18 Pieces Of (Completely Unsolicited) Advice For My Sisters On Their 18th Birthday


By Jillian Stacia

Today my sweet baby sisters turn 18. Even though I’m excited for them, I know how scary it can be to enter adulthood and feel completely unprepared. Or worse, to enter adulthood feeling completely prepared, and then find yourself smacked in the face on a daily basis by the unbearable weight of everything you do not know. Adulthood can be rough. Amazing and wonderful sure, but also rough.

In honor of their birth, I’ve compiled a list of advice and sisterly wisdom that I wish someone had told me before I became an official adult. And, who are we kidding, most of us can still benefit from this type of advice today, 10+ years later. Because, if there’s one thing I’ve learned from being an adult, it’s that none of us have any idea if we’re doing it right.

18 Pieces Of (Completely Unsolicited) Advice For My Sisters On Their 18th Birthday:
A collection of sisterly “wisdom” and guidance

1. Here is the one thing I know for sure: the most important thing you can be in this world is kind. Here’s another: kindness is a verb- it’s something you do. It’s a choice you make. It’s constant, deliberate action. Open doors. Listen intently. Give favors and grant wishes. Remember that we’re all in this together.

2. To live a full and authentic life, you have to be brave enough to let others see you. Look them in the eye. Smile with all your teeth. Use less filters. Offer yourself up to the world, and dive in head first.

3. Love your body. It’s beautiful, and it’s the only one you have. Give yourself grace with this one, because it’s not easy. It’s a daily practice and a lifelong commitment.

4. Support other women. Despite what society tries to tell you, they are not the enemy, they are your sisters. There is more than enough to go around. Strong women support other women. They lift, they encourage, they include. You are a strong woman.

5. Dance. In your car, in the shower, at weddings, on tables. Life is too short for foot tapping and head nodding. Bust a freaking move.

6. Call your mother. Text your friends. Send your grandmother a card on her birthday. Show up for the people you love. Be with them through thick and thin. Celebrate the victories and mourn the losses. Find your people and hold them close.

7. One day, you will meet someone, and you will feel like you are home. Remember to be brave. Remember to love in a way that you are proud of. Remember that the truest of love is kind and patient and understanding.

8. Apologize. You will mess up. A lot. And that is okay. Apologize often. Admit your mistakes. And then forgive. Forgive others, and most importantly, forgive yourself.

9. Do something silly and fun at least once a day. Climb a tree, blow bubbles, finger paint. Make time to do things that serve no obvious purpose.

10. Here are two statements that are equally true: You are a pretty girl and it doesn’t matter in the slightest. Your prettiness is the least important thing about you. Remember that. Tattoo it on your forehead if you have to. You are not defined by your appearance. And neither is anyone else. Are you kind? Do you work hard? Have you laughed today? These are all more important questions then “how do I look in these jeans?”

11. Stick up for the little guy. Be brave enough to defend those who can’t defend themselves. Use your voice when others cannot.

12. Ask questions. People love to talk about themselves. It makes the conversation flow nicely, and you’ll learn something new.

13. Cut back on the social media. Can you sit in silence with yourself? Do you like the company you keep? Practice the long lost art of being bored.

14. Read. Educate yourself. Learn new things. Engage with the world around you. It’s not cool to be uninformed. Knowledge is the only power we have.

15. Find out what faith means to you, and practice it on a daily basis. Do not let faith sit on the top shelf of your heart, unopened and collecting dust. Take it out and let it breathe.

16. The things that embarrass you, the things that make you weird? They’re the best things about you. They’re the stuff that people remember. They are what make you shine.

17. Follow through. The unsexy truth is that successful people are successful because they do what they say they are going to do. They show up. They work hard. They honor their commitments.

18. If nothing else, remember this: you are capable. You are strong. You can do hard things. No matter what life throws at you, you will figure it out. You will rise to the challenge again and again. It’s who you are. It’s in your bones.

Comment below and tell us what piece of advice you wish you could give to yourself on your 18th birthday!

Jillian is part of the Contributing Writer Network at Thirty On Tap. To apply to become a Contributing Writer, click HERE

{featured image via pexels}

3 thoughts on “18 Pieces Of (Completely Unsolicited) Advice For My Sisters On Their 18th Birthday

  1. Cheryl Hook says:

    I like your advice to call your mother; not because I am a mom,but, because you can learn so much from those who have travelled the road longer.


  2. Beau Leonhart says:

    I hope you will add to these pieces here every year when your sisters have a birthday. We can all look forward to and benefit from your yearly installments. Beautiful advice, observations, and insights. Jillian, you are helping to make this world a better place for all of us. Thank you.


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