Turning 18 was a big deal for me. For someone who behaves and act likes a 8 year old with nice eyebrows, it was unbelievable. I was an adult. I could drive and go to university and most importantly, I could go to Starbucks without asking my mom. I could turn up “white people music” without my sister threatening to kick me to the sidewalk, and I could get into R rated movies. Not that I ever wanted to. It was just a thought.
In all of days, months, and minutes that comprised my new entrance into adulthood, I’ve had some of the best memories of my life. I graduated, met and left so many people, and I took all those risks I wasn’t supposed to. However, of all the #dank times 18 gave me, perhaps the most important were the lessons I learned. Here they are.
1. Life is short. Treat Yo Self.
Don’t feel bad about the extra $2 spent on dessert, and don’t ignore the random impulses to order a grande instead of a tall. You’re strong and smart. You deserve goodness! And remember, treating yourself doesn’t mean spending money and being irresponsible: you can even skip chores one day to pick up that book that’s been making goo goo eyes at you for 4 months on your bookshelf. You can spent 15 extra minutes a night doing a face mask. How can we appreciate the big things if we don’t make time for the little things?
2. Let go if you gotta.
So you met a guy, and it’s not one of those generic stories YOU PROMISE. You really hit it off and had intellectual discussions. You shared boba and secrets. And as soon as you were ready to tell your mom, he stopped texting back!!!
And that’s okay.
There is no room in your life for people who do not want to be there. There is not space in your heart for people who have no intention to stay. So don’t go out of your way to continue trying to accommodate for the #haters and #fakes. Instead, be friends with me! I’ll make you laugh, and if you don’t, I’ll tickle you.
3. Your skin will suck sometimes.
Okay has it ever happened to you that your skin is perfectly clear one day, and in the next, you look like a halal pepperoni pizza???? I started breaking out this semester, and it honestly has taken on a toll on my self confidence. And we need to start being okay with our skin.
Because as generic as it is, all that REALLY matters is your sweet, sweet heart and (let’s face it) your instagram feed. Also getting good grades. Those are important!!!
4. Gas tanks GOTTA BE FULL A LOT.
If you’ve been driving or are about to, take heed, and ALWAYS make sure your gas tank is at least halfway full. You never know when you’ll get off on the wrong exit and end up on a solo road trip to New Mexico, so always be prepared!
5. Talk to strangers.
Tell me WHO came up with the notion that we can only be friends with people through parties, other friends, classes, or online?? You remember that old white man who rides the 801 bus with you every tuesday morning? Will you believe he has a personality?! And he has all these great story about his grandchild who got his head stuck in a toilet that he’s been waiting to tell. All you have to do is ask.
6. Always keep your career in the back of your mind.
I promise I’m not your mom, but remember, you are in college/high school/preschool for a reason. Don’t forget the harsh truth that although emotional intelligence is valuable, it doesn’t mean much to employers if not coupled with a shiny degree. Keep personal goals, but also educational goals. Remember that the opportunity to receive an education is a privilege denied to many, and you are #BLESSED. So don’t mess it up.
7. Be YOU.
Up until last year, I was afraid to do exactly what I wanted, including behaving a certain way and dressing a certain way. And when I finally made peace with myself and stopped worrying about what people would think, it all went well. I started experimenting more in terms of expressing myself in the things I write, the videos I curate (including snapchats), and the clothes I wear. Was my watermelon shirt a classy and elegant debut to year 19 of the glamourous life of Duriba Khan? Nah. Did I wear it anyway? YUP.
8. Get #Woke.
It’s true that this election wasn’t the best to witness, but it did something good. It unified us all: against the haters, the racists, the sexists, the bigots, the #fakes. Although I’ve always been moderately politically involved, this year I voted and put in #WERK during protests and marches to appease the woman inside of me. She was pretty happy about it.
9. YOU DON’T NEED A MANS!!!
You bet I ate CLIF bars and cried while my friends told me about their love life pursuits: some got engaged, some were proposed to, some became moms (I have a lot of older friends, okay), and I played with someone’s fourth child. Guys, the #FOMO is real. Imagine me as a mom though. I’d have one of those mom lobs and wear pearls to pick up my kids from school in a prius and keep their homework in vegan organic leather backpacks! IT WOULD BE SO GOOD!
But I retract: the point here is that males/females/pelicans/whatever you’re into are irrelevant!
Like really, think about all the time you spent developing awkward unnecessary crushes on people that walked past you once, and then wasted time finding their blood type and family tree. But….WHY DID YOU DO THAT??!!! YOU ARE WHOLE!
10. Life is good.
Hey listen, you’re good. You’ve got shoes on your feet, a latte in your hand, and a phone/laptop to read this ugly post on. You bombed that chemistry test, but you can excel at life nonetheless! The world is never over. 18 is one year, and 19 is another. So is 104, but that is irrelevant.
THE WORLD IS ON YOUR SHOULDERS AND YOU ARE A MAJESTIC UNICORN. YOUR BLOOD IS THE NEW UNICORN LATTE. YOU FART SPARKLES!