18 things I have learnt in 18 Years


Saturday 25th February 2017 was my 18th Birthday.

Wow, it has come around so fast. I remember

dreaming of what this day would be like when I was about 13 years old, wondering what I would be wearing, what I would look like, if I would have a boyfriend, if I would still be friends with the people I was then friends with. And now it's here, I am a legal adult here in Britain. Wow. Still taking it in. Although it just felt like any ordinary day, I think there is something special about turning eighteen, well turning a year older in any case really. One more year of memories, heartbreaks, rejections, successes, wisdom (?) and friendships to cherish.

Although I have learnt a lot throughout my life so far, I thought on this day I would share eighteen things I have learnt in my brief time on earth, in comparison to the billions of years that the Universe has actually existed, but that's a whole other matter. 

These are some life lessons or advice for myself and hopefully something useful for you as well, so here goes...

1) Don't take everything so seriously. I remember in Primary School I would take every tiny failure to heart; in a school sports day I was distracted in the final race to determine who would win the cup, and lost to another girl in my year. I recall getting so upset that I laid on my Year 2 teacher's knee for the rest of the day! This is not a moment I am particularly proud or fond of, but as I am getting older I am learning not to take things too seriously. Whatever happens happens, if you lose a game of hockey in school, it really isn't the end of the world. Now, I'm not saying to give up trying or putting effort in, but I think everything happens for a reason, and things go wrong so that you can appreciate them when they go right. You shouldn't let bad experiences knock your confidence, just 'get back on the horse', as they say (not sure who 'they' are but it's definitely a saying I'm sure).  

2) You probably won't be friends with the same people for your whole life. I know this sounds a little harsh, but at the end of the day it is probably true. You may keep one special friend throughout your life, and if you do, you are one lucky lady/man! The moral of this is not to worry about what your friends think about what you are doing. Don't make decisions based on what your friends are doing, or what will seem 'cool' to your friends. Do things for you, things that you will enjoy and look back on that you are proud of for yourself. Because otherwise you will regret it. 

3) Having a boyfriend is not the be all and end all. If you have one, and he makes you happy, then great! But if you don't, don't beat yourself up about it. It really isn't the end of the world, just enjoy being happy with yourself! You don't have to worry about anyone else, you can eat as much as you like, and watch as much netflix as you like! And then when the right person comes along you can enjoy time with them :) 

4) Try and stick to your homework deadlines. It is so much easier to just write everything down, and actually do the homework. Then you won't have to make up excuses about how your grandma ran over your homework with her car and it has muddy tracks on it. Seriously, you're only going to get even further behind, have loads of teachers on your back and then when you realise you do actually have to do some work at some point, you will feel evermore stressed!

5) Hang out with your friends outside of school. It is alright to do your homework, but try and socialise as well outside of school. You will create closer bonds with the people around you, and create lots more memories when you're not under the constraints from the school system every day. 

6) Never give up. This can be on a large scale, like you want to be in movies or you want to find a cure for cancer. Or it could be a smaller scale issue, you can't tie your shoelace, or are having difficulties riding a bike. Don't give up. The thing I'm scared of most in life is growing older and when I'm on my death bed looking back at my life and regretting those little opportunities that I gave up on, or the things that I didn't do. So never give up with any of your ambitions, you can change course and find a new ambition, but never give up. 

7) You can never have too many hair ties and grips. I swear they have legs, I actually put a grip down and it vanishes. Then I find it a week later somewhere that I definitely did not leave it. Therefore, it is completely necessary to have an endless supply of grips and bobbles for when the little pesks run off.

8) Dressing gowns are a must. If you do not own a dressing gown, please purchase one. They solve all your problems. You're feeling cold? put on your dressing gown. Feeling down? Dressing gown. Waiting for the water to heat up? Dressing gown. Postman at your door? Dressing gown. Lazy day? Dressing gown. Brothers graduation? Dressing gown. Okay, maybe not, but still they are the best invention, so fluffy, cuddly and cute. 

9) It's okay to be a child forever. I will never not love Thumpa from Bambi (and yes I know I spell his name wrong, but it's my own interpretation okay ;)) and have about three toys of him on my bed. And I will never stop growing my Tsum Tsum collection or believing that teddy bears come to life at night. 

10) Your taste buds will change. I absolutely detest fish, but I am slowly accepting battered fish into my life. My favourite meal used to be sausage and mash, but now I'm not too keen on the texture of sausages! I went through a stage of adoring bread, and I used to eat the whole plate of bread that my Mum laid out to eat with the Chilli. But now, I restrain myself, and have only been eating a few pieces. My parents often say, 'Oh, you've decided you don't like that anymore have you?' It is the cold truth, your taste buds change from time to time. 

11) Listen to your Mum's advice. She's been around longer, so most of the time she probably knows better than you. And she's also probably only looking out for what's best for you, so listen to her and take her advice on board.

12) Do not choose a guy over your friends. It is never a good idea to isolate yourself from your friends, who have probably had your back through a lot more than the boy you are dating currently. If your new beau is asking you to choose him over them, he probably isn't the right guy. You both need to have friends other than each other for it to be a healthy relationship, so that you can have 'you' time. Plus, if something happens and you aren't together anymore, you will be left with no one. I'm sorry to be frank. 

13) Don't neglect your family. Just because they are forced to be your family by genes, doesn't mean you can't push them away over time. When you are busy going out with your friends or boyfriend or girlfriend, remember that your brothers or sisters need to spend time with you as well. They are the ones that have grown up with you, and probably know you better than anyone. It will be a shame if you push them away so much that you don't have them to talk to when you need them later on in life. 

14) Bacon and maple syrup is actually life. A few of my friends that I have told about this in England have given me some funny stares or told me I was strange. But you cannot knock this until you have tried it. Wow, heaven. I can taste it now. 

15) On another food note, banana and crisp sandwiches are also the nicest. A mix of healthy and yummy. A perfect combination. Feel free to try it and leave a comment telling me if you liked it, which I'm sure once you get over the initial grossness, you will. 

16) Don't let anyone put you down if you are part of a religion. There will be people that knock you down and try to question your faith. I know I have found people like that. But don't listen to them. It is your life and you can choose what religion you want to follow. There are also quite a lot of people who respect those who pronounce their faith. I know I respect all those that openly tell people about their faith. Be one of those people, it feels so much better to get it out there and to share your views. It might even inspire someone else to join you in your religious journey!

17) Don't try to grow up too fast. This is something that my Mum always tells me. Make the most of being young, because the years do go so fast and you don't even realise it. I mean, I can't believe it's March already! Where is this year going?! As I'm eighteen now, I am realising how quickly my life has gone, and how quickly it will go from now. There is no point waiting to do things you want to do. Start it now, even if it is just planning what you intend to do. Start now, there is no time to lose. 

18)Finally, in the spirit of this post, enjoy your birthday! It is an 'all about you' day, so enjoy it! Even if you think you're getting old, there is no need to be sad on your birthday. Celebrate your life, what you have achieved, or what you are going to achieve. Set goals for the year on your birthday and stick to them. Take it as a day off from everything else, focus on yourself and be happy with yourself. 

So there we go, 18 things that I have learnt. Some deeper than others, but all valid. I hope you found something useful in this post. If you did, feel free to leave a comment, I would love to hear from you.

Thank you for reading this far!

x x x

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