Five things my 18-year-old self got wrong about life

March 03, 2017
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Congratulations, you are now a full-time adult! You can pursue your dream career, travel and vote! And most importantly, you can buy your own alcohol! Long gone are the days of asking your older sibling to purchase your almighty guava cruisers and telling your parents you were at a friend’s when you were low-key dying in a random ditch. NO! You are 18! An adult who can do such things.

If only it were that simple. This is what my 18-year-old self was definitely wrong about.

Thinking I had to have everything all figured out

That transition phase from high school to post-schooling is the hardest change you have to adjust to. So long, farewell to the days of Monday to Friday, 8.30am to 3.00pm classes with the same peers and the same teachers.

You’re forced to choose what career you want to pursue when you’re 17 or 18. Then when you’re confronted with the realities of life post-high school, it will hit you harder than a tequila hangover. You start that course you chose on a whim and realise there’s a fate worse than the price increase of Maccas soft serves; it’s Accounting 101 with a professor who can barely speak English. Spending a little time now to figure it out can pay off in the future. You can broaden your horizons and learn something new you wouldn’t of otherwise.

The horrid realm of dating and relationships

Silly little me started dating someone as soon as I turned 18. When you haven’t even figured out who you are, adding someone else into that equation = turmoil.

Don’t go searching for someone. Let them find you while you are out living your life to the max. In the meantime, enjoy being single in all its fabulous glory. And don't settle for less than what you deserve. Get yourself a partner that looks at you the way John Legend looks at Chrissy Teigen. Be a power couple like Barack and Michelle Obama. It’s worth waiting for.

How easy uni would be

High school was a snooze. Let’s be real, with minimal effort on your English essay, you were guaranteed you’d at least pass. So naïve it’s almost cute. Introducing the painful world of referencing, citations and harsh lecturers. Cue a coffee addiction to get you through a week’s worth of all-nighters and you may have just passed.

Comparing myself to others

When you’ve hardly figured out who you are, it can be daunting AF when your peers have and they’re going places with their life. They’re doing internships and getting killer marks while you fall behind the pack a little, still unsure of what you’re doing.

But everyone moves at their own pace. Life isn’t a race of who can accomplish what the fastest. If anything, get inspired by what others around you are doing, seek advice and let it motivate you.


When you’re in high school, you think you and your BFF are going to be besties until the end of time. Add a different schedule, different universities and different friendships into the mix and voila. But the clichés are true. You tend to drift away from your friends post-school life. It’s inevitable – you make new friends, you have different priorities and grow apart. You find your #ultimatesquad, the ones who will be there during your transition-to-adulthood identity crisis, answer your drunk calls at 3am to listen to how much you love pizza and will be there to support you through every heartache and your every success. 

I was just totally clueless. But I wouldn’t change any of it. 

Cassandra Notaras

Cassandra is an advocate for food equality and coffee as a cure for everything (except dehydration).