10 Things I Wish Someone Told Me When I Was 18

“In the end, it’s not the years in your life that count. It’s the life in your years.” Abraham Lincoln

When I turned 18 I was probably the most lost I have ever felt in life. I was confused, anxious, lonely and desperate for some guidance and acceptance as I felt like I was constantly failing. It wasnt until I met my now husband just before I turned 19 that things started falling into place for me and a lot of that was because I spoke to my doctor and discovered that I was suffering from depression. Everything happens for a reason and im positive that I wouldnt be where I am today if things didn’t happen the way they did but there are some things I wish I had known back then to make it a less painful time.

I really hope these tips can help others and it’ll definitely be something I will share with my own children as they grow.

  1. Love yourself – On good days and bad days, love yourself unconditionally. Have your own back, try new things, chase your dreams and know that no matter the outcome you’ll be ok!
  2. Trust your gut – If you don’t feel like something is right with yourself, go and ask for help even if others have told you that you’re fine. You don’t need permission to go and see a doctor nor do you need to justify yourself to others.
  3. You don’t need to know your passion – It may take years to find your passion so don’t waste time on trying to force yourself to find what that is, put that energy into being curious. Curiosity has the power to transform an everyday situation into a whole new experience and you’ll find yourself being drawn to the things you find most interesting which may lead you to stumble across your passion.
  4. You don’t have to go to university – I know that from the day you started school it has been an expectation that you will go to university and now it’s time to enrol you have no idea what to do. That is OK! University is not a one-size-fits-all’ solution for every school leaver and you can be successful without a university degree.
  5. Don’t compare yourself to others – Don’t waste your energy focussing on what others are doing, make yourself number one priority because by comparing yourself to others you are simply distracting yourself from your own joy.
  6. It’s ok to not be ok – Life is full of ups and downs and just because you may not be happy all the time, sadness does not mean you are weak.
  7. Own who you are – Don’t change yourself to suit others as their opinion of you is not important. Your experiences are unique and have the potential to help so many others so be proud of who you are and above all be yourself! It was what you were born to do!
  8. Let go of the past – Acknowledge your pain from the past and give yourself permission to let it go, living in the past will do more damage than good.
  9. Slow down – You don’t need to rush your way through life, enjoy the journey and be present in all you experience as you never know what you might miss.
  10. Embrace change – It is not your enemy I promise! Change often presents a new opportunity for growth so don’t fight it. Acknowledge it, accept it and know there’s a reason for it. You may struggle to understand the “why” now but when you look back you’ll know that it was meant to be.

What do you wish you were told when you were 18?

Thanks for reading! xo


  1. Awesome tips girl I LOVE this! I wish I would have told myself some of the same things you listed here when I was 18 too – But what I would REALLY tell myself is to NOT go to a psychiatrist to help fix my problems (he just threw pills at me when I was suffering and the set off a chain of events that ultimately destroyed my life), but to go to a psychologist, (cannot prescribe medication but can help), or a therapist to TALK through what I was feeling and help me feel better about my life situation. I am dependent on psychiatric medication now, but honestly before that first trip to that careless psychiatrist, I NEVER experienced delusions or hallucinations in my LIFE. Something in that medication altered my brain chemistry forever, and I know it. So, to the young people out there, (and my younger self), I would advise them to TALK through their issues first to get help – medication should be an ABSOLUTE LAST resort.

    Thank you for posting this, it was very thought provoking and informative! <3

    • That is such a valuable piece of information, i’m sure there are lots of people out there who wouldn’t even know the difference between a psychiatrist and a psychologist.
      Thank you so much for your lovely comment, i’m glad you liked my tips ❤

      • Aw, my pleasure!! I agree that MOST people don’t know the difference between a psychiatrist and psychologist, and they often get the wrong kind of help and in my case, THROWN medication, where I might have been saved with just some talk therapy. I went through some heavy trauma after that, and if my knowledge can help anyone, I would be more than happy to share it! Your tips are JUST as important too! Thanks again for writing this post. <3

  2. Wonderful tips lovely… I’d definitely need them all if I was able to go back in time. One that I really needed to hear was that I was allowed to make mistakes. How you come back from them is ultimately what shapes you into the person you are going to be, especially as a young adult. ☺️ Great Post! ❤️

  3. I wish someone told me not to abuse my body so much with junk food & alcohol. It really does have an affect on your daily well-being. And your bank account balance.

    I agree with gut-feelings though. They should always be trusted.

  4. msykmak says:

    Loved your tips some which I would have loved to have known when I was 18. Actually pretty much all of it 😊

  5. I liked this post before I got to reading the ten things because the first paragraph was enough to touch my heart. I was incredibly lost at 17 and I found my man then and we’ve never looked back. I am strong and confident now, and it feels funny to own it and type it out. I wish someone would have read all these points out to me, but I wish someone would have told me one thing the most – own who you are. I would have reached where I am today years ago, but as you said I am here now because everything happens for a reason. Thank you for writing and making me and so many other people smile!

  6. JenaPen says:

    This is beautiful! It is so inspiring that you can look back at your teen years and admit to yourself that you needed some change. I think your advice is something we all should keep with us maybe especially when we are 18 but even throughout our entire lives! I know I loose sight of some of these things when life’s challenges are hitting me in the face. Thanks for the insight 🌸

  7. adultraising says:

    Hi Natalie,

    Firstly, I really loved your “about” page. It gives a fantastic description of who you are and what you’re trying to achieve.

    I really resonated with this post also having suffered with depression in my mid teens and my twenties. Eighteen is such a difficult age and I wish I had been wise enough to have known some of your points above. All though I’m sure if someone had read them out to me I would of rolled my eyes and taken no notice! I think these realisations have to come from experience and these experiences are what make us stronger today.

    I wish I’d cared less about what I looked like and what men thought of me. Wasted so much time on silly fad diets and trying to be someone I wasn’t.


    • Thank you so much for your kind comment!
      When I was 15 my parents decided to move from the UK to Australia, I saw it as an opportunity to become the person I had always wanted to be but was too shy to be. Well, it didn’t work out. it turns out I was fine just the way I was but I put way too much pressure on trying to be someone I wasn’t, all that wasted energy has turned into a valuable lesson. 🙂

  8. Asmi says:

    These tips work for all ages basically. I am 21 and I still find some of these difficult to follow. Well written 🙂

  9. Hello, hello <3

    I have nominated you for The Sunshine Blogger Award 🙂

    Thank you for bringing sunshine to my life <3

    I can't wait to read your response <3

    Anita, xo

  10. toinspireus says:

    Awesome tips. Thanks for sharing! I shared your great tips with my Twitter community

  11. ellenbest24 says:

    Never look back unless you plan to go that way. Move forward, walk away from pain, abuse and hatred you are worth more.

  12. I was broken hearted at that age and as a result made some bad choices. If I can tell my old self anything, it would be, not to duel too much on the past and look ahead to the future. However, at that age, a broken heart seems to suck the life out of your, not allowing you to see anything else but that! Loved this post ❤️

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