18 Things I Have Learnt In 18 Years

Wednesday, August 19, 2020

Turning 18 doesn't seem like a big deal. It used to feel like a long way away, and I couldn't wait to become a proper adult. Now, it seems quite strange to be having an 18th birthday, especially in the middle of a pandemic. I thought I would share the things I have learnt in my 18 years of life. I've learnt so much in a short amount of time, but they're lessons I will carry forever. 

The image shows a pink background covered in confetti. There is an ice cream cone in the right corner with streamers spilling out from it. In the top left corner, there is a white card saying "it's my birthday!"

18 Things I Have Learnt In 18 Years

The world is meant to be explored

I wasn't interested in travelling around the world until I met my boyfriend. I have liked the idea but didn't think I had the money or a person to go with. When we hit coronavirus lockdown, I realised I needed to get out more. Whether you're travelling around your own country or halfway across the world, you're meant to explore. You also don't need a person to go with. Adventure is important and can give you so many life experiences. You'd be surprised where you can travel to on a budget!

There is always a solution to a problem

When things go wrong, I cry. I am an emotional person, and there are times I feel like giving up. I have learnt that you need to get up and find a solution. There isn't a problem you can't solve, and often an issue leads to something better. Don't let problems get to you as it will eat away at you, and that isn't good for your mental health. This is one of the hardest lessons I've had to learn because of how easily I used to give up. 

ALWAYS write things down

I have learnt that writing things down can be a curse and a blessing. I like writing things down; letters are more personal, checklists can be ticked, and post-it notes look cute. I learnt that writing things down gave me relief when I had too much on my mind, and it ensured I remembered things. I also LOVE checklists, but writing down too many things can become overwhelming. Remember to keep your goals achievable!

Related: 12 Healthy Habits The All Organised People Have

Listen to your body & your heart

It can be so easy to follow what others say and do as they do. Something I've learnt is to follow my own instinct, and not let anyone else decide for me. It can be really hard to do sometimes, but deep down, you know what's best. If you choose wrong, it's your mistake to make, and you'll learn from it. There are a few times I wish I had followed my heart instead of listening to others. If I had listened to them, I wouldn't be blogging right now!

Take a chance on opportunities and experiences you're given

I said no to a lot of opportunities, such as spending times with friends. I know that I missed out on a lot of memories, so for that reason, my next lesson is to start saying yes. You don't need to apply for everything and say yes to all the chances you get, as that can become too much. It's all about finding the balance between embracing opportunities and saying no to things. It can be hard to do, but once you nail it, you'll be living a happy and fulfilling life!

Have patients is very hard

So it turns out I am not a very patient person. Once I get an idea, it is full steam ahead, and I want to get it done now. Obviously, that can't always be the case! I have learnt that you need patients, or you'll drive yourself crazy. It can be frustrating when you can't have it all instantly, but a lot of the time, you need to take the slow path to be successful. Rome wasn't built in a day!

Have multiple income streams

I have been selling things on eBay for YEARS! I am so lucky to have things to sell and know how to do it well, especially when I became furloughed. Lockdown has been tough on everyone, but having another source of income meant that I didn't miss out on my regular pay check, and if anything I made more. Having multiple income streams is great. If you're working full time, it gives you an extra boost on payday so you can do more things. If you're not in work or have a lower-paying job, it gives you the ability to make ends meet. It can be as small as doing surveys or as big as blogging or running a side business!

If you want to learn how to make money online, I have an eBook all about passive incomes and making money from the comfort of your own home! Every month I make £1000 from eBay alone! If you use the code "birthday", you can get 25% off your purchase.

Some people are not nice, and some won't like you

This was a really hard thing to take on board because I am a people pleaser. I have a really hard time saying no and will do anything to make someone like me. This isn't the way you should be living. Some people aren't going to support you. Some people won't like you or what you do. Some people will be mean to you, but you've got to learn to move on and be grateful for what you do have. Nobody will please everyone, but learning to overcome that will make you so much happier!

Don't take life too seriously

I used to follow the rules exactly, and it meant that people called me uptight and no-fun. I was really nervous about doing things, which held me back a lot. Some rules shouldn't be broken, but there are times you need to let go and have fun. You live once, and so you need to make the most of the time you do have. Life shouldn't just be work. This was something I still find hard to come to terms with. I love working and find it hard to relax. This lesson is still a work in progress for me.

Eat that cake!

For those who don't know, I suffered from an eating disorder. Food made me incredibly nervous, and I still am conscious of my weight. There's nothing wrong with weight watching, but when it becomes an obsession, there's a problem. I have learned that if you want cake, eat it! If you want another burger at that party, go for it! Don't restrict yourself. As long as you're consuming a balanced diet, having a treat isn't going to hurt you. Plus, cake is amazing, and you'd be silly to not have another slice!

Related: 8 Benefits To Eating Cake!

Stop overthinking issues

I am a textbook overthinker. It can be really limiting, especially when you can't make a decision. I have learnt that sometimes you need to take a leap and go for things. You also need to let go, especially when you can't change the outcome. I failed my driving test for a really silly reason, and it has eaten away at me because the rest of the drive was perfect. It's freeing to let things go and to not overthink things. You can't change what has happened, so learn from it and move on. 

Karma is real

I am not a superstitious person, but I have learnt that karma is real. You get what you give in this life. I try my best to do right by people because I know that you will always get what is coming to you. I think it is a strange thing to think about, but as long as what you're doing is right or has a good intention, you will be rewarded for it. Think of it as a blog comment. If you comment on their post, you will get a nice comment in return. Karma is just on a greater scale, and I 100% believe it is real. 

Support is everything

I wouldn't be where I am without the support of my family and the blogging community. I have learnt that there will always be people to pick you up and help you solve issues. You are never alone. Always support your peers because you never know when you may need the support in return. It's a key aspect of personal growth, one that has taken me a long time to accept. I don't like asking for help, nor do I like not being in control. Sometimes you have to let go and ask for guidance. There is no shame in that.

You need to learn flexibility to survive

I hate change. There is nothing more to it. I like to plan ahead, and when things change. I have a hard time coping. Something I am still learning is to flexibility and learning to deal with change. If the pandemic has taught us anything, it is that you need to adapt to your surroundings as things are changing all the time. It's not the easiest thing to do, but if you learn to accept change, then you will be a lot happier. 

You can find happiness in the smallest of places

Don't go out in search of happiness because you will never find it. Every time I have low hopes for something or am not looking for an adventure, I end up making some of the best memories. I met my boyfriend in a coffee shop when I was revising for my exams. I wasn't looking for anything, nor was I expecting him to show up. It goes to show that when you don't expect anything, good things come to you. You aren't entitled to anything in life, so let things happen naturally. You may come out with the most amazing memories because you can't force happiness. 

Time is precious - don't waste it

When you do something, make sure you enjoy it. If someone invites you somewhere, take that opportunity! Life is short, and time is precious, so make sure you do things that make you happy. You don't want to regret missed opportunities. If something is making you unhappy, don't waste your time on it. I hated sixth form, and I wish I had left sooner. I wasted 2 years in a place I really didn't enjoy when I could have already started my apprenticeship. Make changes where you need, this is your life to live. 

Dance and sing your heart out!

I have realised that you can't take life too seriously. Where you can, you need to get up and dance. One of the best memories I have is singing my heart out at a concert. It made me realise that life is short, you need to let yourself go and have fun. Dancing with your friends, making a fool of yourself and singing to High School Musical is something you should do more. You need to live a little and dancing makes you feel so free. 

Just because things seem secure, doesn't mean it is! 

Things change in days, minutes and seconds. I have learnt that the hard way. You can't rely on things staying the same, nor can you count on them being secure. Due to the coronavirus, I was out of a job, and my driving test got cancelled. I thought these were secure things, but I lost them in a matter of months. This lesson links back to flexibility as there are times you'll need to adapt. You can't rely on things staying the same, no matter how hard you try to make things secure.

The image shows a birthday cake with a happy birthday bunting and confetti on the table

That was a lot of lessons, but I am learning things every day! You can learn lessons from the smallest of places. It's all about being open to learning and accepting things. What has been the most important lesson that you've ever learnt? Let me know what things I need to know for my adult life in the comments! Today (19th August) it is actually my birthday, so I am off to celebrate! 

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  1. Some really love points. Everyone should eat cake! Happy Birthday!

  2. Nice post. Those are some really good things that you've learnt. Happy birthday 🎉

  3. Happy birthday!!!! Lovely post!I remember the day I turned 18( 2 years back) it all seemed so weird like turning into a proper adult. I'm still overly conscious about my weight, I'm trying to get over it. Have a great day!!!!!❤❤

  4. Happy 18th! I love this, glad you have learnt such useful things. Definitely true that it’s ok for people to not like you :)

  5. Happy birthday lovely! I hope you find a wonderful way to celebrate!

    These are great lessons that will stand you in good stead moving forward.

    Enjoy your day x

  6. Happy happy birthday! I love "eat that cake!" I hope you have a lovely day, you deserve to celebrate yourself!

  7. Happy birthday! These are amazing points. You seem wise beyond your years — and these are things someone in their mid twenties still haven’t learned. Thank you for sharing!

  8. Happy Birthday! And it's so great you've learned all these things by the time you are 18, all of these are so important and I wish I had got to understand these when I was the same age. Thanks for sharing!

  9. Happy birthday 🎊🎉🎊🎉🎊🥰🥰🥰

  10. Great post! The older we get in life the more we learn and understand the world around us. Happy birthday!!!

  11. Happy birthday! Such great lessons you've shared, I love this ��

  12. Happy Birthday! I hope you had a great day! You make so many valid points in this post I believe we can all take something from it. The world is definitely to be explored whether with someone or on our own and singing to High School Musical! So much YES! It makes me feel slighly old being in high school when it was first released though :o

  13. HAPPY BIRTHDAY EM! Hope you have a great year. These are such insightful lessons - I definitely agree that the world is to be explored. The best thing I ever did for my growth and mental health was to travel, so I hope you get your chance soon. I also agree with not wasting time... it feels infinite, but it's so precious! xx

    mia // https://beautiful-inspiring-creative-life.com/

  14. You're only 18?! You are wise beyond your years! I wish you a very happy birthday and I hope you continue to grow as a person. Keep on following this advice - I wish I did when I was 18 a long time ago.

    Sending good vibes from South Africa. Michelle (michellesclutterbox.com)

  15. Wow! I think I still like a kid when I was 18! Now that I am close to 30, I still find these tips wonderful. Being young does not mean that your capabilities are limited. Thank you for these! Hava a blast on your birthday!

  16. This is a great list! I love the variety from multiple income streams and being flexible to eating your cake (or burger) and enjoying it!

  17. Hi, Em. This is a wonderful post and I really enjoy reading all of your lists! Happy birthday xxx

  18. EAT THAT CAKE - YES!! I also suffered from an eating disorder and now that I'm recovered I love to eat what I want when I want... it's the best way to live☺️

    Roni | myelevatedexistence.com

  19. I wish I had your mindset when I was 18. I'm now 22 and just starting to get used to the idea of being an adult, yet there's still so much I also haven't experienced yet! I can tell that you're going to do great in years to come - but enjoy being young while you can x

    Emily | emiliamarlowe.co.uk

  20. Happ 18th Birthday to you! You've shared some really great learnings from your eighteen years of life. Can't help but say that you seem like a very mature person. Hope you adult better than many (including me)! 😂

    Also, it's patience. Patients mean something else. I'm guessing it's just a typo. Hope you don't mind me pointing it out. :)

    Wish you a fabulous life ahead. ❤️

  21. Happy birthday to uh ....
    I think writing down things really help...

  22. Happy belated birthday! ��This was a really cute post to read. The knowledge and lessons you've shared are quite amazing, and I found myself agreeing to most of them, especially the overthinking and patience ones. Hope you've had a great birthday (even though it's during the pandemic)!

  23. Thanks for sharing, I have certainly learnt a lot since 18, mostly that been an adult sucks sometimes when thing don't go right, because you have to fix it not somebody else :)

    Nic | Nic's Adventures & Bakes

  24. I love reading these kind of posts - I find it really interesting reading what everyone has learnt. Some lovely points. I especially like the points of living more freely and remembering to enjoy life. Can be easy to forget in everyday life where we are busy and have commitments. I actually wrote a very similar post on life lessons after turning 19: https://www.esterella.co.uk/2019/12/things-i-have-learnt-in-19-years.html?m=1

    Esterella | esterella.co.uk