What do you wish you knew at 18 that you know now? | Winston-Salem, NC

A group of Wake Forest staff team members gathered to discuss what we know now that we wished we knew at 18. We shared a variety of thoughts, including patience for the future, risk-taking, independent thinking and taking advantage of opportunities, such as having more (or fewer in one case) relationships. More thoughts included having awareness that there is more outside of our 18-year-old, small-town worlds, different paths that can be chosen, and that there is time (and it’s okay) to make mistakes.

A few participants wanted to impart this awareness to our children, so that they will have more advantages than we had. Our discussion led to asking if there were a reason or a person who helped us to understand the above. Could you go back and make your 18-year-old self understand these things? We concluded that most of the time friends, teachers and others outside the family are better mentors than family members/parents.

Our greatest takeaway seemed to be that we can translate to the present day (the “now”) those things that we wished we knew at 18: We can still have a bucket list; we can still be courageous in our actions and push ourselves out of our comfort zones; it is not too late to do some of the things we wished we had done at 18, and we should not delay.

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