18 Things We Wish We Knew at 18

To our young readers, think back to the person you were 12 months ago. Now think about the person you were four years ago - a lot has changed, right? So, I asked a few of my girlfriends, "Now that you’re well into your 20s and 30s, what do you now know about fashion, boys, health, and school that you wish you knew at 18?" After reading through their words of wisdom, I wish I could turn back the clock! We hope you learn from our growing pains and apply them to your own world.

  1. "I wish I learned early on to be comfortable in my own skin and don’t care so much about what other people thought. And don’t take out credit card debt!
 Looking back I would have saved more money and invested early." – Ruth Byington, now 27, Administrative Professional & Non-profit Volunteer
  2. "I wish I had listened to my parents more often; they weren’t as clueless as I thought. They could see things in me and the character of friends I surrounded myself with that I couldn’t." – Erin Turner, now 32, Dental Hygienist
  3. "Just because everyone else is wearing it does NOT mean it looks good. Wear styles of hair and clothes that look good on you and make you feel confident. Who knows; you might find that you've set your own trends by being original." - Jessica Fine, now 28, Psychotherapist
  4. "Go to college! If I knew what I know now, I would have made college a priority. It is so difficult to go back to school once you are older, and a part of me feels like I missed out on a fun college campus experience." – Crystal Davis, now 32, Surgeon Administrative Assistant
  5. "You’re young! Be single and have fun with your girlfriends and travel as much as you can. I wish I would of taken the time to see the world." – Bethany Eppinger, now 28, Senior Property Manager
  6. "No matter what size or shape you are, your body is a beautiful and wonderous creation, so love the one you've got! Don't allow yourself to compare it to any one else's, instead embrace it's imperfections as a sign of God's unique handiwork." – Janelle Ruiz, now 30, Teacher
  7. "Don’t take life so seriously that you never laugh, meet new people or try new things." – Leah Workman Wietholter, now 29, Founder of Workman Forensics
  8. "A true friend is someone who has the perfect balance of support and honesty. Someone who will challenge you to pursue your dreams, but also someone who will tell you the truth - even if it hurts to hear it. Those are people who care enough about you to be real. Those people are gold. Hold on to them. They might just be the best friend you've ever had." – Sarah Arnold, now 26, Counselor
  9. "I wish I didn’t plan my life out to the tee, because I only ended up disappointed. Yes, it’s scary not to plan, but now knowing that God has the perfect plan and all I have to do is walk with him, makes this thing called life so much easier." – Daryl Ann Thompson, now 28, Pastoral Assistant
  10. "Do whatever it takes to live responsibly and stay out of debt. Minor student loans are manageable, but anything else will be a millstone around your neck for many dreadful years. And I hate to tell you, but whatever it is…your parents are probably right." – Kate Foster, now 31, Business Manager
  11. "Be content just being God's daughter. In the long run it doesn't matter how many different ministries you are involved in, how many missions trips you go on, how fast you get married, or how many kids you have. Being God's daughter is the most precious and peaceful place to be. Everything else will fall into place." – Angela Legere, now 29, Nanny
  12. "Boys, boys, boys…it is not important! What is important is to spend time by yourself because that’s how you get to know yourself better. How can you tell a spouse or a significant other what you want if you don’t even know yourself? Enjoy your friends, guys and girls, and relationships will come later when you’re mature enough to handle another person’s needs and feelings." – Jessica Mercado, now 32, Senior Hair Stylist & Educational Director
  13. "Love your body and walk confidently in it! I look back at my 18-year-old pictures and wonder why I didn’t realize how awesome I looked." – Brittany Wallace, now 27, full-time Mom & part-time Fitness Instructor
  14. "It’s never too late to put your fears aside, change course, and follow your dreams." – Roxy Gonzalez, now 30, Law Student
  15. "I wish I knew about how stress affects your health. Stress comes in many ways whether work, school, relationships, finances etc. Making time to ensure self care and lead a balanced life including getting proper rest, eating well, working out, feeding your spirit and being social are all important and help to reduce stress." - La Donna, now 41, Counselor
  16. "I wish I listened to those who were closest to me. Looking back, they saw things about myself that I didn’t." – Christie Turner, now 25, Registered Nurse
  17. "Follow your gut instincts and don’t get easily swayed by friends, family or fear. Now that I’m almost twice that age, I’m realizing that the same things I always loved to do when I was 18, the stuff I didn’t pursue, is the exact same stuff I’m passionate about now. Be brave and follow your instincts when it comes to personal and professional choices." – Jenna Kelly-Landes, now 33, Project Manager at The University of Texas
  18. "Being healthy and fit is a lifestyle. Surround yourself with more people who are also trying to live a healthy lifestyle." – Tatiana Salazar, now 29, Legal Assistant