I bet right now you are sitting in study hall and thinking about how in a few short months you will graduate, move out, and be free!
And the freedom will be A-MAZING. Long gone will be the days when you have a midnight (or 11 p.m. on weeknights) curfew. You are probably imagining all the fun you will have between 1 and 5 a.m. Lord knows that’s when the best stuff happens! And all of the new guys you will meet. And all of the parties you will go to that the parental units previously ruled out. Just imagining it all is probably making the time move even more slowly.
The reality is, time doesn’t move as slowly as you think it does. In the blink of an eye, 10 years will have passed. So hear me out. I have a few things I want you to know.
Choose your actions carefully
It’s okay to not know who or what you want as an 18-year-old. In fact, it is really the only state of mind you can possibly be in. But while you are exploring and making new and independent decisions, remember that your words and your actions always impact people. And it may be years down the road before you know how deeply you have hurt someone. So take a cue from me, weigh your words heavily. Weigh your actions even more. Some things simply cannot be taken back.
Make your own decisions
I know you are stubborn, but surprisingly, you love to let others impact how you want to live your life. Stop! Stop doing what other people think “seems like a good idea.” News flash: this is usually because it benefits them the most. Figure out the things that you love (you already know what they are, they have never changed!) and do them. Don’t let small obstacles stand in your way. I promise you will end up doing them either way, just a few years behind schedule. Save yourself the trouble.
Enjoy your roommates
I know… after awhile, it’s hard cohabitating with 3-5 other people who all have different opinions about which way the toilet paper goes. And the proper temperature for a household. And how to load the dishwasher. But trust me, they are teaching you a great lesson in the future. And I promise you, as each year passes, it becomes harder and harder to find two hours to even have dinner together! Cherish the days when you see these wonderful people more hours per day than you will per year. Plus, you could probably learn a thing or two from them. You actually don’t know everything.
Remember all of the nerdy romance books you used to read as a pre-teen? Well…it’s not going to be like that. But guess what? It can be a little bit. Stop settling for options that aren’t even close. I know he seems nice. I know he seems like he has good intentions. But deep down, you know that something isn’t right. When you get that feeling, it’s time to move on. I promise you, you are totally fine on your own. Plus, heads up, you are going to meet someone who would rather die than ever make you cry. Don’t give up until it’s him.
Lose the Expectations
I know you are assuming you are going to get married at 22. And I know you think that there will be a baby on the way a few years later. Those are really nice thoughts, but they aren’t your story. Some of your friends will make this a reality, and when you hold their sweet babies, you may feel like you will never have what they do. And it may sting a little. But guess what? I’m not going to tell you to stop feeling that way. However, you must understand that God’s timing is perfect. And no matter how many times you hear this, it won’t feel perfect until you are standing where I am. But you will believe it then, and it will be worth it.
I wanted to include that if you would just listen to me (or maybe your mom!) it would make a lot of things easier. But I know you, and I know you prefer to learn things the hard way.
And you know what? That’s okay. The hard times will make you stronger. Your bad decisions will make you wiser. And all of those things together will make you overwhelmingly thankful to stand where I am today.