Turning Eighteen: Part Three

Being a high school senior, I am often told to cherish the things like sport’s practices and lunch time at school. I have always found it odd when my older friends tell me that I may even miss going to school eight hours a day. I know that in college I will have more freedom that I know what to do with. I am aware that I will never be as young as I am now, I will never live with my parents for more than a few months, and I will never be back in high school. All this is both exciting and terrifying.
The advice for entering adulthood that I have shared with y’all the past few days (Part One, Part Two)  has touched on subjects such as confidence, the changes that will come, and finding your own little niche. The advice I have gathered below from two of my dear friends reminded me that I should not wish away how life is now, rather enjoy each step along the way.
“The big 1-8. It’s crazy how fast time flies! 18 is such a special age. So much happens in one year and I know I felt like my world was being flipped upside down between Graduation, a summer spent away from home, and starting my first year in college. As much as 18 was very much a transitional year for me I desperately wish I could relive some of those precious moments. To any girl on her 18th birthday I say to treasure every second. Treasure the last few memories made with your friends at home because after the summer following graduation change is inevitable. I desperately wish I could go back and relive the small things like jamming out in the car with my best friends from home, all the sleepovers we constantly had, and my last few lacrosse games with the best team in the world. Another small thing I miss now that I never thought I would miss is driving (sounds silly right?). Once you’re in college alone time is rare and you no longer have to drive to class! I miss the drive to and from school every morning and then back home after practice. I always did my best thinking in the car by myself and I never realized how much I would miss those simple drives jamming out to my favorite songs. 18 also holds memories from the majority of my freshman year in college. Cherish your freshman year because everything seems to get more complicated, confusing, and more serious starting your sophomore year. Suddenly everyone is freaked out their major, future jobs, summer plans, and grad schools. The freshman year bliss is something I wish I had cherished more last year. Lastly, I say push limits and go outside of your comfort zone. You’re young, wild, and free and there is no better time to do the things you’ve always wanted to do! Good luck in your 18th year and make it one to remember!”
The adorable Shannon on her graduation day!
– Shannon Hessen
“I think the biggest thing I wish I could tell my 18 year-old self is that young adulthood isn’t about figuring out what you want to do; it’s about learning how to figure out what you want to do. In other words, I wish I’d understood that this part of life is about the process and not the destination. After all, that’s what the next 60+ years is for.
When I was a senior in high school and then a first semester college freshman, I spent so much time trying to nail down exactly what I wanted to do and what that path was. Instead, I wish I’d spent time learning more about how to go on that journey to discovering my goals and aspirations. What steps do you take to find your passion? What can you do if you’ve stumbled upon something you like doing, and how do you turn that into a more serious part of your life? And how do you do that same thing with your friendships and other relationships?
I think the best example of this was my career aspirations: I spent four years of high school wanting to be President of the United States, so I promptly joined student government upon arriving at college, only to find within six weeks that I absolutely hated it. This realization left me feeling aimless, and when I finally showed a real love and aptitude for writing, blogging, media, and the internet, it took me a long time to acknowledge those passions and to even know how to go after them as a career. It took me a long time to realize that the process of falling in love with these topics and incorporating them into my professional life was the point of being young and naive.”
The picture of Lily below captures her personality perfectly at age 18 and now!
– Lily Herman
Thank you for the amazing advice, Shannon and Lily! More advice to come tomorrow!
Cherish each and every moment, as life will never be the same as it is now. Oh, and keep things covered up.

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