Let’s face it. Now that Timehop has entered into the app world, we can see all of the things we have posted in the past few years. In my case, it’s about 9 years (for about as long as I have been on Facebook).
But the funny thing is, without that crazy app drudging up your past, we probably wouldn’t even remember half of the things we did when we were teenagers! From the time I was 18 years old until the time I entered my 20s, it’s pretty much a blur. Probably from the endless nights of partying and the days where sunlight rarely existed unless I was going to work at McDonald’s.
Looking back on those “lost years” I would say that I made plenty of mistakes that a lot of young adults make. You just graduated high school and you’re spending your first few years of college just trying to figure out who you are. In my case, I didn’t go to college. I ended up at a Beauty School when I was 19. Before that, I moved away to California when I was 18…with just 2 suitcases and a couple hundred bucks to my name. It’s no wonder I ended up back at my parents house.
I definitely had a lot of growing up to do in that time. This period of my life is a part of me and here I am today, happier than I have ever been. But there are some things I would like to tell my 18 year old self to maybe soften the blow when things got a little harder. I have included some random photos of me from when I was 18 or 19 as well!! Enjoy the embarrassment! 😛
1. Slow down
Slow down on the shots, the beers, the bombs, and whatever else you may want to consume in an evening out in the city. First off, you are not 21 years old and just because you are cute enough for the bouncer to let you into the bars underage, doesn’t mean you should be going insane in there. Those drinks are NOT water, you will not get rehydrated, and you will feel its effects tomorrow. But most importantly, I say slow down because you have plenty of time to grow up. 21 is only a few years away and let’s face it, it’s really not all that it’s cracked up to be! Enjoy those teenage years. You can still say, “Hey, I’m a teenager. What do I know?” Once you’ve gotten past that, you will have a lot more responsibility and well, you will be accountable for a lot more.
2. Check your clothing
Girl, what are you wearing? I’m sorry, but not everyone can pull off that super cute outfit that is popular in the mags these days. You want to be hip and what not, but it’s just not working for ya. You have no boobs and you really don’t have a butt either, but you’re skinny (and being skinny won’t last you very long at the rate you’re going). So, let’s face it. That super low cut shirt would be cute if you had a rack to go along with it. Instead, you paired it with that god-awful spaghetti strap tanktop underneath that you bought at a 5 for $20 sale at Wet Seal…and you had every color. It’s just not cute. Alright, so you tried to be a little scandalous. There is a difference between showing what you got and just being trashy. You don’t have boobs or an ass but you’ve got some legs. Show them off! That jean skirt you bought from American Eagle, the one with all the frays and tears in it? Yeah, it’s too short. I am pretty sure I almost saw your panties. What’s worse? You live in Wisconsin and you decided to pair THAT with a pair of Uggs. Gross. It’s so cold that you want to keep your feet warm but your legs are perfectly fine? You are such a weirdo. Speaking of cold…wear a freaking jacket. It’s snowing outside and you probably should have just chosen to go stay in for the night but because it’s Thursday night $1 bombs night, you HAVE to go meet up with the rest of the crew. Okay, I get it. Cheap drinks and friends…why not? But you don’t need to be the idiot, standing outside of the bar, smoking your cigarette and shaking like a damn vibrator because you were “too cute” for a jacket. Also, why don’t you just quit smoking while you’re at it. Besides the health issues that come along with it…it smells bad and you look gross. Sorry, but it’s true.
3. Use your brain
Honestly, this could be said for a lot of people in the adult world too. Sorry to get your hopes up, but there are dummies everywhere. You just have to deal with it. Remember how I mentioned earlier about the jacket in the cold? Yeah, your brain could be pretty useful when you’re freezing half to death. Or all of those shots you decided to take, one after another? Your brain probably told you to stop at one point, but you didn’t use that advice, did you? Use that brain, girl! So, you want to go out and drink with your buddies but you have to be up at 5am to get ready for work and drive about 45 minutes to get there. I’m sure staying out until bar close and getting into bed at 3am is a fantastic idea. I hope you sense my sarcasm. Mainly, just use some common sense.
4. You will not find your soulmate in a bar
Hey, some people really do find their soulmates in a bar! Actually, my husband and I OFFICIALLY met in a bar. We had been working together for months but never spoke to each other until we were on a detachment and everyone from work went out for drinks. We started chatting and we hit it off! This is rare. Don’t go to a bar thinking you’re going to find a super hot guy, absolutely click, and just spend the rest of your lives together. Most guys (and nowadays many girls) go to bars for hookups. The relationship aspect is over for many young singletons. Why else do you spend an hour getting ready for the night when you know by 2 am, you’re going to smell of alcohol, have smudged eyeliner, and your hair probably went into a messy bun on the top of your head? Most of the times, the guy is just going to want to take you home for the night…
5. DON’T GO HOME WITH THE GUY
Really. Just don’t. It has bad idea written all over it. Who REALLY wants to invite you over ar 2am for a drink and a chat? If he really wants to chat with you, think about this, and just see if he calls you tomorrow. And if he calls (or texts) you tomorrow…at a decent time…like when the sun is still shining, then give him the time of day. Otherwise, just pass and go home into your comfy bed. It will be much better to sleep there anyway!
6. Work hard, no matter where you’re working
So you work at McDonald’s. No, it’s not glamorous. No, it doesn’t give you a lot of money. No, it isn’t always fair when it comes to working hours. But it’s a job. It may be a greasy, under appreciated, and smelly job, but you get a paycheck. Remember that. Not many people nowadays can even get a job at McDonald’s. Always stay positive and work hard. You never know what will happen and who is watching. Plus, your hardwork may not even pay off there, but it will in the future. Having a good work ethic will help you in your adult life.
7. Don’t eat that crap
Ever hear of the “freshman fifteen?” Freshmen in in college tend to gain weight during their first year. It may be a lot more than 15 pounds as well. Why is this? Well, they are away from home for the first time and eating out at the closest McDonald’s was easier for them. Imagine that, you work there. And you get free meals. Stop it. Don’t eat there. ESPECIALLY after a night of drinking! That is the WORST thing for your body! Your metabolism has completely slowed down and when you go for that drive-thru before you head home, you’re just putting more junk into your body that will sit there until you decide to burn it off. And well, let’s face it. You never worked out much either, so the fat is just getting stored. Maybe you can keep warmer in the winter with that short skirt and no jacket…
You were an all-year athelete growing up. So, what stopped you? You graduated high school and thought it was too cool to workout? Oh, I get it. You had other important things to do…wrong! You definitely should exercise and get that blood pumping! Burn those calories and well, maybe you wouldn’t be so skinny if you had some muscle on them bones! Actually, if you worked out more, by the time you acutally hit 21, after all of that drinking and eating fast food, you might not have gained that 45 pounds that will end up taking you almost 2 years to lose. Trust me, putting on the weight is a lot easier than taking it off. You’re not going to enjoy looking in the mirror and one day realizing, ‘What have I done to myself?’ So, get out there and be active. You might even find that you really love working out instead of having that all-nighter…weekender…what have you. And it will be a lot better for you.
9. Take advantage of the opportunities given to you
Alright, so you didn’t go to college like the rest of your class did. That’s okay. Maybe you are still figuring yourself out, maybe you don’t know what you want to go to school for, or maybe you went a different route. Like, Beauty School. Your parents probably saved some money up for you to go to school, right? Well, lucky for you, you’re going to school without the burden of debt/school loans upon you. That is phenomenal. Not many people have that luck. So…why are you throwing it away by partying all night or sleeping in because you didn’t want to get up for class? Sorry to tell you, but this is the easy part of life. School is NOT hard. Especially when it is something you love to do! No party is worth it. No guy is worth it. And sorry…no friends are worth it either. And if you have friends trying to get you to skip out on class, they’re really not worth your time in the first place! Your education is very important and you need to realize that. Don’t waste the money or time by not going. You’ll end up paying for it later…like having to start school over.
10. Love who you are
Do you even enjoy going out and being crazy? Is it fun for you anymore? Your friends are doing it, I get it. But it’s okay to be alone and to spend time with yourself. More than okay, actually! You don’t need to compete with those other girls that get all the guys at the club. You don’t need to act any other way that isn’t yourself. If you like to knit or crochet on cold winter nights, then do it! You like to read books and go to coffee shops to hang out and listen to music with friends…even better. No one said that the only time to hang out with friends was going out to the bars. Love who you are. Whatever you’re doing that is good for you, whatever you’re doing that is positive in your life, do that! Don’t do anything that destroys you.
This may be a very long list of things that I would tell myself when I was 18, but I could go on forever. I made a LOT of mistakes when I was younger. And hell, I could probably make one of these lists for every year of my life up until now. You live your life and you learn from it. I regret nothing of my past…I am where I am today because of the experiences that I have had. And I met the love of my life because I ended up where I was. But I can tell you one thing…I was going to get here eventually. This is where I was meant to be. So, I could have avoided a lot of tears, heartache, and fat (lol) had I followed through with these easy steps.
One day, my daughter (if I have one) will hear many of my crazy stories and will probably have to learn from her own mistakes too. But hopefully, because of what I have gone through, I can help her through it.
Here’s to be 18 once upon a time. And here’s to not being 18 ever again.