8 Crucial Things I Learned By The Time I Turned 18


1. You are not responsible for everyone else’s happiness.

Even though it’s still hard not to try to help everyone you meet it is not your responsibility to make them happy with life. Sometimes people are just in a different place then you are, and it’ll be a while before they catch up. You have absolutely no obligation to wait for them.

2. You’re an active participant in your mental health.

Recovering from any sort of mental health issue takes hard work and dedication. It’s not as easy as popping a pill for a sore stomach, or taking some medicine for an infection. You have to want to get better. But more than that, you have to be willing to dedicate the effort to get better and generally that’s harder than it sounds.

It’ll probably take much longer than you think to get better. I know how absolutely frustrating it can be to see months go by and feel that you’re even worse off than when you started trying to get better. When it feels like every single day, you have to push against everything telling you to give up. Emotions are fickle. But you’ve likely changed more than you realize.

3. A clean house is important to your mental state.

Seriously. Just do it. Not “say you’re going to but put it off”; actually just do it. You’ll feel so much better afterwards, I promise. Don’t feel proud of yourself because you thought about doing it, and then reward yourself by not cleaning at all. That’s ridiculous.

4. Try to attempt to understand another person’s perspective before making snap judgements.

But you also need to remember that you’ll never be able to fully understand another person’s perspective. There is so much that goes in to creating an adult human being. Years of experiences and memories that are both good and bad go into making someone who they are. People are so complex, and most people have trouble understanding their own brain, let alone other people’s.

5. Cliché, but connections are the most important part of life

If you’re having a really bad day it’s easy to feel like you want to be left alone, in your bed, watching Netflix. But the right person can make such a difference. They might not make you feel happy, but they’ll make you feel better for just being near them.

6. Life is for living in moments.

Log off. Turn off your phone. Close your laptop. Moments are often simple things. It could be cooking a meal, or walking down the road, or even cleaning a room. It could be a 20-minute coffee date with a friend you haven’t seen in a while. It could be that book that you’ve been meaning to read. But your phone and your laptop don’t have moments. Chill out and slow down. Life is made of the little moments.

7. Memories are important.

I have personally struggled with some memory issues. For a long time, all I ever wanted was to forget all of the things that I had experienced. The bad things and the good things and all the other things. Forgetting was something I became very good at doing. But memories are important. I’m not entirely sure why yet but I’m working on it.

8. But there isn’t anything that is really THAT important.

Time is constantly flowing, and over time things change. What’s important changes. Everything changes. Things work out and if they don’t you move on.