Conversations With My 18-Year-Old Self

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I often see posts on social media asking, what advice would you give your teenage self? My advice is always, love the boy. I don’t live a life of regret; many things I have experienced have been lessons. I tend not to dwell on the things I felt happened to me, but to build on them. I moved from New Orleans to Irving, TX at the age of 18. Like many youth, I felt I had it together and nothing in the world could stop me. I often times say, I ran away from home. I didn’t care where I went, as long as I got out of New Orleans. I felt different. There is no other way to explain it, just different. My relationship with my mom wasn’t the best; it was a little bit of her and a little bit of me. I didn’t feel like I fitted in with any side of my family, and I wanted change.  I landed in the DFW metroplex.  I’ve coined the phase, “I grew up in New Orleans, but I became a woman in Dallas.”

One day I wondered what exactly would I tell that girl, that was so full of life and thought she knew everything. As I look around at girls that age now and how people my age, seem to forget they acted just like them at one time, I wanted to let you the reader into what I would tell my 18- year old self.  Some of these things I did, and some I didn’t.

Love the Boy, as we grow, we are often times told that relationships will come. Focus on school and leave the boys alone. I beg to differ; we all long for companionship from the opposite sex (or someone). Why not date, hang out and love. Love at that age is so pure, so unrestricted and has so much beauty. When you feel you are in love, you feel you can conquer the world and then some. So Love the Boy!

Time Management is important. You are in the “real world” now. No one will tell you when to get up, do your homework, or take a shower. It is all on you darling. Set a schedule. They help and work. This way you can schedule the parties you want to attend and those test you may forget you had to take. wink

Everybody is not your friend. I don’t care what they do and how they do it. Be watchful and on alert. People will prey on you because you have a kind heart, don’t allow them to mistreat you. Stand up for yourself, and if you feel disrespected, say something.

Do school on your own terms. The first school I went to was DeVry. I went to school mid day, worked in the afternoon, and partied at night. Well, I won’t say partied but hung out nightly. When I say do school on your own terms, that means, pick the major you really want. You have to live with that in the long run. You will be happier in a career that you really want, instead of a career you are only in for money. At some point you will say to yourself, I want out. That is when you will get out, with a lot of wasted money.

Joining clubs of interest is fun and help you connect with people. You don’t have to be a social butterfly, but talk to those around you. Join a club if it interests you. You may really love it. You will build life long friendships.

Talk to people that are different from you. If you only talk to people who are just like you, you won’t get to truly experience what college or this world is about. You will only have an opinion based on one culture. The world is round and full of all types of people. Meet them; learn about them and where they are from. You will find many treasures.

Save your money! Pow, Pow! Save your money. You don’t have to spend it all at once. Keep a check registry, which will help you not go over what you have in the bank. You will have money for all of the things that you want to do, if you save a little.

You don’t know everything. You are 18, just starting on this road called adulthood. You have had 17 years to prepare, and now it is finally here. Remember what you have been taught and your values. Listen to what people have to say. They have lived. Whether you are going through what they are saying right now, at some point you may have to come back to that advice. Keep your ears open and your lips shut. Even if it is to not make the same mistakes they made.

Never forget your God. Hold tight to your faith no matter what is going on. Never forget what you have learned and trust God. At 18, it may be the most unpopular thing, but it is the realest thing. Faith in God will get you through those rough patches in life. Believing him and following his word will help the disappointments not seem so hard. Having morals is still in style.


-In the Wind

Arnya Martin Davis



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