9 Things You DON’T Have To Do Before You’re 18

All things considered, I was a bit of an accidental prude in high school. Sure, I had an outgoing personality with an outgoing worthy wardrobe to match–I’m still cringing about some of my style choices, that’s called growing up–but I left high school without smoking pot, getting drunk, having a boyfriend, or hooking up. For the record, I’m not bragging about any of this. If anything, I wish I was a little more adventurous and willing to take more risks (within reason), but that’s just not the way it worked. I definitely allowed myself to indulge a little more in college, but at the end of the day I’m a girl who didn’t have her first kiss until she was 23-years-old and only lost her v-card earlier this year.

And guess what? I’ve managed to survive and navigate the world as a pretty well adjusted chick who loves hanging out with friends, dancing like an idiot at rock shows, and wearing sheet masks when I’m feeling fancy. Oh, and I have a boyfriend now too. Wow, who would have thought? Well, anyone who doesn’t have a rigid idea of what goal posts you should hit in your teens and knows that your teen years shouldn’t be seen as the best days of your life would know that. But too many of us end up feeling like something is wrong with us if we’ve never been kissed by a certain age, or if we’ve never rebelled all that much.There are a lot more people out there like you than you think, just know that what happens will happen. Maybe you’ll try a cigarette one day and hate it, maybe you’ll kiss a stranger and love it. Regardless, you’ve got time, so stop thinking you’ll miss out on living your best life if you don’t do these 9 things by the time you’re 18-years-old.

Smoke A Cigarette

You shouldn't smoke because it's a disgusting habit, but people experiment, and you might too. But if you haven't done it yet...you really aren't missing out on much. Seriously. Side note: I had a crush on a guy in senior year who reeked of cigarettes every day after lunch. My thirst couldn't look past the reek.

A First Kiss

Like I said in the intro, I didn't get my first kiss until I was 23-years-old, so even in college my lips didn't see any action. If you're in this boat, you're honestly not alone. There are soooo many more people out there in your situation than you think. Besides, maybe you're going to have a stellar first kiss with somebody more experienced than a sloppy one with a 14-year-old boy.

Smoking Pot

Of all of the risky things to do, smoking pot is probably the least harmful. You'll likely be in a situation at some point soon (if you haven't already) in which you're offered some. But like, no matter what, nobody is going to roast you if your first experience with pot isn't until you're older. Nobody is going to interrogate you about this, I promise.


I felt like such a weirdo for never drinking at parties in high school. I drink now, but I'm low key glad that I'm old enough to know my limits, something I probably wouldn't have known when I was 16-years-old.


To be on the safe, ultra paranoid side, sending nude photos of yourself while underage is pretty risky anyway (technically child pornography).

Having A BF/GF

A lot less people have relationships in high school than you think. Plenty of people might hook up but never have a real, true blue romance. It'll happen, chill.

Going To A Crazy Party

High school parties are fun, but a lot of them aren't even like the movies anyway. If you don't go to some, you're not missing much. College parties on the other hand...

Hooking Up

Everyone does the nasty at different ages. Yes, most people lose their v-card before college, but a lot of people don't. Hell, I didn't, and I knew a lot of other girls who were in the same boat as me.

Knowing What You WAnt To Do With Your Life

It can be tough to see a lot of teenagers who are out there and making a name for themselves already...while you're just spending your day scrolling through Instagram. Yo, people do things at different paces. It. Is. Okay. You don't have to know what your career trajectory will be as a teen. I'm in my 20s and I'm surrounded by people who still don't really know what they're doing. You're good.

Have you felt weird about not accomplishing something on this list yet? Are you already over 18 and have any insight to share? Tell us in the comments!

You can follow the author, Ashley Reese, on Twitter or Instagram. Don’t worry, she doesn’t bite!

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