Wednesday, 18 November 2015

18 Things I Learned by Age 18

(I'm aware the photo has no relevance, but I have very limited access to photos at the moment, so I thought it would do. In the queue for Harry Potter World Florida in July 2014)

When you're reading this, it'll be my birthday! I've turned 18 which means I'm now classed as an adult by society, however as my colleague says 'You can be an adult without being a grown up'. I can write a will, I can vote and I can drink. So, it's a pretty big deal I guess. This is why I've decided to think about the most important mistakes and lessons I've learned over these 18 years, and share them with you all. Plus, I'm 18 on the 18th, how cool is that??
Just to warn, these will range from the most stupid things to the deepest things you'll have ever heard, and that's basically a summary of who I am!

1. Get close with your teachers.

I'm not talking weird relationship type close. I've learnt too late that chatting and getting to know teachers is actually very useful. Throughout high school I barely did this, and just accepted teachers were teachers and that's the way it was. However, since getting to college I've realised that being close with your teacher gives you a major bonus. They'll give you super helpful advice and when it comes to writing things like references, it means they have a better idea of who you are. Talk to your teachers, seriously.

2. Don't let anyone with no hairdressing experience touch your hair.

Luckily, this wasn't a cutting experience, and my hair actually ended up looking alright. However, it's not exactly the ideal when hair that's meant to go brown, goes purple. The look on my mum's face when we dried my hair was priceless! However, luckily for me, Cheryl (Cole at the time, Fernandez-Versini now) had just dyed her hair purple, so everyone thought it was really cool. So, thanks Cheryl, no thanks mum...

3. If you like a band/artist, you listen to that band/artist.

According to a lot of people I'm friends with, I have a shitty music taste. My friends are all very heavy rock/screamo, where as I'll listen to anything under the sun. My playlist goes from Bieber to Bon Jovi and I wouldn't have it any other way. Don't be embarrassed by your music taste, if you like it, you sing and dance to it as much as you wish.

4. Don't drink straight gin.

This is something I'm very glad I've learned before I go out drinking legally in public. You mix gin with things, you don't drink it straight. Otherwise you'll end up very drunk  sitting on someone's stairs, calling your friends 'dicks' and saying 'bruh' a lot. I've learnt from that mistake. And that's not at all a personal anecdote...cough cough.

5. If a situation makes yourself very anxious, you don't have to force yourself in to it.

I always thought I had to push myself to overcome my anxiety by making myself deal with situations that freaked me out. However, in most cases it leads to more harm than good, and it'll double the problem if I start panicking. You shouldn't not do things you're just nervous about, but if it makes you physically ill, think twice about it.

6. Don't drink a milkshake before a flight when you're mildly lactose intolerant.

I threw up three times on a 9 hour flight, that's all I have to say. It's stupid but it's a lesson learnt.

7. Take as many damn selfies as you like.

If you look cute, take a selfie. If you're with friends, take a selfie. With family? Take a selfie. You can't take too many selfies. You'll look back at them and remember those good days and it'll make you smile.

8. Look after your skin.

I was pretty blessed by the fact I've never had severe acne, so I've akways been able to use pretty basic skin care and get pretty good results. However, I've only recently started really caring about my skin. I used to sleep with my make-up on, never drink any water and eat complete crap and wonder why I kept getting spots; I was very naive 14 year old. However now I have a pretty lengthy but qite simple skin routine I do every night, make sure I drink a lot of water, and try to eat less crap, my my skin's pretty decent! If only I could tell my 14 year old self to do that.

9. Being girly is not a bad thing (and don't judge other girls overall)

I used to believe being girly was the worst thing I could be. I used to try hard to be so ~not like the other girls~ and now I realise; who damn cares? I love girly things! I think pink is a pretty colour, I bow down to women who can do perfect contouring and dresses are super fun to wear. There's this really awful vibe that it isn't acceptable for teenage girls to like anything except girly things, and when they like girly things they're judged as well. Girls used to judge other girls constantly when I was younger, but luckily society has changed now. Girls are becoming less judgmental of each other, which is a good step. We've got enough judgement coming from EVERYWHERE else, without judging each other. #GirlPower

10. Don't force others to help you, help yoursef.

This is defintley a more serious one. I relied on a certain person, a close friend at the time, to help me through tough times, and I shouldn't of done. I moaned to her every night about something or the other, and pretty much rely on her to make me happy. This isn't a healthy friendship. I wasn't doing anything to help myself. So when we argued and eventually fell out, I was lost. And that's when I realised I should help myself, and not force anyone else. So I picked myself back up and apologised later on. We're not as good friends as we were, but we're chatting when we see each other. So basically, if you're relying on someone else to make you happy, take a good look at yourself first and make sure you're doing everything you can for yourself. You are your own best healer.

11. Being alone is okay.

Since aged about 13 til now, everyone I know has always been in and out of relationships, to the extent I couldn't keep up. However, I've learnt not to care. I hadn't been in a proper relationship ever until very recently, and I used to be bitter but this year especially, I learned not to be. A switch just went and I suddenly didn't care about being with someone and I wasn't bitter, and it felt f***ing great. Don't be the bitter friend, everyone will hate it.

12. Watch the news.

I watch the news everyday, and have done for a couple years now and you would not realise the difference it makes. Being aware of things that are happening outside your house/town/city is so important, just for worldly knowledge and in your education. Especially now, as political policies ar starting to impact me, its more important than ever.

13. Eat an hour before exams, and only drink water just before and during.

I discovered this perfect combination at GCSE time (I mean I had 20 exams, I had the time to perfect it). If I don;t eat, I feel ill and if I do eat just before, I feel ill. So eating an hour before means you get the sugar to keep you buzzed and stops your stomach from grumbling in exams. You may be tempted to have an energy drink before an exam, but it made my brain so active I couldn't focus for the first 10 minutes of my maths exam, so just drink water.

14. Grades aren't everything (but that shouldn't stop them being important)

Grades arent everything. It's true. There's a reason everyone says that. However, I'm academic and that's just who I am. I'm not the most creative or talented person, but I love learning and I'm good at taking exams and writing essays. So, grades are important to me, as it's what I'm good at. I had a friend in Year 11, who was completely against academia and would say things like 'If you focus on grades, your not living life' and 'You're stupid if you need grades to feel accomplished'. But you know what, those grades will get me to college and to university.  That university will get me my dream job, which will contribute to me having the best life possible. My life's dream since I was younger was to go to university, and that requires grades. So sure, grades aren't everything, but some people really care about them, so don't judge them for that.

15. You're tall and have big feet; deal with it.

I used to hate my height and my feet, which is dumb. Who gives? Nobody does.

16. Work colleagues are some of the best friends you'll ever have.

Even though I only work Saturdays, I meet a lot of people at my work as they rotate Saturdays, and honestly they're some of the best people I've ever met. Being in education since I was 5 means I only really know people my age. However, working, I've made friends with people who are twice to triple my age, and they're some of the funniest and most caring people I've ever met. They even grouped together and got me a birthday present! It makes work, and life in general, a hell of a lot easier.

17. Pets are also some of the best friends you'll ever have.
Whenever you're down, a pet can always be a friend to talk to, and sometimes it seems as if they're actually listening and can understand you. I don't think anyone should have to live without a little furry friend in the house.I know that except for my university years,I'm going to try and have one all the time. You can't be sad for long with a pet in the house.

18. (The big deep one) You are you. Don't change, unless it's for you.

I know this seems ridiculously cliche and obvious, but it's something I have to tell myself regularly. Being a teenager now days is more difficult than ever, with the media completely focused on the negative world and constantly portraying teenagers in conflicting ways. Be skinny, be big, go to school, get a job. But I've learnt to essentially 'just do you'. I am shy, education orientated and relatively chubby person. Yes, I'm trying to lose weight, but that's to make MYSELF feel better, but the other two I've accepted. I'll never be willing to stand up and present, but when I do, I know I can do it well and relatively confidently, but I'll never take the first step, and that's okay.

I'm me, and after 18 years, more so than ever.

Lots of love,
RubyLauren xx

1 comment:

  1. Lovely post! Hope you've had a fab birthday X



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