Life at 18 years old certainly has its ups and downs.
But, if I'm speaking on my own personal experiences at that age, the downs significantly outweighed the ups.
As shitty as life sometimes was for 18-year-old me, I wouldn't change any of it, because I know all of those experiences shaped me into the person I am today (would I like some wine to go with my cheese?).
Still, I have to say I would definitely never choose to relive that year of my life. The past is the past for a reason, guys.
Here are 18 reasons why I'd never want to be 18 years old again.
1. I. Hated. High school.
At the risk of sounding like a stereotypically moody teenager, I despised most of my high school experience.
I never quite found "my people" back then, and to me, high school just has a way of making you feel like your entire existence is contained within a small and inescapable bubble.
The whole thing was just so not for me.
2. Nothing was more important than my reputation.
OK, so it's not like I really had much of a "reputation" to uphold, but I still always felt as if the opinions of others were central to my very being.
Thankfully, I now have my priorities straight. And by straight, I mean my compulsive need for pasta and tacos is usually at the forefront of my mind, certainly before what other people think of me.
3. I don't miss spending nearly two hours getting ready in the morning.
When you care a lot about what other people think of you, that means you spend an embarrassing amount of time making yourself look a certain way to please others.
At 18 years old, I compulsively straightened my hair every day before school, and I pretty much always needed to have a full face of makeup on when leaving the house.
Let me tell you, sleeping in feels so much better than "looking good" for others.
4. My taste in men was the absolute worst.
I was attracted to all the wrong people, even though the red flags may as well have directly penetrated my eyeballs.
Ironically enough, I actually began dating my current SO when I was 18 years old, which is solid proof of why I would never actually change anything about my life from that time.
5. I don't miss living at home.
Life is just generally way more difficult when you have parental figures breathing down your neck all the time.
Plus, as an 18-year-old, you're technically an adult, but you're obviously not fully mature yet. You want to grow apart from your parents, but you also know you still need them around.
6. Drama was an everyday dilemma.
Whether you were stuck in the middle of two mutual friends who hated each other, or your bestie was sobbing to you about some fuckboy who cheated on her for the billionth time, there was always some sort of drama happening when you were 18.
Of course, these types of problems don't just vanish once you turn 19, but as you slowly transition into adulthood, everyone is sick of the drama, and very few people continue to perpetuate it.
7. I didn't know how to do my makeup.
You know those girls whose necks completely did not match the color of their faces?
That was, 100 percent, me.
8. I made stupid decisions on a regular basis without knowing how stupid they were.
By no means am I a perfect individual now, but honestly, I would slap 18-year-old me for some of the dumb shit I decided to do back then.
Re: Having sex outside on my family's deck, which happens to be located directly two levels down from my brother's room, where his window is literally always open.
Consider this my apology.
9. Senior prom was beyond overrated.
My dress cost me way too much money, the venue was lame and the DJ sucked.
Maybe I'm particularly bitter because I also didn't have a real date, but still. The overall experience was the biggest letdown ever.
10. I did not grasp the idea of moderation.
As a dumb 18-year-old, whenever I had the opportunity to drink, I always (and I mean always) overdid it.
I had no concept of what my limit was, and it took me an embarrassingly long time to figure it out.
11. Everything was uncertain.
I had just committed to going to a college I knew very little about, and I made the decision to move nearly three hours away from home.
I was starting over in a new place, and everything about that terrified me.
12. I didn't appreciate my family as much as I should have.
Since I was pretty focused on hating the fact that I still lived at home, I definitely wasn't making enough of a conscious effort to appreciate and love my family.
The reality of this sunk in even more when I found out later that same year that my mom had breast cancer.
I'm unbelievably lucky that she overcame the disease and she's a healthy woman now, but it makes me sad to think something huge had to happen for me to put things into perspective.
13. I thought the world revolved around me.
Mind you, this didn't mean I thought I was hot shit, or anything like that.
If anything, it was the exact opposite. I was so self-conscious that it really and truly felt like everyone was watching me, all the time.
Even though I obviously wasn't full of myself or my appearance, this is definitely still a version of being self-centered, and it was not a good way to live life at all.
14. I was ignorant.
As a writer, this is pretty embarrassing to admit, but I was almost completely uninterested in politics and world events as an 18-year-old.
Remember when I said I was self-centered at this time in my life? Seriously, I meant it.
15. I was friends with the wrong people.
During my first few weeks at college, I basically just clung to whoever would let me cling to them.
As you can probably imagine, this did not translate to me making the greatest friends.
I allowed myself to settle for friendships that brought me zero happiness.
16. I didn't know what I wanted out of a relationship.
This goes for both my dating life and my platonic friendships.
I always thought I should associate myself with certain "types" of people, thus shutting out some potentially amazing people in my life.
17. I was irresponsible AF.
I texted while driving on a regular basis. I never admitted when I was wrong about something.
Or, if I did, you'd have to essentially pull my teeth to get me to do so.
18. I made a habit of lying a lot.
Obviously, lying hurts the people around you. That's a given.
But, I know I was hurting myself in the process, too. I always felt guilty when I lied about something, yet I still continued to do it.