18 Things You Learn By 18

1. You find yourself drawn to people with interesting thoughts, intelligent ideas, and positive attitudes.
No more small talk. We’re at the point in our lives where we thrive on deep conversations that truly matter and inspire us.

2. Your passions are your calling.
We’re finally at that age where we understand what we’re incredibly passionate about and what we’re interested in pursuing for the rest of our lives. We have high hopes for the future and we’re confident we will do great things.

3. It’s okay to stand out, and stand up.
We finally think it’s cool to stand out from the crowd and go against the flow. And with that confidence we’ve also learned that it’s okay to disagree with others and stand up for our beliefs.

4. Life is short.
Everyone knows this….it’s pretty much a given. But now that we’re officially adults it’s all becoming real. I remember waking up on my 17th birthday and thinking, “I’m so old….what am I going to feel like during my next 70 or so birthdays??” We cherish our late summer nights and early sunrise hikes, living completely in the moment.

5. It’s okay to expect great things of yourself.
I think we’ve all been there…. we think that greatness is for other people and that we’re just meant to be Average Joe’s…. well not anymore (: As 18 year olds we finally recognize our accomplishments and potential and we’re understanding that it’s okay to have high expectations of ourselves.

6. If you aren’t willing to look stupid, nothing great is ever going to happen to you.
We don’t take everything so seriously. I can honestly say that one of my favorite high school memories is doing the Napoleon Dynamite dance in front of the entire school for Homecoming Court with one of my good friends…

7. Never rip yourself to pieces to keep others whole.
Most of us, if not all of us have been there. We keep putting others before ourself and sometimes it can become destructive. Not anymore. We know exactly what we deserve and how to be happy.

8. Don’t stress over the little things.
Bad things are going to happen, but often times it’s just not even worth stressing over.

9. Strive for progress, not perfection.
As our childhood hero, Hannah Montana, would say….”Nobody’s perfect, I gotta work it.”

10. Time is precious. When you give it to someone, you give them a part of your life that you’ll never get back.
As our economics teacher would say, time is a limited resource…spend it wisely.

11. It’s okay to be lost in the right direction.
Asking us to decide what we want to do for the rest of our lives right out of high school is a little ridiculous…so we’ve come to learn to love being lost in the right direction. It feels good having a general idea of what we’d like to pursue, but not having a concrete plan.

12. Not everything is a competition. We hope we all make it.
Growing up, I thought everything was a competition. Who has the best handwriting? Who can handstand the longest? Who can jumprope the longest at recess? But now none of that matters….we have major respect for everyone in our class–from the guy who goes to national competitions for yo-yoing, to the future president, to the girls going to Princeton and Stanford….when one of them wins, we all win.

13. People are prettiest when they talk about something they really love with passion in their eyes.
Appearances don’t really mean much anymore at this age. We’re absolutely drawn to passion and love it when people share their hopes and dreams with us.

14. Never apologize for feeling.
We used to associate strength with not showing pain on the outside. But hey, we’re finally getting the fact that it’s alright to feel it, understand it, and accept it. Being brave enough to show our feelings and vulnerability is pretty strong….

15. Never love someone who treats you like you’re ordinary.
Gosh dang, you’re special…and you deserve someone who recognizes that. That high school relationship that didn’t last? It’s okay….it just taught you what to look for next time.

16. Fall in love with as many things as possible.
We’re still so young and have bucket lists as long as the Nile. We seek adventure and want to experience as much as we can, as soon as we can.

17. Don’t focus so much on making a living that you forget to live.
ACT’s….college applications….scholarships….sports…..and dealing with many other things can sometimes trip us up. But we’re constantly reminding ourselves to make the most of everything and we finally understand that what we’re going through is a part of the experience.

18. You are beautifully flawed.
We’re blooming adults and finally at the point in our lives where we fully accept ourselves…flaws and all (: