At the tender age of 18, with your whole life ahead of you, the sound of your parents droning on about the things you should and shouldn’t do could put a major dampener on your excitement.

The unfortunate thing is, as you get older you start to realise that most of what they were saying is predominantly true, and those handy phrases and serious “chats” were actually full of wisdom.

So, exactly what advice should we have listened to those many moons ago which would have been invaluable in our late teens?

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Treat people how you want to be treated

It really is that simple. Being full of angst and thinking that the world is against you is all too common for many teens, but you never know when you might need people or when you may meet them again. Treat them well and this will be rewarded.

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Respect older people

As an invincible 18 year old you may not realise the importance of older generations. Be it grandparents, or in everyday life, like the textbooks you’ve just spent years studying, older people are a fountain of knowledge and experience. Whatever you’re doing, they have more than likely done it already, so give them respect where it’s due.
Image credit: Mario Mancuso /flickr.com

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Drive carefully

So, you’ve been through the saga of driving lessons with the mind-numbing instructor and ploughed through the hazard perception test to finally complete the practical assignment. Embarking into the world of driving is still a dangerous feat, however, with an eighth of all road casualties involving drivers aged 17-19  . So listen to your families’ stern words when they tell you to drive carefully. Taking extra care can keep you safe and save you money in the long term.

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Save money

Oh it’s such a snooze isn’t it – banks telling you to invest in an ISA, parents telling you to save wages and watch your money grow. The urge to splurge your pay checks on designer clobber and nights out is appealing, but pennies really do make pounds, and putting a portion of your wages away for a rainy day will pay off.

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Sleep Well

This is just something that older people would say, right? Wrong! If you don’t do it for wellbeing, do it for vanity – getting seven hours or more sleep a night is thought to increase concentration and functionality, whilst fending off those dark circles and wrinkles!

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Experiences are greater than objects

An all singing all dancing car/phone/laptop/insert object of choice here, can seem great at the time, but as you get older and look back at your teens with fondness, none of these items will necessarily spring to mind. Experiences are invaluable for growth. Be it travelling the world, jumping out of a plane or trying something new on your own, they will all add to your enriched memory bank and strength of character.

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Invest in yourself

Sound a bit quirky? Whether its health, fitness or knowledge, taking the time to learn new things and look after yourself whilst you’re young can make you look and feel unbelievable. Eating every bit of junk food in sight and putting off your assignments may be part of daily life for you, but your 30 year old self won’t thank you for it.

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Embrace change

It can be daunting to try new things without a group of mates to help support you. You may be off to university, starting work or about to set off on the trip of a lifetime. Embrace your life changes with a smile rather than fear though, and your friends will still be there after you’ve gained your independence.

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Knowledge is key

Learning and working can seem like such a slog, even for proper adult grown up people. Nevertheless, being committed to learning in all senses of the word, through work and education, will give you the upper hand when it comes to recruitment. Networking is an essential part of making friends and challenging yourself, so discover what’s out there early on.

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Most of all, don’t forget to enjoy yourself! Take on the advice and embrace the journey into adulthood, whatever that may be.