11 Things You Wish You Would Have Learned Before You Turned 18

Oh, how I long for the days of 17, and you should too. At 17, the only thing we had to do for ourselves was drive. Then, we hit 18 and it all went downhill. Here’s some stuff that would have made the transition a little easier.

1.  How to get the oil changed in your car. Eventually your car is going to need this changed, so learn now before you have a blinking ‘15% left’ on your dashboard. Nothing like a good panic attack every time you get in the car.

2.  How to change a tire. So imagine you’re driving along and suddenly, run over a sharp object. BLAMO! You’ve got a busted tire and no one is there to fix it for you. Bet you wish you would have listened when your mom gave you that short tutorial.

3.  How to fill out your tax forms. All I’m saying is that I still call my mom just to make sure I filled them out right. The plague short-term memory loss is real.

4.  Voting is actually super important, and every vote counts even though we don’t always have the proof. Maybe you’re convinced that it doesn’t matter if you vote, but even if your candidate doesn’t win, exercising this right, shows that you are an active and responsible member of this society. Some people wish they could vote and don’t have the chance. You do, so make it count.

5.  That just because you can get a purple butterfly tattoo, doesn’t mean you should. Your tattoo is permanent. This means forever. So, just because you think, hey, this seems like a good idea, doesn’t mean it is. Give yourself sometime to get used to the idea of having it first.

6.  The first time you can donate blood is when you turn 18. It saves lives, and doesn’t take up more than 30-45 minutes of your day. Be a hero. Make like Nike, and just do it.

7.  Traveling is not as scary as it seems. Your younger years are your chance to gain experience in that department. A lot of students make excuses when it comes to studying abroad, but to be honest, you are going to be in debt either way when you graduate. So, at least, do something for yourself and see something vast and different. It’ll change you more than you know.

8.   Education is important and a privilege in this country. Working hard is important for success, but also just to show gratitude for the fact that you get to attend a college or university.

9.  Credit cards are dangerous. I might even consider them weapons of mass destruction. It’s easy to forget how much you’re spending and thus, go into debt. Keep a budget if you don’t already. It may suck at first, but it’s a life saver.

10.   Your metabolism starts to slow down around age 25, so start eating healthy and exercising regularly now.

11.  Freedom comes with consequences and responsibilities. I know how liberating it can be to leave home, but it’s not always all it’s cracked up to be. Sometimes going home is the cure to all my frustrations with adulthood. Appreciate your dependency on your parents. It’s better than freedom sometimes.

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