1. "You are always beholden to someone." Mimi
Whether we like it or not, no one is truly independent unless they choose to reject society entirely and live life as a hermit. Whether you view it as a responsibility or a common courtesy, there will always be those in your life to whom must keep informed of your intentions and continued existence.
2. Learn to live on less than you earn.
If you can do this one simple thing, you will likely never have to worry about money. I am a big fan of Dave Ramsey's message on financial peace and managing your money. I haven't always been successful at implementing that in my own life, but I'm working on it. I would encourage you to learn to live on 50% of your take home income if you can swing it and no more than 70% of your take home pay. That way you will always have your tithe and savings built into your budget.
3. Decide what is important to you in life, and make your choices accordingly.
This is another episode in learning from Daddy Hawk's mistakes. When I was younger, I never took the time to decide what was important to me. I tended to, and still do to a certain extent, react to circumstances as they arose rather than proactively planning a course of action. Education was important because my mother made it important. It didn't matter what kind of education as long as I got one. Likewise, I never took the time to determine what made me happy and made my life more meaningful. I have always felt the need to build and create; and, yet, I got a degree in liberal arts and pursued a career in a knowledge based service industry. I have been fortunate to have found a wife and been blessed with a daughter who give me tremendous enjoyment and make my life more meaningful. However, there is still a part of me that wants to go back and kick my 15 year old self in the head to wake up and make some intelligent decisions instead of coasting along aimlessly.
4. "Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food." Hippocrates (460 to 370 BC)
In some respects, food has a bigger impact on how you feel than any other thing in your life. A lot of medical and health literature refers to a connection between the mind and the gut. I have found that to be true in my own life. When I am stressed, my gut is upset. Also, food allergies are a huge deal now too. More so than when I was a kid. For myself, when I avoid gluten and caffeine and limit dairy, I feel much better, my skins clears up and my sinus congestion lessens if not disappears entirely. There is a reason The Queen and I have avoided exposing you to the typical "kid diet" of McDonald's chicken McNuggets. We have also tried to provide you with the best food we can lay our hands on and expose you to a wide variety of foods and cooking styles. Keep that in mind as you get older. Food can be very comforting too. There are times when nothing makes you happier than a particular food.
5. Everything in moderation, except moderation.
Excess and obsession in any aspect of your life can become unhealthy. Gluttony can lead to obesity and serious health issues. Drunkeness and drug addiction have serious side effects in addition to potential legal complications. Spending too much time on social media can lead to problems interacting in the real world. Learn when to stop or say that's enough.