't eighth grade and you don't have to be cruel to Ally, because you are no longer friends. First of all, you were friends so you probably have mutual friends, and your friends will probably not appreciate the awkwardness. Also, what is the purpose of being obnoxious to someone who you cared about deeply at some point? Make sure you treat your ex-friend with respect, they are still a living and breathing human.

4.) Being strong does not mean being mean.

My father always reminds me that I must stay strong, but when I was younger I associated strength with anger and a hard exterior. After trying out the angry approach, I realized the strongest people are not angry. Instead, they are kind, honest and have the ability to move on from things others hold on to. While I'm still working on the last part, kindness and honesty are two methods I've instilled into my everyday routine.

5.) Your Ex is NOT your friend.

Once you cross into a certain territory, with a certain person, physically, emotionally or mentally there is no turning back. Even if you feel mature enough to keep relations with this said person, it is highly likely they feel some sort of animosity towards you. If you're anything like me, you try to give people the benefit of the doubt. In the case of your ex, do not give them the benefit of the doubt. Protect yourself, keep a healthy distance especially in the beginning and move on with your life! Your ex is your ex for a reason.

6.) Mistakes are okay!!

When I turned 16, my parents (the best parents in the world), threw a big party for me and they both gave a speech. During my dad's speech, he told me to "make the fall apart of my dance". I'm still learning how to reject the notion that everything needs to be perfect, but on the occasions when I let go of perfection, everything feels more perfect. Ironic right? Right.

7.) Speaking up, doesn't have to be a bad thing.

When growing up adults tell children not to speak unless spoken to. Adults fail to realize that one day their child will grow up to be an adult. Now, you are the adult. It's so important to stand your ground when you need to, but you can always do that in a classy, but sassy manner. It's okay to say how you feel.

8.) Love is everything.

Love exists in so many forms. When people think about love they often think solely about romantic relationships. Love comes in so many forms. Friendship love, love for a passion, self-love, familial love and love for a higher power. It is so important to dive into every type of love and let yourself experience love in its many forms. As cliche as it may sound, love is the most beautiful thing about this life.

Stay tuned for the continuation of this post, my first YouTube video!

Cranium Cement

To the ones who live inside their minds.

You live in a place where no one can relate.

When you wake up in the morning a scroll everything that could go wrong, falls at your feet faster than Bolt's 9.58 run.

Except your race never ends, for she is loud and she shrieks, much like a freight train disturbing a sleepers sleep.

Your heart beats EDM, night club lights flash in your head.

Crowds leave you parched, despite the hours you spent preparing, planning, pacing, pounding, praying, everything would go right.

When you engage with a cohort of uninhibited, affectionate and affable, you qualm, fixated on a mind that simple.

After some time, some thought, some lived life.

After the pressing chest breaking feeling resides.

After closing your eyes, deep breathing and spending days at a time crying.

Remember the way the grass feels through your fingers and toes.

Remember the way your mother's food smells and how she warms you with her hugs.

Remember you're living.

Remember you're reading.

Remember at this moment all your sense are tingling.

This life ends with one last blink.

This dance ends and the curtain will close.

There is color outside of your mind, you just have to expose your soul.

Third Degree Burn

That bites, stings, and burns.

Why gray? Couldn't they pick another color? Maybe a color that doesn't evoke this emotion.

I don't mean to anger so easily, I don't mean to appear so sensitive. Honestly, I finally thought everything was okay.

I know you're pretending, I can see it all over your face.

Trying to fill a void of loneliness, and nothingness. That's all this ever was, and that's all it will ever be with you.

So maybe this is red talking, not sensible blue.

Maybe the pen is pressing too hard into this paper, because of the stress release unraveling.

The difference between me and you is that I'm actually dealing.

I know my social pictures kill you, all the videos too.

I know my success makes you wonder if you were the very reason, I couldn't make any progress.

We both know this is over. We both know red lingers.

The girl became a woman.

A woman strong enough to leave, a woman strong enough to deal with and face her emotions.

All thanks to you.

Mr. Vulnerable

Flashback five years ago, I wouldn't have anticipated my situation.

Never thought I was capable of my successes, of creating this mess.

But I got older and learned that black and white aren't really colors, just abstract ideas the robots attempt to make sense of.

I blink and everything changes.

With an aversion to routine, many consistently crave, I cave. It kills me to stay in one place.

Within my flight, I've hurt many, I don't want you to taste my venom.

The caterpillar to my monarch vacant. Still, you persist, your vulnerability catalyzing my discomfort.

Reflecting my fears, reflecting what I'm lacking.

I'm left to wonder. Why are you so willing to close your eyes and see my nightmare? I am envious.

Shut my eyes and try to see me the way you see me.

Shut my eyes and attempt to understand your curiosity.

Shut my eyes and dare to invade your dreams.

Shut my eyes, leave behind the poison.

Shut my eyes, blindly reach out, although this will likely end in heartbreak.

To My Dreamers - Jasmine Tay

The loneliness that surrounds me.

Usually, this gets to me, but there is no reason. No reason for me to ponder about why her. No reason to try and understand male psychology. No reason to rationalize why I am never picked.

Instead, it's time to understand why the shoe has never fit.

Not me, not them, instead it's life, my dreams that make my love life sigh.

See dreamers, workers we must learn a lovers pot we do not churn.

For simpletons won't understand, the salt of sacrifice we must add to our own pot.

Our recipe requires long nights, constant competitiveness and mental fights.

To the passionate and trailblazing kind, understand your heart a rare find.

It's unlikely you will find someone who gets your grip from the jump.

See regulars they value peace, serenity, and safety.

Us dream birds sing a different song, of discipline, risk-taking, and love.

Not love for a person or a material idea, but love for a much more complicated feeling.

So don't fret if you haven't found the one, keep adding color to your rainbow.

Remember trees grow slowly with patience, care, and trust, give yourself time, give your dreams time and somewhere along the line, your lover will come.

Pens - Trust your gut

The pens vary green, red, purple, blue and black.

The pens all in my knapsack.

I've collected these pens as I've grown through the years.

The pens that remind me of my seven-hundred drops of tears.

The pens that have changed, as I've transformed along the way.

Some of those pens, they've run out of ink.

Like some friendships and relationships, the pens not as strong as we think.

Some of those pens, no longer have caps.

Much like the pens, your patience has run thin, so lately you stray from conventional ways of thinking.

You've thrown off your cap, much like the pen. The restriction too much for you to bear with.

You no longer live in the box you started, instead, you live with others you can relate with and understand.

Sometimes like a pen, you fall on the floor, get lost and confused until you find a new owner.

Much like a pen we all are different, some more colorful, some straighter, some fluffier, some curvier.

We know that pens, have one thing in a common. The pen does not write the story, instead, it's the writer.

Too many of us sit around like the pen, waiting for someone to come around and us again.

Used in love, used in future endeavors, used to fill someone else's agenda.

Used for companionship, used for happiness, used to make everyone else feel better.

We are not pens, we are musicians, writers, dancers, and statisticians. We are creators, not to be used. We must mold our own story. We must create our own songs. We must be writers not pens, but specifically in our own stories.

Jasmine writes to explains how important it is to trust your gut, despite the temptation to ignore the voice in one’s head and take the easy way out.

Home - Poetry for Teens


Draped in my pink dress.

My cheeks drenched in blush.

I hesitate, refuse to show you what's underneath when the dress comes off.

There's darkness they don't see.

There's a different side of me.

She comes hides in the morning, she comes alive at night.

The me you see a spirits person.

A girl with class and dreams.

A girl with confidence galore.

Eye shadow perfect, lips covered in gold.

You don't know what happens when I get home.

Not home with my mother, father, brother, but beyond my address.

The home I'm referring to, the home I inhabit myself.

The home where I cry for past sweethearts.

The where I sit pondering the future's best course.

The home where envy harbors, all by herself.

The home where I'm not always Ms. Happy-Go-Lucky.

The home where I fear an unfulfilling life.

The home where I'm content and have no one to please.

In my home, there is no one to please, but me.

Jasmine Tay’s poem “Home” describes the importance of the relationship we create with ourselves. See more of Jasmine’s poetry here.


To All the Boys I've Loved, Sort of, Kind of - A Poem About Love - Jasmine Tay

Lover number one,

Pure, true and raw.

Young and confused we were, unable to become something other than two lovers blind and out of our elements. With mirrored pasts, struggles parallel. Without the guidance of a lovers past, our hopes and dreams for each other fell.

I pray you learned why I bled resistance despite your consistency.

Forever and always we said, and forever and always you will be in my heart, even if you aren't mine.

Lover number two,

Different, rebound, feelings of recklessness.

I dared to try something new.

You thought you smelled desperation, you thought you knocked upon the door of a lost soul.

But together my head saw through your goals.

Lover number three,

sunny, temporary and fine

For a minute, stole my heart made it yours instead of mine.

Made me mistake lust for a quick and easy, love.

You were worse than I was, although you tried to convince yourself otherwise.

No good love ever comes from people who fight on the first night.

Too bad your girl back home never knew a thing.

Lovers number four and five,

You helped the time go by.

Always in a rush, I go, with my hesitation, aversion to loneliness.

You filled in a gap of an empty soul, made lonely times less lonely.

Lover number six,

We think the same way. Some people may say, we're twins in that way.

We saw each other's drive.

We felt the need for a mutual high.

Not drugs, nor drinks, like you all would assume.

It's our dreams, brains we want to inhale.

Your love ten thousand feet wide, but my dreams bigger than my love for you, made me run away.

Didn't want to be a fool.

Couldn't make the same mistake again, time a concept I only understand as I get older, our clock buzzed, she ran out of time.

Lover number never,

You hide, you quiver, sometimes you hurt more than one, the rejection something my ego cannot handle.

Every time we got close you showed me the same resistance I showed to lover one to six.

You tell me I'm dramatic and delusional.

But, nothing you say will make me believe your never-ending denial.

The way you look at me, speak to me, says otherwise.

Next time, keep your feelings separate from your actions.

Lover of tomorrow,

I have some requests.

Please make me laugh, love and always try your best.

Understand I am loving, but will sometimes lose my patience.

Understand I am a dreamer, and I often grow restless.

Remind me that I'm capable, beautiful and strong, for sometimes I fail to trust the beat of my own drum.

If I am wrong, don't neglect me, and speak to me calmly.

Become lover forever.

Become the last of my lovers.

The Girl Inside Your Head - Poetry for Teens

What am I writing towards?

What am I writing for?

Am I aimlessly floating, waiting for the pencil to make some magic?

The magic she so frequently tells me I lack?

You know the girl I'm talking about.

The girl that tells you, you aren't good enough when you finally feel like begins to add up.

The girl that begs for your silence when you want nothing, but to scream a scream coated in candor and release.

The girl that looks back at you and tells you to rearrange your face, your physical makeup.

The girl that you begin to question as you get older, wiser.

The girl that diminishes slowly as you ignore her.

The girl that vanishes once you find the real her.

"The Girl Inside Your Head", reminds teens that second-guessing one's self is counterproductive. This poem for teens emphasizes the importance of self-belief.

Fantasy Lover - A Poem about Love

Hidden beneath others with more zing and zest, I never recognized the true wonder of your presence.

Polite, yet to oneself.

Confident, yet humble.

A girls dream, yet this all fell beneath me.

Curiosity leaves me dreaming and soon I create a world where you and I coexist.

Perfect you become, though I know not of your name.

I only know of your charm and your welcoming face.

Enclosed in hesitation, I admire you from afar.

For I fear, my action upon you will tear my fantasy apart.

The Dollar - Poetry About Money

The qualifications of financial perfection seem unattainable.

The world mandating a pathway for the lot of us to take.

The world demanding, persisting, resisting.

Without direction, ants in colonies we become.

A green symbol controlling every thought, every utterance.

The lot of us neglecting to understand a piece of paper, while valuable today, can lose its value in a millisecond.

What happens when the days of the dollar terminate.

Passions, dreams, desires abandoned for the lot of us decided we rather chase after a man-made construct, an imagination's prowess.

The lot of them call your journey cold, scary, and dim, but let them see your Frost and take your own path, despite their resistance.

Jasmine Tay's, poem about money "The Dollar" touches upon the dangers revolving around one's sole focus on money. Despite money's importance, without other stimulating and rewarding sources, mankind will face the danger of eventual extinction.

For more poetry on money, please click here.

Venom -

Poison.

Venom has infiltrated the red that is your bloodstream and there is no turning back.

Where will you travel?

For the nearest help, miles away, not a nurse in sight to nurse you.

This is your fault.

You heard the hissing, the whispers of others warning you before.

Stay out the jungle.

You didn't listen. You never listen. You were always so stubborn.

This is what it feels like when you don't take heed.

Suddenly you can't see, you're feeling faint, weak.

Reaching, eyes open, you wake up to a hiss. The snake has returned.

The same snake who wrapped his body around your neck, sunk death into your cheek.

You welcome the sting, the tainted blood.

No longer pure, you figure what's a little more...venom.

Enamored by the way the skin sheds all at once, just to appear all over again.

Each time you're impressed. Never growing restless.

So the snake picks up where she left off and repeats the cycle again.

Natural Disaster - Jasmine's Best Poem Yet

Backs on backs, fingers on fingers, eyes on eyes.

Lightning.

Lightning Sparks.

Now I am the fire, after the strike.

Now you're forced to take caution.

My red-orange too strong.

Like a flower, the sunset, eyes opening in the morning.

You swim in your ghost town, rot, sewage galore.

Screams. Crying, begging, pleading.

Screaming in my blue, purple and gold.

Though blind, you are my purple.

Profusely, consistently you respond with disapproval.

Decline all my wishes, turn your back on my soul.

Your persistence unwavering, my fire dimming.

My thunderstorm lives adjacent to your tornado.

Bigger than the sunshine existing in a past life.

Still again we lock eyes, lock hands, lock rhymes.

Until 2 am when lightning strikes.

Man's Plan for Women

Come here girl, pose for me girl, dance for me girl.

Forget your lessons, forget your hopes and dreams.

Nothing to aspire to in life but a man’s source of pleasure.

Quit the fighting. Don’t you know your fate?

Pneumatic and quiet that’s exactly how they want you.

Shut up, sit down. Do not speak unless you are asked to.

Silenced for years, why would the course change now.

Who are you? But his side dish, main course, meal?

Booming. Crashing. Crumbling. That’s how they want you.

Grasping. Reaching. You. That’s how you ought to be.

You ought to be colorful.

You ought to be yours.

Forget the world of pompous sir’s .

Design and devise your own world.