3 Big Things to Know Before You Turn 18

While it might not feel any different than the year before, turning 18 comes with a lot of new possibilities (and responsibilities).

That's not to say you suddenly need to be a full adult by your 18th birthday, but it does mean that you should be gearing up for some changes. With that said, here are some things you should know before you hit that next landmark birthday:

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1. It's Okay to Let Things From Your Past Go

Around 18, people will start moving away from home to go to college or simply start new lives outside of high school. Whether you're one of those people or you remain at home for a few more years, it's important to know that it's okay to let some things—be it friendships, relationships or even certain beliefs—slip away. While a lot of things are worth fighting for, some things need to move out of the way so that you can embrace a brighter future. So don't stress if you start noticing people becoming more distant and instead focus on how you can work on forming better connections or further developing yourself.


2. You Should Be Doing Things That Help You Invest in Yourself

These days, it's important to do things that set you apart from your peers in order to stand out on college applications or while looking for a career. However, you also don't want to do things simply for that purpose if they aren't things you're passionate about. That's why investing in yourself is so important, and you can do that by taking on certain activities or even travels that help you become a better person and give you something to talk about in those interviews and college essays.

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3. How to Live on Your Own

While you don't necessarily need to move out of the house as soon as you hit 18, it's likely to happen sometime soon. Even if you don't move away right away, though, there's still a ton of basic skills that are great to learn for the sake of personal development and, well, just growing up. A few things that are good to know can range from the basics like laundry, cleaning your dishes and how to cook a few half-decent (or at least edible) meals to the things you might overlook, like how to apply for a job, pay a bill or buy your own groceries on a budget.  Knowing how to do these simple (and not so simple) things will set you up for success, especially if you're headed off to college soon.

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18 is a fun year full of new experiences, and even more so if it'll be your first year starting college. If that thought has you stressed, don't worry—we've got you covered. Click HERE to explore some things to figure out before starting college that will help you put your best foot forward in this new chapter of life.