I set about on a mission to collect some insights for my younger readers who might feel overwhelmed by big decisions for their future.
In the Western world, 18 is the “right of passage” age. We make many of our most fundamental decisions at 18: what to study, where to live, where to work, who to date, how to balance work and play, etc. Of course, we keep making these decisions and many others throughout our adulthood as well.
At 18, I was preparing for launch to University; my parents moved halfway across the world, and I couldn’t go with them. Many of my friends, now in their late 20s to late 30s, faced similarly challenging events around that time. Some moved out. Others went to university or trade school. Others went straight to work. Some had kids. Some got married.
Here are some of the tips they wish someone would have shared with them when they were 18:
- Life is not as serious as you think. Play!
- Disappointments are often the greatest blessings in disguise.
- The teasing, bullying, and harsh words will pass and you will learn that those who hurt you are the ones with the problem; not you.
- Failure means you are on an uphill battle. From failure, you rise.
- If you put your mind to it, you will soon manage the people who told you it couldn’t be done. No, not figuratively… literally.
- Save your white dollar for the black day. Everyone told us, but we didn’t listen.
- You don’t know as much about love as you think you do.
- How many “friends” you have doesn’t mean anything. Choose quality over quantity.
- Your parents, family, and friends will die. Treat them each day as if it were their last.
- Immigration is expensive and painful. Be compassionate.
- If you try to do the things you think you can’t do, you’ll find out that you can do them.
- Be assertive. He who stands for nothing falls for everything.
- Don’t be too stubborn. Stubborn people can’t learn.
- Don’t run after someone who doesn’t care about you. When you pursue that path, you are not open to true love.
- Whatever career path you are pursuing right now will probably change significantly. It’s OK. Change is the beauty of life.
- The lack of responsibility is an amazing thing. Enjoy it. If you think you are responsible for a lot now, believe me, you ain’t seen nothing yet.
- Don’t be afraid of rejection.
- If the debate is to kiss the girl or not to kiss her, kiss her! (IF SHE CONSENTS, don’t be a jerk).
- Take care of your body. God only gives you one.
- Do not let anyone tell you that you should not believe in the things that inspire faith in you.
- Be intentional about how you think. What you think, you become.
- Stand on the right side, the human side, of history… no matter what.
- Be charitable. If you can spare the dollar, spare it.
- Believe that anything is possible.
What do you wish you knew at 18?
And remember… we design our own luck!