18 Things I Would Tell My 18 Year Old Self

It weirdest feeling to wake up the morning after graduation and realize that I was done and never going back to high school.  When you are a fresh graduate you are filled with dreams and hopes for the future (mixed with a little fear!)….OR maybe you are just exhausted and can’t wait to sleep in! Thinking back to when I graduated (more than 20 years ago) what would I have told my 18 year old self?  What are the secrets to success and happiness??

1. Live Authentically

Stop worrying about what people may think. Live, dress, and act to reflect who you really are or who you really want to be.

2. Be You!

You are not defined by your high school GPA, the number of scholarships you were offered, awards you received, or records you broke.  Those things mean very little after high school. You have God given talents to develop and share.

3. Take Time For Yourself

Develop yourself physically, mentally, and spiritually. When you love yourself, you are a happier person and can love others. It is not selfish, it is essential.

4. Make A Bucket List

Things you want to try, places you want to visit, or talents you want to develop.

5. Be Open To New Opportunities

You may have a good plan for the future, but be open to opportunities that lead you down a different path.

6. Relationships

These are the most important treasure!

7. Don’t Beat Yourself Up Over The Past

Learn from it and move on!

8. You Will Attract What You Put Out

Positive people attract positive people.

9. Set New Goals!

Make a vision board and set the wheels in motion to accomplish them.

10. Learn Life Skills!

Book knowledge is important, but more important are skills for life like learning to change a tire or how to cook.  If you haven’t had time to do this in the past…now you do!

11. Collect Family Recipes

This by far is one of the things I most regret not doing.  I lived next to my grandmother all my life. She is basically the one who taught me how to cook.  I love so many of her recipes but didn’t take the time to copy them down. When she passed away her recipe box got lost in the shuffle and some of her recipes died with her including her famous pickled beets canning recipe. Nothing I have tried has even come close to the way she flavored them.

12. Travel

You may not have money to plan exotic vacations, but you can explore your own city and state.  Sometimes you have grown up in a place your whole life and never seen what it has to offer.

13. Take A Road Trip With Your High School Friends

You promise to always stay close and that nothing will change. The reality of the matter is everything changes. Some of your friends go away to school, others go right into the workforce, and some even get married!  The only thing you can count on is change. Take one more fun trip together to laugh, play and be silly.

14. Strengthen Relationships With Your Family

Although your friends were such an important part of your life the past 4 years, you may not see some of them ever again.  Your family members love you and will always be there for you. Look for ways to strengthen your friendship with them. (including your parents!)

15. Your Parents Know What They Are Talking About

The older I get the more I realize that my parents did know more than I thought they did. It’s funny how much I value my parents advice now when before I resisted it.  With age and experience comes knowledge. I made many mistakes (which aren’t always bad) but would have saved myself some heartache and worry if I would have taken at least some of what was taught to heart.  The funny thing is my 12-year-old daughter two days ago told me that “I don’t know what I am talking about” and I am “not cool.” Oh how the tables have turned!

16. It’s Okay To Make Mistakes

Not all mistakes are bad. Some of them teach you valuable lessons that can last a lifetime. In your search for your career or mate, you may take a detour or two.  All things give us experience and shape us to be a better (hopefully not bitter) person.

17. Take Chances

Let go of your fear of failure and take a leap of faith!

18. Let Go Of Expectations

Not everyone takes the same path.  Most of my friends were married and having kids by the age of 21-22. I, on the other hand wasn’t ready to commit to a serious relationship and was just finding myself.  I didn’t get married until age 26 and I wouldn’t have changed that for the world. If I would have followed the crowd and just married and dated because it was what everyone else was doing. I don’t think I would have been as happy as I am now and celebrating my 15 year anniversary this month.

Life rarely goes as planned so it is all about being happy along the way.  Plan for the best but be prepared for bumps in the road! Life is full of adventures, so pack your Pikle (and life’s tool box) with the essentials! Congrats to all our 2019 graduates!



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