18 Things I Learned at 18

December 2, 2018

A new year is like a book; it consists of new beginnings, new opportunities, and new notable moments that will be remembered in the future. One book, twelve chapters, and three hundred and sixty five pages. Instead of calling the sensationalized phrase, “new year, new me” your mantra, reflecting on influential life lessons that you have taken with you up to the end of this year is a more nostalgic manner in diving into 2019. Here are 18 things I have learned by 2018, as an 18-year-old teenager.


 Photo: Skyla Design on Unsplash


  1. Listen to your heart more than you may listen to your head.

  2. Always present yourself with dignity and respect. This is how others will treat you in return.

  3. You do not have to have your entire life planned out to the T. Take things as they come.

  4. Listen more than you speak and offer your best, whole-hearted advice.

  5. Never assume. Always try to better yourself and what you are trying to achieve.

  6. Family is the most important thing, so always remember to reach out to them every day. A text can take a second and a call can take a minute.

  7. The only person you have to compare yourself to is the person you were yesterday.

  8. You are not expected to know everything. Even the wisest, pHD degree human being does not know everything.

  9. You do not have to wait for anything. Regardless of your age or level of expertise, you can make it happen.

  10. It is better to be overdressed than underdressed.

  11. It is okay to reach out for help if you need it. Your feelings should never hold you back.

  12. Quality over quantity- for everything. This refers to friends, priorities, and even snacks at the supermarket.

  13. You may start to turn into your mom, and that is a good thing.

  14. Start each day with a grateful heart and your day is sure to be fulfilling.

  15. Follow through with your plans and obligations. They speak more about your character than you think they do.

  16. Tell people you appreciate them more often. Sometimes, the little things have the greatest impact.

  17. People who talk behind your back are behind you for a reason.

  18. Anything worth doing is worth doing well. Always put your whole heart into everything you do. Great things are to result.


As we excitingly approach 2019, I strongly believe that taking the time to reflect will allow you to tackle the new year with more shine than confetti and more spark than fireworks. Cheers to the new year, cheers to the amazing years you have experienced, and cheers to you!


Victoria Giardina is an 18 student at The College of New Jersey pursuing a Major in Journalism and Professional Writing with a  Minor in Communication Studies. Victoria's favorite movie is The Greatest Showman and you can never find her without her planner! As the founder of Kick It Cancer (www.kickitcancer.org) and a news anchor for her campus-wide news station- LTV News, Victoria steps up for community outreach, leadership, and creative storytelling. In the future, Victoria hopes to work in the broadcasting industry in New York City.

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