18 Things I Learned Before I Turned 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!