A few things I wish I had learned before I was 18:
1. If I could go back in time to my senior year of high school, I wouldn’t stress so much about what I was going to major in and where I was going to get my education. I was so worried because all of my classmates knew exactly where they were going and what they were going to be later in life, but I honestly had no clue. To be very honest, I still have no idea what I want to do when I actually do graduate college. I don’t have a specific job that I see myself doing as of now, which is why I am now an Applied Arts & Science major. That is pretty much just a fancy way of saying general studies with four different interests. My “focuses” are on journalism, anthropology, education and management, so if anyone knows of a job that applies to me, please throw it out there! I also wish I knew how long it took to make up hours and hours worth of classes every single time you decide to change your major. I’ve changed my major three times, all for different reasons, but regardless it is taking way too long to graduate.
2. I took so many opportunities for granted when I lived on my college campus, and if I had known about all of the bonuses that come with living at a university, I probably would’ve taken advantage of them! For example, I didn’t know that there was a campus clinic I could go to when I was sick. Every time I had to go to the doctor, I would make the hour-long drive home and hand over the co-pay, when I could’ve just gone to the campus clinic for free. Another example is the campus recreation centers. I went to the rec on occasion, but I didn’t realize just how much they actually offer. At my school, there were free classes every 15-30 minutes, like a 10-minute ab and back class or a mini-yoga class. I didn’t know about these until I moved off campus and no longer lived close enough to go every day!
3. I once heard someone say that if you can’t explain something in more than two sentences, then you don’t really know what you’re talking about. I think this is a good lesson that really applies to any situation, whether it’s at work, school, or even in your social life. If you don’t have all the information you need, you can never do a job successfully. When it comes to gossip, if you don’t know the entire story, then just keep your mouth shut.
4. I wish that I believed people when they told me that I would lose touch with 80 percent of my high school friends. I know it is hard to keep in touch with everyone, but I think I would’ve made a bigger effort had I really known. You can make new friends, but you can’t make new old friends, so stay in touch. It is important to hold your friends near to your heart because you never know when you will no longer be seeing them.
5. If I could tell a teenager one really important thing I have learned, it would be that you always have to challenge yourself and push yourself to do better things and be a better person. When you move away from home, you don’t have your mom’s rules or your coaches’ voices telling you to keep pushing and making yourself better. Only you can push you to do more with your life. I wish I grasped sooner the fact that working hard in school, staying in shape, and staying healthy are all really up to what I do. If I don’t take care of myself, I crash and burn by getting sick. If I don’t have someone down my neck making me work out, I won’t do it. I just have to remember that I am not a child and I don’t need someone there to challenge me when I can challenge myself. Every little bit counts toward any goal, even if some obstacles seem smaller than others.