1. There are always going to be those few people that you thought would grow out of their petty, bitchy, 15 year old phase, that don’t. They turn 22, then 25, then 30 and they’re still exactly the same. Don’t try and change them, just leave them be and make other friends.
2. When you’re working crappy part time retail or hospitality jobs, you’re always going to have a boss that’s a wanker. Deal with it. It’s not your career, and you aren’t there forever. You’ll be right.
3. Things that used to be incredibly embarrassing no longer matter. When I was 13-15 I used to be absolutely terrified of taking too long in the bathroom in case people realized I had my period. Now I’d probably wear a necklace of tampons with zero shame. Life has a way of doing that to you.
4. Travel, it makes you appreciate home more.
5. When you need money, borrow from your parents if possible, not the bank. Parent loans are interest free (somewhat).
6. Don’t get a credit card until you are working full time. Even then, probably don’t get one.
7. Sex – how much you do or don’t have of it, and with whom – becomes a very small factor in a relationship.
8. Nobody cares how often you go to the gym, or how ‘clean’ your dinner was. Attention seeking is not a pretty trait.
9. Your parents will probably tell you that your metabolism will slow down when you stop growing so you should no longer eat lollies like a five year old. This is a lie. Eat the lollies.
10. You won’t have a big group of friends. Big groups are too hard to keep track of. Being able to count your best friends on one hand is a good thing.
11. Learn to leave the house without makeup on, no one will notice.
12. How much money you spend on someone for their birthday/Christmas/etc doesn’t prove how much you love them. If you’re on a poor student salary like me, give your friends something home made. They’ll probably appreciate it more anyway.
13. Don’t try and convince other people that their religion/agnosticism/atheism is wrong or inferior to yours, even if you thoroughly disagree with whatever they’re ranting about. It’s disrespectful.
14. Don’t be afraid of getting completely, paralytically drunk at least once. At least then you’ll know your limits.
15. Designer labels don’t mean shit when you don’t even like what your paying for. Buy something because you love it, not because of who labelled it.
16. Turning 18 means that you no longer have to listen to your parents. Listen to them anyway – they still have 25+ years more of life experience than you.
17. You don’t need a boyfriend/girlfriend/significant other. Being in your early 20s does not mean the clock is running out, despite what your grandmother says. Learn to be on your own, to love yourself, and to enjoy the beauty of singledom before life gets too serious!