Lately, I’ve been thinking a lot about my childhood and also my college campus years. If there’s one thing that I wish I would’ve done its remembering to live in the moment. When you’re a kid all you want to do is grow up. You can’t wait to turn 13, so you can finally be a teenager. After 13 you can’t wait to be 16 because that’s when you can get your license and finally get a job (well I think it’s 15 and some months when you can finally work, but I don’t know if the rules have changed since then). When you turn 17 you can finally see a rated R movie at the theater by yourself. You no longer have to sneak in or bring an adult chaperone. The next big birthday is 18 of course! Turning 18 was big for most of us. It symbolized adulthood and making your own decisions. We all thought we were grown once we hit 18. After 18, there’s one more birthday that we get so excited about…. Our 21st birthday! Turning 21 is huge! You can legally drink and depending on where you live, you can finally get a nice hotel room. Where I’m from the only hotels that allowed 18 years old to get their own rooms were motels and low budget hotels. After 21, the next big birthday would be 25. There are more privileges that you receive at 25, but by that time a lot of us are going through a quarter life crisis, so it’s not as exciting. Getting closer to 25 you start to feel old, which is crazy I know. In my case it was when I turned 24 that I started to get depressed. It doesn’t make sense to me now, but it’s how I felt at that moment. I think I was so disappointed about not being where I thought I would be at 24, that it started to really get to me. The older I got I started to get stuck in the past more and more. I wanted to grow up so fast, but now I wish I could start over. Life is all about making mistakes and finding your own path, but sometimes I wish I was smarter about the decisions I made. I wish I was more disciplined in some areas, and honestly, I wish I would have enjoyed the journey. I was in such a rush to grow up I couldn’t focus on what was around me. When you’re a kid you take so much for granted. You’re young and it feels like you’re so far away from being old, and you think everyone will always be around. So, here’s my advice to you (especially if you’re under 22):
Live in the moment! Don’t rush to grow up!
Appreciate your family/loved ones.
Make smarter choices for your future.
Enjoy your youth and don’t be afraid to try new things.
I want to go in further so you can know exactly what I mean. Enjoy each birthday and don’t pressure yourself to grow up. I know independence is exciting, but you have most of your life to be an adult. Trust me, it’s not that great. You’re going to wish that you would’ve enjoyed being a kid/teen a little while longer. Once those responsibilities and bills hit it’s a different kind of stress that you’ve never felt before. Next, please don’t forget to appreciate your family. When you are with your family during holidays, vacations or just family dinners, value you each moment. Take a lot of pictures and videos and really take it all in. If your parent or grandparent tell you the same story for the 50th time, listen and smile. One day you will wish that you could hear that same story that you were so tired of then. Always make time for family, and not just siblings, parents and grandparents, but aunts, uncles and cousins too. I know we get wrapped up in our friends and whatever else we got going on, but always make time for them. If you constantly miss events or blow them off and suddenly they’re gone, you will regret it.
The next one is mainly for people who are about to go to college, or just started college. Do not create a mountain load of debt. If you get acceptance letters from various schools, think before picking the school that has the higher tuition. If you get a free ride, then that’s amazing. Choose the free ride, unless you have everything planned out and you know for a fact what you want to do and the path you plan to take. You do NOT want to end up with a mountain of debt like me with 2 degrees that hasn’t helped me in the slightest. In other words, be careful about where you go, and try to plan. If you’re still in high school, try your best to get scholarships and grants. Also, don’t be too quick to get a lot of credit cards. It’s like credit card companies know you’re about to start college and they start sending and approving all of these credit cards. I got two credit cards before college and let’s just say I had to settle with both of them, which didn’t help my credit. I definitely feel like there should be a mandatory class on this for all high school seniors. They should explain credit cards, student loans and the interest on both. In the class you should pick a salary of the career field that you want to be in, and then budget rent, insurance, car, groceries, utilities, gas (if you don’t have a car then uber or bus/metro fare), and student loans off the net income. They should also teach students the importance of creating a nest egg just in case of job layoffs or if there was an unfortunate accident that prevents you from working. People need to know what they can really afford, and just paying the minimum of a loan/credit bill won’t help you (unless it’s no interest fees, which is seldom). After paying the minimum of my school loan for a year it hasn’t changed. Unfortunately, it’s even higher than the year before. When it comes to school loans you have to pay more than the minimum to get it down. Please do not make the same mistake. Last but not least, enjoy your teenage years and college years. There are so many things that I wanted to do as a kid and in high school but was too afraid to do. I wanted to play a sport and take guitar lessons. I was too scared to try out for any team or commit to any type of lessons. I also wanted to take dance, but fear got in the way of that as well. Don’t have any regrets or what ifs. Just go for it! Enjoy your college years! By the time I really started to have fun at college it was too late. I always hated school, but college was when I finally started to come out of my shell, and when I was a closer to making more experiences I had to leave. I dream about being back on campus often. I miss it so much. I’m so glad I got the campus life experience even though it was costly. If you’re in college joins some clubs and organizations (especially if you’re trying to get to know people). Have fun and make the most of it. Appreciate each moment, because it goes by quick.
Well there you have it. That’s my advice to you! I hope this post helps at least one person. It’s hard out there, but if you’re smart and make good decisions you will have an easier time. Remember, no regrets and no what if’s! Now go live life! 😊
As mentioned in my student loan reveal post, here’s the link to my tee shop. (Proceeds go to my massive pile of student loan debt) : https://teespring.com/stores/student-loan-debt For 13% off use promo code: LoanHelp20 (offer expires 1/31)
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