25 Things I’d Tell My 18 Year-Old Self

Today’s my 26th birthday.

25 was pretty good to me:

  • I finally graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Finance 8 years after I started working on it (which I’m not using.)
  • I got the most bad ass Pug in the world.
  • I got married to the best thing to ever happen to me.
  • I quit a shitty job just to almost do a shitty internship just to return a couple months later to the same shitty job but at a different branch with a better work environment.
  • I finally started this blog.
  • I was featured on Rockstar Finance and did a guest post on Budgets are Sexy.

To give a proper good bye to the 25th year of my existence, I proudly present 25 Things I’d Tell My 18 Year-Old Self:

  1. Don’t be afraid to be the first one to talk to someone else. You missed out on a lot of opportunities because you didn’t break the awkward silence. This goes for your personal life and in business.
  2. Realize that no one really has anything figured out in life and it’s okay if you don’t.
  3. Spend more time with your grandparents. They are fascinating people who won’t be around forever so take advantage of the time you have with them.
  4. You probably won’t be friends with your high school friends forever. Shit happens and people change. Don’t be afraid to let go of toxic relationships.
  5. Speaking of, you probably won’t marry your high school sweetheart. Move on. There’s no point in going back again….and again….and again.
  6. Don’t wait to chase your dreams. There’s no such thing as perfect timing. The earlier you start, the better your chances of realizing them.
  7. Don’t waste that $10,000 your grandma gave you on things that you can’t even remember. (I know I bought a bicycle and ate at Chipotle a shit ton but that’s about it.) Invest it instead.
  8. Eat at home more. It’ll save you a bunch of money and you’ll get to hang out with your parents; people that you probably took for granted growing up.
  9. Don’t have this wall up. You have to allow yourself to be vulnerable. That’s how you grow.
  10. Try lots of new things; food, sports, music, books, etc. This is the time to explore who you really are before you have constraints on your time such as work and night classes.
  11. Don’t try to grow up too quickly. Yeah it’s cool to be a business owner when you’re 18, but it’s also cool to do stupid shit that other 18 year-olds do. It’s way more serious if you screw up as a “responsible” adult.
  12. A degree isn’t the golden ticket to a fulfilling career and life. Working hard at something you’re passionate about is.
  13. You don’t have to go to college just because everyone else goes and its just the thing to do. Don’t think you can’t be “successful” without a degree.
  14. College won’t be the best years of your life so don’t worry if you’re underwhelmed by it. It’s just a phase. You’re actually doing life wrong if these are the “golden” years.
  15. Don’t waste so much time playing video games. Do something more productive instead.
  16. You need a creative outlet even if you think you suck at it. You do it for yourself; not someone else.
  17. You learned a lot more about business by reading business books at the book store while you were pretending to go to class even though you dropped out. That should have told you something.
  18. Spend less time reading about business and actually conduct business instead. You’ll learn a lot more that way.
  19. That Ducati 916 that you rode so much is a motorcycle that most people only dream about. You shouldn’t have taken that for granted.
  20. You’re one injury away from not being able to play soccer so enjoy each practice, each game, and each friendship.
  21. You’ll know people that are passed away by now or are in prison. Be humble and don’t hang out with the wrong crowd if you can avoid it.
  22. Have a better diet. Mountain Dew and Five Guys will be the death of you. It’s not cool to be 18 years old and have High Blood Pressure due to having a shit diet.
  23. It’s not all about the money. Don’t choose a profession solely because there’s a good chance you’ll have a high salary. It won’t make you happy.
  24. Saving your money is actually cool. You don’t have to spend it all. Don’t rack up a shit ton of credit card debt and student loan debt. Your 26 year-old self will thank you.
  25. You don’t have to do good in school, go to a good college, get a degree, get a career, get married, and have kids. Be different. It’s fun. Life your life by your own fuckin’ rules; not your parent’s, not by what you’re “supposed to do” or by what’s “expected of you.” It’s a lot easier to ask for forgiveness than it is to ask for permission.
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