I fall into the millennial category and at first I didn’t want to embrace it. I graduated high school in 2006. This year marked 10 years of being out of high school. I must say it went by very fast! I have accomplished so much, but still feel like I have accomplished just a small portion of my goals. High school wasn’t the most stellar experience, but I made it through. I am thankful for the lessons I learned and the friends I made along the way. I didn’t attend my ten year reunion for various reasons, and I do not regret it at all. Honestly? We have this thing called technology. We are all on social media so I have a good idea of who is doing what, who’s dead, who’s getting married, who’s getting a divorce, and who works where etc. The other thing is, with my small business, I see a lot of people I went to school with throughout the year from fulfilling their cake orders. It kind of balances things out so to speak. Everyone is available at the click of a button, call or text.
I have been reflecting on this milestone all year long. These past ten years have really showed me that I have definitely matured and grown as an individual.
So there I am, 17 year old me. I had super long hair, wore glasses, untamed eye brows and um what the hell was make-up? Not a tattoo in sight and let’s not get on that smirk! This wasn’t the pic I used in the year book (I don’t think? I don’t even know where the hell that thing is from all of our moves). BTW I hate taking pictures and I think I look weird without my glasses.
So here are 10 things I have learned since graduating high school
- You will have a lot of crappy jobs before you find an amazing one. I have had several jobs in several fields and I can say that I HATED the majority of them. Deciding to go back to school to complete a degree was worth it (kinda). There is this lovely thing where most places want you to have a million years worth of experience on top of spending your youth in college. There is the saying “We all gotta start somewhere” and most companies agree; you do…but just not here.
- You will kiss A LOT of frogs before you find your prince charming (or princess if you’re a guy). Love was one of the most complicated, sh*tty, disastrous yet beautiful things that I have ever discovered and experienced.
- Money sucks. Learn how to manage it early. There are some very important life skills they should teach in high school instead of stupid sh*t like pottery. Learning about finances early on is very important and will set you up for success. Although I do believe that at some point in time everyone has totally f*cked up their finances.
- You can’t change your family but you can create your own. Some of my friends I consider more like family members than friends.
- Speaking of friends, sometimes the best of friends outgrow each other. I have had my fair share of friendships come and go. Some of them, I had been friends with them since childhood. High school ruined some friendships, and adulthood sealed the deal. As we all hit our milestones at different times, the dynamics changed and the relationships just weren’t salvageable. It’s okay to outgrow friends. I have learned that quality is better than quantity when it comes to friendships. I think this was one of the most important lessons out of them all.
- If you have been in your home state since birth…consider moving. I decided to move to another state and boy that was an amazing experience. I was very homesick at first; but the longer I was there, the more and more I realized that I was being held back in so many ways; and that was the time that I really started living and experience life. Moving away was a big leap into adulthood and the unknown. I learned that taking risks; no matter how scary they are, can be very rewarding. I experienced my first hurricane, gained my first car note, a husband, an awesome career, and my first kid out of the deal!
- Sh*tty food catches up to you eventually. I ate plenty of crap growing up and in my teen years. In early adulthood, you have to do this thing called feeding yourself. So with no one to prepare my meals, I had to learn how to cook. At first this meant grabbing fast food whenever possible. However, over time, those pounds started creeping up and not to mention going back to the money sucks point, it adds up really quickly! I now make better food choices and I am more active.
- Sleep is a beautiful thing. Back then, I could stay up until the sun came up. Now, I am lucky if I can make it past midnight (Add babies into the mix and kiss sleep goodbye). Who cared about sleep 10 years ago? I didn’t. I wanted to do as much as possible…carpe diem…kick today’s ass! Now? I love when I can squeeze in a nap and most of the time if I (rarely) go out, I am headed home at the time I used to be headed out for a night on the town.
- Coffee is life. I remember a point in time where I thought coffee was the absolute most disgusting thing ever created. Until I started working in an office setting. Those magic black beans are a big part of my life now. 10 years ago, toss me a Red Bull or a Mountain Dew and I was good to go! Going back to point #7 those sh*tty food choices started to catch up with me.
- Time waits for no one. Time flies, whether you are having fun, doing nothing, made it in life, or simply don’t give a sh*t. My kids are growing up super fast, my family is almost complete, I am getting older and almost knocking on 30’s door. Deciding to go back to school was kinda a now or never thing. Grad school is one of those experiences where it’s like okay I need this and what the f-ck was I thinking?! I have a soon to be large family that is about to be complete in a few short months…all while some of my high school friends are just getting started on some of these things. It doesn’t matter what time or place you start the race..it’s all about how you finish it. In the end I don’t want to approach another 10 years and look back at things with all these shoulda-woulda-coulda’s.