Easy 10 steps that all teens should do before turning 18!

Turning 18 is an exciting and scary time for everyone. It is scary for the parents who have to let their babies go after 18 years and trust me as a mom 18 years is not long enough. However it is more scary for the person turning 18.

I remember when I was going to turn 18 and I was so excited to finally be out on my own and away from my parents honestly. (Spoiler alert they never stop worrying about you) Anyway I was super excited but also a little scared. The problem I had was I was stupid. Yes I said it… I was STUPID!

I was ready to take on the world but didn’t know a damn thing. Here is what happened to me. I was well hmm a dumb ass. Yes if you have ever watched That 70’s Show this is the part where Red hits me in the head and calls me a dumb ass while threatening to stick his foot up my ass. Unfortunately for me there was no Red Forman to tell me what to do. That is why I am here to tell you what you need to do before you turn 18. I also have a foot available if you need it.

This is me at 18

This is my senior picture so many years ago. Look at me saying, “I got this” even though I had no clue about the real world LOL.

I will be using pictures of my oldest son who is now over 18.

My sons senior pictures

Top Ten Things to do before YOU turn 18!!!

#1. Take a family vacation 

Yes, go on a vacation with your family. This will mean the world to them and even though it may seem lame now someday you will be glad you did that because getting everyone together for a family vacation once your grown up is really hard.

#2. Have a diploma 

Don’t go out in the world with out some kind of diploma. Yes I am a huge fan of finishing high school but if you are one of those people where things didn’t go exactly as planned then do something else like get your GED or some kind of High School equivalency diploma. Even if right now you think that you don’t want to go to college, some day you may change your mind, and it will be better to have this out of the way. Also employers will look at this as an accomplishment which will help you find work and let’s face it you have to work. 

#3 Do something crazy

Now when I say do something crazy I don’t mean illegal. I mean crazy. Have fun with friends for a weekend at an awesome rock concert. Get something pierced while it’s still cool to have it pierced. If you’re a skinny girl with a great belly button then pierce it cause someday honey your body won’t look like this anymore and you will wish you had. Have fun and be adventurous.

This is me with my bestie in High School. We always had a blast!!!

#4. Learn about Credit 

No I don’t mean credit cards. In fact getting a credit card when your 18 is a very bad idea and will most likely ruin your credit. There are tons of quick and easy lessons on line to find out about credit or even sit down with your parents and ask them about credit and some mistakes they made. Once again this is something you will not worry about right now but some day when you want to buy a house or a car or get a loan you will not be able to do any of that if you ruin your credit.  I am sure you know an adult out there who is willing to tell you all about their credit mistakes. Be smart and learn from that.

#5. Explore things you are interested in

 This is the best time of your life where you can explore the things you are interested in and not be shamed for it. If you love art ,writing, or anything creative then explore that now. Get to painting and have fun with it. Once your a grown up and you want to explore this you will see how people will judge you and tell you to get a “real job.” If you find what your creative passion is now then you can continue to use that through your life and really enjoy it. Some people make money from this and some people use it as a hobby but its a great trait to have so learn now. 

#6. Make Goals and List

 Ok this may sound funny but when I was 16 I made a list of what I wanted to be doing 10 years from then, My list is hilarious when I look back on it now. I had marked it at each year such as 18 get married, 19 have kid and stuff like that. Now my list had mentioned I wanted to marry a rich doctor and have 2 kids and live in a huge house in beverly hills. LOL well that didn’t happen, not even a little bit but I had goals. I have goals now to they are just a little different lol. Anyway I think that every teenager should have a list like this, just make your goals better than I did. Use this list to know where you want to be 10 years from now. Even if right now you have no idea what kind of career you want to have that is perfectly fine. Use this list for better goals like traveling to Paris or bungee jumping with your best friend.

#7. Don’t plan a wedding yet

OK so I know this is more of a don’t than a do but think of it as a positive. You have your entire life to get married and have kids so don’t do this at 18. Now I know there are a ton of people out there who will say they got married at 18 and spent the rest of their lives together. Well statistic show that don’t happen a lot. I was one of them. I got married at 18 and had 2 kids by the time I was 22. Now granted I love my kids more then anything and they are my dream come true but the problem I had with my ex husband is that we were both so young when we got married that as we grew up we grew into different people who were not compatible anymore. Just because you turn 18 doesn’t mean you know everything yet. The best advice I can give you is to enjoy your life and not be in a rush. When you get married you need to make sure that you have more than just love to stand on. However I do have some good news for you on this especially if you are with someone who is pressuring you to get married so young. I am not saying don’t be together and hell if you want to get engaged even that is cool, but set your wedding date for a couple years out so you can have the wedding you want and still do other stuff before that . Like traveling the world and getting some culture is the best way to go and if you don’t want to leave your love behind then take them with you and let them get that culture too. It will be fun and you will make great memories and then when you are all done you can come back and get married, 

#8. Get a job

Yes what you hear is true! You need a job to make money. This is the perfect time to get at least a part time job to start saving money or paying some of those bills that your parents have been paying for you. You will get lots of experience and learn new things and you make money. We all like money.

#9. Learn to grocery shop

Yes this is very important. Especially when you are starting out and you don’t have that much money. My parents never taught me to grocery shop. My mom would send me to the store with a list of things she needed and because my parents had money they didn’t buy off brand stuff. This was a big surprise for me when I was out in the real world with a little money and didn’t know how to make it stretch.  I got lucky because my first husband was raised in a home with a bunch of kids and a family who didn’t have a lot of money so he was taught how to shop properly and he taught me. However this was after a few arguments where he was mad when I came home with a can of soup, some candy bars, and soda. Ha-Ha good times. Anyway this is a good tip for you to know, and we did this with our oldest son all the time. We would send him with $20 and tell him he needs to buy food to last the week. He got really good at this. Now he shops even better then I do and sticks to a budget.  If your parents are like mine were, and you need help learning to shop you can always email me at or find someone else who is on a budget to help you.

#10. Walk away from drama

This is by far the best advice I can give you. If you can learn this now you will be set for life. There are always going to be people who are dramatic and want all the attention. They will crave it and try to drag you down. You need to cut yourself off from these people. Either entirely or at least from their drama. When they start whining and being all woe with me then you need to walk away. If you want to get places in life and be successful you need to surround yourself with successful people. Also if you are one of these people who are over dramatic then you need to get over yourself and move on. Nobody likes a whiner. You need to be more like my son and realize that you don’t need to be drug down by others.

I hope that this helps you at least a little bit and yay your almost 18 which is an exciting, scary, fun, and amazing time in your life, Embrace it….

Lots of love

Kaylee Shadows

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