5 Maybe Useless Pieces of Advice for 18 year olds
This summer is passing quickly. Like, really quickly. How is it already after the 4th of July? And I feel like I have to grasp onto all the free weekends and do something epic. But I haven’t. But I’m trying to be o.k. with that. At the beginning of this week, I took a look at my almost empty July calendar and realized if I wanted to go out and have the kind of fun I dream about all year, I had to schedule it. If my weekends don’t get planned, I have found I may squeeze in a short hike, but I also end up spending time doing yard work or watching Netflix. Summer weekends are made for adventure and adventure season is short!
Within 2 days, I had reached out to some friends and got 2 rock climbing Saturday dates set, and one mountain peak scramble schedule for July and I smiled as I wrote those on my calendar. It wasn’t the epic backpacking in the North Cascades, climbing in Squamish or hikes in the Olympics that I dream of, but still, it would be a great use of some summer Saturdays.
Last week my sister and 2 nieces (almost 18 and 16 years old) visited me in Oregon for the first time. My sister hasn’t been in Oregon since 2006 when we had gone on the over 3,000 mile round trip journey from North Dakota to Oregon, back through Yellowstone and Mt. Rushmore National Park. A lot has changed in our lives since then.
My sister and nieces were only at my house for 2 1/2 days, which was fine because it was the middle of a busy work week and I was able to pack a lot into that time. I showed them Corvallis, where I work, and I took them to my favorite places on the coast. We saw a whale from the railings at Yaquina Head Lighthouse, explored the tide pools, browsed in shops in Newport, ate ice cream in Yachats, and explored the Devil’s Churn and beaches around Cape Perpetua. One of the best parts, was seeing it through the eyes of those who had never seen it, and as I result, felt like I was seeing it all again for the first time. I love being able to show why I love Oregon, tall trees, the ocean and wild spaces to a generation who has grown up in the Midwest with easy and almost constant access to technology.
My 5 maybe useless pieces of advice I can offer that generation:
1.) Never stop being in awe. The world is diverse and beautiful. It should at times stop you in your tracks, as you realize how small your space in it is.
2.) Stay curious. You can Google any question. But you can still find so many more answers on your own through experiences and travel.
3.) Work hard. And not just at a job. Ambition and money aren’t really lasting things. But work hard at being a good human. A kind person. Someone who leaves behind good ripples and lasting connections.
4.) Be whatever you want to be at the time you want to be it. I work with 17-19 year old students for my job. I realize you are still figuring out so much of what you want to be and who you want to be. Try things out, try out different identities and interests. Why not?
5.) Life is a gift. Be in it. Yes, that means putting down the phone and turning off Snapchat sometimes while you are in a beautiful place or you are having a conversation with a friend or laughing during a silly board game. You can go on social media later, but you have to be in the moment while it is there.