Turning Eighteen

Here it is. The big day. I am no longer a child, but an adult. I am not sure whether to be scared or excited. The world is now mine, and no one can stop me. Ok, ok, maybe my parents if they were to cut me off if I choose not to follow their rules (which I would never do)
By far the most important thing I have been looking forward to doing as an adult is signing my very own contracts. No more asking my mother and father to sign on the dotted line for me. I can now do it all by myself! Because you know, having your mother’s signature on a contract with Seventeen Magazine is kind of lame.
I am also looking forward to the freedom that comes with being an adult. Do not get me wrong, my parents are not exactly the type that can tell me what I can and cannot do. They have always allowed me the privilege to leave my decisions up to me since I tend to be more strict on myself than they would ever be. They have certain expectations for me that I am more than willing to follow. I am just excited to not have the “I am still a child” hanging over my head.
I know that there is much more to turning the exciting age of 18 than meets the eye- or the naive mind of a 17 year old who is oh so eager to grow up. With that being said, I have decided to ask a few inspirational women that I have looked up to throughout my childhood (wow, that is weird to say!) for some advice and a picture of them at age 18! Yesterday I was a child and today I am an adult. And lets face it, one night’s rest will not magically make a person wiser.
“A few months after I turned 18, I moved from my home in suburban Massachusetts to New York to attend NYU. I remember feeling a lot of pressure to have the best! freshman! year! ever! because I saw people I knew from high school posting photos on Facebook where they looked like they were having a blast with all their new friends. And although there was a lot about my freshman year that was thrilling — like reporting from New York Fashion Week and interning at Seventeen — I also felt like I was missing out on some great social scene that seemingly everyone else but me had discovered, even though I had a fun group of new friends and a boyfriend. I know it sounds crazy, but if I didn’t have someone to hang out with at every spare moment, I worried that I was doing college the ‘wrong’ way. There were a lot of moments where I felt like I was missing out.
I wish I had known that everyone feels like that at one point or another during freshman year. It’s so normal to have social media-fueled FOMO or feel like you haven’t found a college best friend yet. It’s okay to feel lonely from time to time. Everyone does, even the people who look like they have it all figured out. So, take it from a formerly awkward, scared, lonely freshman: I eventually got into the swing of college life and made amazing friends that I know will last for years beyond graduation. You will, too! You just have to be bold, put yourself out there, and go fearlessly after what you want. Everything will fall into place in time.”

How adorable was Hannah at age 18?

Hannah Orenstein 

Editor-in-chief of The HBIC Project, editorial intern at, entertainment editor at NYU Local

Also check out Hannah’s blog she kept throughout high school!

“Every road has bumps. No life is perfect. My college years were a very challenging (albeit fun) time in my life. I was stuck between childhood and adulthood, and I was unsure about who I was and what I wanted. Your college days probably won’t be exactly as how you envision they’ll be, but know that every experience is unique and special in its own way. Try to enjoy the stage, don’t get down on yourself, and don’t compare yourself to others. Commit to personal happiness and fulfillment, and realize that four years will pass very quickly!”

I am so used to seeing her blonde that I could hardly recognize Kelly (middle) with brown hair!

– Kelly Larkin

“18 is still young. Don’t feel like you have to be grown up all of a sudden… have fun, relax, and enjoy yourself! Work hard, but know that you’ll never be as young as you are now!”

Carly and her father after her high school graduation! Loving the matching Lilly!

– Carly Heitlinger

“The one thing I wish I had known when I was 18: it’s okay to have unique passions. Just because your choice of college, your career interests, etc., aren’t considered “cool” or “lucrative”, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t pursue them. If you’re fortunate enough to figure out what you love at a young age, put your heart into it, stay true to yourself, and do everything you can to gain traction towards your goals. You’re never too young to make an impact on the world. ”

Such a fun photo of the fabulous Marissa on her 18th birthday!

– Marissa Vessels

Entering adulthood is terrifying. Lets just leave it at that. I am incredibly grateful for the advice (and adorable pictures) that these four fantastic women have provided. I am oh so excited to share with y’all more advice from a few other amazing women throughout the week! Be sure to check back tomorrow for part two.

Stay wise, ask for advice, celebrate the big events in life, and always keep things covered up.


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2 Comment

  1. Reply
    Hannah Payne
    April 16, 2015 at 6:39 pm

    Happy 18th birthday, Mandy!! These little pieces of wisdom are so helpful for you and your readers!

    Practically Imperfect

  2. Reply
    May 16, 2017 at 6:31 pm

    Very pretty dress. I would love to play dress up like that!!!!

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