18 Things To Do Before You’re 18

A long, long, long time ago (read: a few years back) I wrote a list called “18 Things To Do Before You’re 18.” I recently recovered this list and, since I’m turning 18 this weekend, I felt I should take a look at what my preteen self believes is the staple of almost-adulthood.

1. Kiss a boy. Well, that one obviously didn’t pan out.
2. Go on a real Date. I had this idea that a real “Date” was going out for dinner and a movie. I had such idealistic hopes and dreams.
3. Serenade a stranger. Funny story about this one. My friends and I had a scavenger hunt, and “serenade a stranger” was one of the items on the list. It’s all on camera. We sang Happy Birthday to a woman in line, even though it wasn’t her birthday, and we realized halfway through that we didn’t know her name.

US: “HAAAAPPY BIIIIRRTHDAY DEAR…”

(Beat of silence.)

HER: “Oh, right. Audrey.”
US: “AAAUUUDDREEEEYYY…”

4. Get your license. They probably have a video of my parallel parking and show it to driver’s ed. courses as an example of how NOT to do it, but hey, I passed!
5. Get pulled over and talk yourself out of a ticket. I have gotten pulled over, but I don’t think I talked myself out of anything. I think he just felt sorry for me. For some reason I didn’t turn the radio off, so “Ice Ice Baby” was playing softly in the background, and I was flustered, and I answered every question with “Yes” (whether it made sense or not) without making eye contact.
6. Dye your hair red. Did it. For about three months, I made a pretty convincing ginger.
7. Have a picnic. I haven’t done this yet, but I so want to.
8. Get drunk, or engage in some other teenage shenanigans of equal value. I worry for my younger self.
9. Eat an entire pan of brownies. Hell, I had probably already done this prior to writing this list. I’ve done it at least twice since writing this list, and once I forgot to (read: DIDN’T WANT TO, AND YOU CAN’T MAKE ME) put the brownies in the oven, so I just ate an entire pan of brownie mix. Both my best and worst idea ever, much like the time I went rollerblading in near tornado-like conditions with an umbrella.
10. Meet JK Rowling. Sadly, I haven’t had this opportunity.
11. Write a novel. I wrote one when I was, like, seven, and titled it “Sammy’s Adventures.” There were wonky dream sequences, mermaids, and camping trips gone awry.
12. Have an epic fake-sick-and-stay-home day. Imagine this: a musical montage of me doing a pajama-clad jig in my kitchen while making a sandwich and watching reruns of House to the beat of Pink’s “Get This Party Started.” Supposedly I had the flu. (Psh.)
13. Do something really badass. What are the parameters of badassery here? My younger self should have been more specific. I mean, once I took my coffee black and I felt like a real badass, but I’ve never, like, stolen a car.
14. Learn how to blow a bubble. Sadly, I still can’t blow a bubble. I was deprived as a child.
15. Learn how to juggle. My younger self had high aspirations for me.
16. Throw a party. Um, well, once I had eight friends over and we had a Psych marathon. We had lots of food. Does this count? (Just kidding. I throw pretty kickin’ surprise parties.)
17. Learn to be comfortable with yourself. Not there yet.
18. Throw chicken nuggets at tourists from the sun roof of a car. I don’t know where this idea originated, but now I have a very strong desire to make it happen.

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