It’s five days till my 18th birthday so, feeling slightly sentimental, I decided to put together a short list of things I’d recommend to try before you turn 18.
- Drive a car
As of this moment in time, I can’t actually drive a car. I mean, yes, literally speaking I could get into my Mum’s car right now and fiddle around with the pedals until it moved, but what I mean when I say I can’t actually drive, is that I haven’t had any lessons. I’ve had a little go in my parents car once or twice, driving it through a field .. with no lanes .. or people .. or anything remotely hazardous (thank god), and I almost gave my younger brother – who happened to be a passenger at the time – whiplash by slamming the breaks on too hard. But, hey, learning to drive would be pretty cool.
- Get a job
Firstly, this is a good way to start earning some money which you’ll definitely need as you start to get older (I definitely could do with getting a job). It also makes your life a little more interesting. Um, that’s all I have to say about this one.
- Bunk off school
I may have bunked off more than once – apologies to my parents – which probably wasn’t the wisest decision, but Okay, yes, this may seem slightly stupid, but for the sake of clichéd movie scenes, everybody should skip class at least once.
- Go to a concert
This is probably my favourite on the list. I think – currently – I have been to over 20 concerts and honestly, I could never grow tired of them. Whether it’s a huge world famous artist performing in an arena to thousands, or a small band playing in a tiny venue to less than a hundred people, make sure you at least attend one form of concert before you turn 18.
- Travel somewhere by yourself
The furthest I have ever travelled completely solo would be to London – around 100 miles – where I took the train. But, wherever it is, doing it by yourself makes you feel so mature and independent – even if it is only for a day.
- Learn to play an instrument
Definitely a must do. When I was about 8 I could play the piano, violin and clarinet, but I gave up after a couple of years. You never understand how much you’re going to regret quitting something until a few years down the line and honestly, if I could go back and talk some sense into my younger self (why did you quit?!?!?) then I would. As of now, I can only play the guitar. I got one as a Christmas present a few years back and taught myself how to play, and – although I am no Ed Sheeran – I can manage a few chords, which I guess is an achievement.
- Dye (or attempt to dye) your hair
Picture this; 14 year old me, braces, and desperate to dye my hair .. wait for it .. pink. I’m not sure where or who I got the idea from to dye my hair, but after months of pestering my Mum she finally caved in and agreed. And all went well. I mean, I brought a decent brand of hair dye, applied it to my hair, waited the required amount of time .. and nothing .. absolutely nothing. My hair was the exact same colour as it was three hours beforehand. Maybe it was fate’s way of telling me pink wasn’t really my thing.
- Binge watch a TV series
I don’t think you’ve ever really lived until you’ve “binge watched” a TV show. And I’m not talking an episode a day kind of thing, oh no, I’m talking literal binging, just like the definition says – a period of excessive indulgence. Let’s just say I managed to finish the first two series of Pretty Little Liars in a week .. maybe I should start re-evaluating my priorities, oops.
- Tell somebody how you really feel
You probably saw this one coming, I mean, it wouldn’t be a proper bucket list if it didn’t include some sort of emotional and clichéd “just be yourself” kind of point. So, I guess what I’m trying to say is, don’t be afraid to tell that person who is messing with you’re feelings that they’re a dick, or don’t be afraid to say “hey” to somebody first. Yes, you might get blunt answers, or not be told what you want to hear, but at least you’ll know exactly where you stand with people. And that is really important.
- Do an extreme sport (bungee jumping, rock climbing, sky diving)
I’ve not exactly done a great deal of these. And the ones that I have, I don’t think fully tick the box of “extreme sport”. For example, the only rock climbing I’ve done was indoors, not down the face of a cliff, and the only skydiving I’ve done was indoors, which – yes, was absolutely thrilling – but didn’t involve parachutes or jumping out of a plane (thankfully). So, I guess I need to work on this one.
- Start a scrapbook
I started scrapbooking all my ticket stubs and photos last year and it’s such a cute way to keep track of all your sentiments. This might seem like a very cheesy thing to do – and also A LOT of effort – but it honestly pays off. Sure, having all your photos online on Facebook or Instagram might seem just as good (and more convenient), but there’s something special about having a physical copy of all your memories.