May 2, 2015

Turning Eighteen

Wow, I can't believe that today I turned 18! It's both exciting and terrifying. The world and all its adventures are mine. There is much more to turning 18 than meets the eye. Because come on, who really grows up overnight and instantly becomes an adult!? So to commemorate this milestone in my life as well as help any other girls who are about to turn 18, I have asked a few inspirational woman for some advice and a photo of them at 18.

I am very much looking forward to my 18th year of life and everything that will come with it.

Here are two of the biggest things that I have learned this past year:

Friends can be made with anyone: This is a BIG one for me. I have always had this friendship "mold" that I base people on. This meant only being friends people who thought the same way as I and enjoyed the same things. I have come to learn that this is utterly wrong and that some of your best friends may be ones that you never even thought you would associate with, because they don't like or think the same way you do.

Relying on God is the only way: This definitely has been made clear to me over this last year. Especially during the college app process. The whole thing was so fast that it is now a blur, yet it was painfully slow. Even now as I have already been excepted and know that I am going to BC, I still have these doubts that sometimes creep in that make me wonder if I am on the right track. God's hand is of course always there even when I am not aware of it. This is so clear to me as I look back to last November-December time as I was in the middle of choosing between two schools. At the same time I was doing the Preparation for my Marian Consecration which took place on the feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe. Around Christmas I made my decision and eventually chose Benedictine College. The theme of the year for the school I chose was "You are the one I have chosen" which are the words Our Lady spoke to Juan Diego on the hill of Tepeyac. This is definitely a sign to me that I am where I am suppose to be and that God has many wonderful plans ahead.

Okay, so without further ado lets get into the advice from some pretty great ladies!

"Hello, girls! When Grace asked me to write something I had learned while being eighteen, I felt a little hesitant. As an eighteen year old, I had a lot of successes, but I also made a lot of mistakes that I wished my parents didn't know about. I should mention that most of what I have to say is college related, as I spent most of this year away from home.

College: I began to attend college when I was eighteen. If you are anything like me, you are going to want to join every single organization on campus. I wanted friends and I wanted to be accepted in a town where I was by myself.  And so I joined a lot of organizations that first year. From being a Eucharistic Minister, to starting a brand new Hispanic nursing organization, to being part of a co-ed fraternity and much more. Was this good? Yes. Did I make a lot of new friends? Yes! It was great. However, my grades and grade point average (GPA) reflected my commitment to these organizations and not to my studies. So, from my eighteen year old self to you: That first year is the most important year of college. It is very difficult to recover after series of low grades, but it is possible. By all means, join organizations, be part of campus and parish life, but don’t join them all at once. Wait, study what they stand for, and once you decide to join, let your passion shine!

Gabby at 18

Family: If you do decide to go to college, call and visit your parents every opportunity you get. Let them know your plans. Most of my college friends thought it was silly that I asked for permission and let my parents know that I was going somewhere with friends. After all, I was eighteen and four hours away from my parents! Some days, I found this silly, too, but this was the least I could do out of respect for them. Don’t forget to thank them for the opportunity they gave you of furthering your education in this way! At eighteen (and while in college) is when you began to realize that your parents, along with your brothers and sisters, are your best friends.

Life: One of the biggest lessons I began to learn while being eighteen was that Jesus, alone, can and will fulfill my needs and desires. Girls, don’t ever forget Jesus is the love of your life. While being eighteen, I craved for a “real” boyfriend. I desired    for someone to love me. I wanted someone to hold my hand while walking through campus. Out of that selfish desire, I made a lot of mistakes in this area. It wasn't until I was in my twenties that I encountered the love of God. Seek Him first, He wants a real relationship with you!


Gabby is a Pediatric Nurse who blogs at Under Grace.


"Having just recently turned 18 I may not have the most worldly advice, but the one piece of advice I can give is to have fun! Growing up I was always trying to be a little adult. I wasn't good at being a kid. In high school I was more concerned with my future and friends then I was about enjoying high school. 

Now that you're 18, you're going off to college or to the next chapter in your life remember that you're still young. 18 does not mean your 30 years old with a mortgage. You're still young and you should enjoy that. Don't take things to seriously, let go, have fun. But always stay true to yourself. If you ever feel uncomfortable doing something o in a certain situation, then don't do it. I have never done something I've been uncomfortable with and no one has ever treated me differently because of it. 

Turning 18 means that you do have more responsibility. Schools won't send your report card home, and your school principal won't tell your parents when you do something bad. But that doesn't mean you should completely let loose. This is the time where you need to prove that you're responsible enough to be on your own, while also enjoying yourself. "
Alex at her prom

-Alexandria Eisenhardt


"What I would like you and other 18 year olds to know (which isn't too long ago!) is: Work towards true independence; the kind of independence that comes from making your own decisions, free of pressures, whether they come from the media, parents, friends, a significant other, etc. Create environments where you can be independent and make choices that will lead to lasting independence. If you have independence, there is nothing that you can't do."

-Emily Raleigh
Founder of Smart Girls Group 


"It might sound cliche, but God really does have big plans for your life. There will be lots of days that seem ordinary, but also many that are extraordinary. As you get older you will realize that you mom was right about many things. But at the same time, you will also realize that your views might start to change from your family's views a little bit as you become a young adult, and that is okay too. The moments that make you feel like an adult might be strange- like going to get fast food at 11:30 pm on a school night and not having to tell anyone where you're going.  Most importantly- stay true to your morals and faith. You will find that so many of your peers do not. It is okay to test the waters a little bit and go beyond your comfort zone to have a little fun sometimes, but do not let that override what you find to be morally right. That always comes first."



"My advice to my 18 year old self would be exactly what my mom has been telling me throughout high school and college: it’s not easy sitting in God’s waiting room. Often times we want things and pray for things to happen because it is what we think is in our best interest at the time. But sometimes what we hope for, pray for, and work towards doesn’t always happen. We can get discouraged because we think our prayers have gone unanswered and that all we have worked toward is useless because sometimes, our plans don’t always work out the way we’d like them to. Sometimes, we’re stuck sitting in God’s waiting room patiently awaiting our next steps. But in the end, it turns out the waiting time was worth it and things often turn out for the best when we take the time to stop, listen, and stay patient."

The beautiful Francesca at 18
Senior at Fordham University who will be graduating this month.

Thank you ladies for such wonderful advice that I will definitely keep in mind. Entering adulthood can be a terrifying thought, but hearing from others about their experience helps to reassure us newbies.

1 comment :

  1. Oh my goodness! Happy 18th birthday, Grace! Thanks for sharing all these words of wisdom- much appreciated as I get ready to head to college this fall.