Goodbye childhood. Hello adulthood. This is what my oldest niece Shakira is experiencing as she gets ready to graduate from high school. She’s excited about adulthood because to her it means freedom to do whatever she wants. But like most 18-year olds, she hasn’t really thought about the responsibilities that come with that freedom.
As her aunt, I thought I would take the opportunity to impart some life lessons that I’ve personally found to be helpful in living a full and happy life. But Shakira doesn’t want to listen to a lecture from me. Blah. Blah. Blah. Even if she did listen, she could easily forget everything I told her the next day.
I needed to deliver my nuggets of wisdom in a fun and memorable way and something that would make a cool graduation gift.
I created a custom photo book called “18 Things I Wish I Had Known at 18.” I picked out a black and white template from Shutterfly.com that matched my niece’s sense of taste and style.
In the book I listed my top 18 life lessons and paired them with photos of Shakira, Shakira and me together, and group family photos. I arranged the photos in chronological older starting with her baby photos.
Here are the 18 life lessons or words of wisdom I put together: