61 Truths Everyone Should Know at 18


Montmartre at night

Montmartre in the twilight

1. Speak up. Speak up often. Don’t be scared about what your contemporaries are thinking because most of the time, they are not. And if they are, they probably do have periods of self doubt.

2. It really does not matter what you study as long as you are passionate about what you do.

3. Take your education very seriously.

4. Do as many extracurricular things as you can while you’re in college. Enjoy photography? Take a course. Enjoy art, do go out and draw. Fancy building a rocket ship? Seek out what fits your interests and skills, and develop these skills actively. Don’t wait for the right time, because there’s never a better time than right now.

5. Believe in yourself and that you have something important to contribute to the universe.IMG_0283

6. You don’t need anyone to feel validated for who you are. You’re one helluva smart and intelligent human being. And if someone doesn’t realize it, it’s their loss.

7. Don’t chase butterflies.

8. Do chase the horizon.

9. Get involved in providing humanitarian relief directly, whether it is handing out blankets to refugees in Kabul or rebuilding houses after a hurricane in the Philippines. Nowhere else can you see the true beauty of human dignity as you can.

10. Keep a notebook. Write mundane things down. Inane things. But record your feelings. They provide the fabric of your story and showcase the uniqueness of your observations.

11. Go on a walk every day.

12. Attend as many musical festivals as you can. It’s not even just about the music but about the camaraderie.

13. Find someone who is doing what you’re interested in, and ask to interview with them. You will learn a lot about the kinds of skills necessary to enter your prospective job field.IMG_0297

14. Network. Network. Network. And no, I don’t mean Facebook or Twitter, but get out there and meet people.

15. You made it 18 years without a cigarette. You really don’t need to start now.

16. Yes, you can eat all the cookies you want right now, and yes, you may not feel it right now. But you’re definitely going to be feeling it in about a decade, so enjoy those cookies if your metabolism allows you.

Drinks 17. One day, you will start getting hangovers. This day will come around 26, and the world will change when you start having hangovers. Enjoy it while you don’t, but aim to remain lucid at all times.

18. Go to a toga party and learn how to let your hair down.

19. If you don’t make plans, pretty soon you’ll get caught up in someone else’s plan. IMG_0281And most of the time, people’s plans for you are never as grandiose as your dreams.

20. Dream. Dream something impossible for at least five minutes every day.

21. White chocolate and macademia nut cookies can change a bad day to good.

22. Collect leaves, stories, insights. Don’t however, attempt to collect people as though their time belongs to you.

23. Tell the truth, no matter how difficult it will seem.

24. Don’t chase after someone who won’t chase after you.

25. Everyone needs to have alone space, and someone’s not weird for actively seeking out solitude.

26. Travel. Travel and sleep on people’s couches if you need to, or on a piece of the floor covered with a ratty blanket if you must, but travel. You will never regret it.labarnum

27. Tell the people you love that you love them.

28. Never take your friendships for granted. The people who will stick around may not be the ones you trust.

29. People spread out after you graduate. Enjoy your time together.

30. Learn a new language.

31. Make time for everything that is important for you.

32. Set goals and keep a planner. Strike off everything you accomplish.

33. Break up every problem into pieces, so you can come to solutions with little steps on a daily basis.

34. Walk away from what doesn’t work. Sometimes it’s okay to give up.

35. Pick up a dance form, whether it’s salsa, flamenco, or even pole dancing.

36. Watch a movie and pay attention to how gender bias informs the film, if it does. DSC_0155

37. Watching 1950s period films gives you lots of insights into how “new” the concept of equality really is.

38. If you’ve got issues, drinking a bottle of anything only ensures you’re not confronting your issues, but running away from them.

39. If you can’t be happy in your own company, you need to figure out why. Seek professional help if you must, but learn how to love yourself.

40. Just don’t give up on your dreams. If you think you were put here to write, paint, draw, photograph, or even tell the weather on tv, that’s what you’re here to do. Listen to that inner voice.

41. Attempt to befriend your parents. They’re your biggest supporters, and really know what they are doing.

IMG_030242. Siblings are always more important than you can give them credit for.

43. Never belittle anyone for being different from you, or not being as good as you in a certain sport, experience, etc.

44. Everyone has a different journey. Compassion, sometimes, is more important than anything else.

45. Love deeply, because if you do have to walk away, you have no regrets.

46. Giving is gaining.

47. There is nothing as hopeless as giving up on something that brings you nothing but joy.

48. There is no limit to your imagination.

49. People who are considered experts are capable of speaking a technical language- this doesn’t mean that you’re not as qualified as them. It only means that you should absorb what it is that they do differently from you.

50. Write down quotes that interest you.

51. Collect leaves and press them into books.

52. Read. Read voraciously. Read physical books, even if you have an e-reader.

53. Keep a very careful record of your finances. Use credit for convenience, and for convenience only.

54. Get a pet.

55. And some plants. Greenery solves half your stress.DSC_0140

56. And eat every meal. Sometimes you may forget in stress, but those fruits and vegetables are important.

57. Wear sunscreen.

58. Find wonder in all you do, and joy that the world is so much larger than you can ever experience.

59. Cherish those moments when you’re outside and it’s completely dark except for the stars and the fireflies.

60. Hug those who mean something to you. You never know when you will see them again, or if you will.

61. Don’t ever take time and space for granted, or hope, love, affection, or mercy.






4 thoughts on “61 Truths Everyone Should Know at 18

  1. Great stuff Raad – some of these I only realised when I was in my late thirties. Others I was blessed with realising much earlier on in life. I love this post. Consider it tweeted 🙂

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s