You’re 18 today. I remember the day you were born and while it doesn’t seem like yesterday, it definitely doesn’t seem like it was eighteen years ago. You’re going off to college in a few months and while I know very little about anything, I thought I’d offer you some advice.
- Experience as much as you can (SAFELY!) while still getting your homework done.
- Be in awe of the opportunities you have and take advantage of them.
- Don’t feel trapped. You’re never really trapped. If you decide what you’re planning on doing with your life isn’t what you want to do, switch courses. Being expected to know what you want to do for the rest of your life at age 18 is insane. Frankly, being expected to know what you want to do for the rest of your life at my age (well over 18) is insane, too.
- What makes one person happy makes another miserable. Find your own road and make sure that road is the road you want to take (not the road anyone else is telling you to take).
- It’s important to be kind to others, but the most important person to be kind to is yourself.
Here are some quotes I’ve collected over the years to inspire myself and I hope a few or all will help you, if not now, then someday.
“Be brave enough to break your own heart.” – Cheryl Strayed, author of Wild and Tiny Beautiful Things. I have a poster with that saying on it and some of the best days I’ve had are days when I take that advice to heart.
“Don’t plant your bad days. They grow into weeks. The weeks grow into months. Before you know it, you got yourself a bad year. Take it from me. Choke those little bad days. Choke ’em down to nothin’.”- Tom Waits
“Everyone must dream. We dream to give ourselves hope. To stop dreaming- well, that’s like saying you can never change your fate.”- Amy Tan
“Courage doesn’t always roar. Sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying, ‘I will try again tomorrow.'”- Mary Anne Radmacher
“There’s power in looking silly and not caring that you do.”- Amy Poehler
“Only hang around people that are positive and make you feel good. Anybody who doesn’t make you feel good, kick them to the curb and the earlier you start in your life, the better. The minute anybody makes you feel weird and non-included or not supported, you know, either beat it or tell them to beat it.” That’s another Amy Poehler quote. Just listen to pretty much anything Amy Poehler says. She’s the best person ever. (Besides you.)
Always remember that I love and continually root for you.