18 Things My Dad Taught Me Before 18

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by Riley O’Connell ’15

1. It’s okay to be a bitch sometimes.
2. Change is good. You’re not the same person you were in second grade. You’re not even the same person you were a few hours ago, and that’s okay.
3. Always have an escape plan.
4. 90% of the things you worry about will never happen.
5. There are two reasons people tell jokes: to make people laugh, and to make people think they’re funny. Determine why you do the things you do.
6. When someone tells you “I hate you,” he is telling you about himself, not you.
7. Never lose sight of who you are because of a boy.
8. Don’t let yourself fall in love with someone’s words.
9. Life isn’t what you make it; it’s how you take it.
10. Don’t waste your Mondays wishing they were Fridays.
11. Pain is like water; you can’t stop it from flowing. Sometimes you have to let it drown you before you can swim to the surface.
12. Sing all the time. Who cares if you sound awful? Just sing.
13. You are what you do, not what you say you’ll do.
14. We all become architects at some point in our lives, skilled at building walls between ourselves and our loved ones. And then one day the walls become so tall that you can’t knock them down. So for every brick of anger you lay, take two away.
15. You can’t always be right.
16. Call your friends. Call your mother. Call your grandparents. Texting is overrated and not heartfelt.
17. Kiss that cute boy at the party but push him away as soon as he puts his hand up your shirt.
18. Smile at a stranger. Buy someone’s coffee. It doesn’t have to be a big gesture. Small things done consistently in strategic places create major impact.

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