Saturday, April 27, 2013

W is for What I Wish I Knew Then

What I wish I knew then...

Like most people, I knew everything when I was 18. So I'm not sure I can explain how I've learned so many things since then. There is a long list of lessons learned that I wish I could go back and pound into that 18 year old brain of mine...

Like... life doesn't have to be a rat race. Slow down. Because before you know it you'll be old and looking back wondering where the time went.

Like... losing your temper doesn't make anything better and often makes things worse.

Like... even though your parents were sometimes wrong, they were usually right, and they always had the best intentions. Parenting is hard!

Like... keeping up with the Jones' ain't all it's cracked up to be. There will always be somebody who has more and you will just keep wanting more and more of the things in life that don't really matter. Better to focus on what is important to YOU.

Like... if you're gonna go to college, get a degree that will actually help you get a better job than you can get with only a high school diploma.

Like...going to church isn't just for old people; it's being in church twice a week that keeps my head on straight the rest of the week, and to heck with people who think you can't be a Christian and still be cool 'cause they don't know you!

Like... when people scoff at something in which you truly believe, it's okay to stand up for it anyway. In fact, you should stand up for it anyway.

And so on and so forth.

I polled some friends on Facebook about what they wish they had known at 18 and I got some great answers:

  • Credit cards are a bad idea.
  • Jealousy is not love. (My own comment on this: neither is lust.)
  • Start investing now for your retirement, and don't dip into it for anything.  
  • It's okay to learn from your parents' mistakes; you don't have to make them yourself to learn the lesson.
  • Serious relationships need not be a priority until you have time to figure out who you really are.
  • The directions on your birth control are there for a reason. 
  • Your parents were teaching, not preaching.
  • Student loans may not be as good as they seem. Proceed carefully or you may regret it later.
  • Marrying someone who wants to be a rockstar, doesn't mean you will ever be a rockstar's wife.
  • Smoking isn't as cool as you think it is. You stink. And you'll regret by the time you're old enough to drink legally.
  • 18 is really NOT that old.

What do you know now that you wish you knew when you were 18? Leave a comment with your words of wisdom to your 18 year old self! Or tweet your advice with hashtag #knowitall. Looking forward to what you have to say!


  1. I so relate to every single one of these except the church one (I'm Buddhist) and the credit cards (I've never had one).

    Great list!

  2. I'm with you on the saving money one. Still, life was fun when I thought I knew it all. ;-)

  3. SO many things!
    1. My mother WAS usually right.
    2. I should have appreciated the days I had "nothing to do"

    1. Yes, mine too. And I don't know the last time I had nothing that needed doing!