I am celebrating a new year of life this week! This is my final year of being a teenager before an entire new decade of living life, so in honor of that, here’s a post of 19 things I’ve learned by 19 years old.
1. There will be hard days.
Life is messy. You are going to feel like you can’t make it through. You fail a test, break a leg, don’t get the part in the show, etc. But….
2. You will get through whatever you are going through.
You will grow from your experiences because you are resilient!
3. Never stop pursuing your dreams.
It is never too late to do what you want to do. I’ve seen so many posts about the “greats” of our time starting their businesses at a later years in their life. And I don’t know if my mom has shared it, but I am just so proud I have to share! After 30 years, she is going back to school to get her masters. I started a podcast and began writing my book. I am in the works of starting a business to pursue my dreams of becoming a full time entrepreneur. It’s never too late and never stop chasing your dreams!
4. Lean on your family during times of need – they are your greatest support system.
Even if some days you feel annoyed with your family members, they are the ones that God gave you for you to walk through life together!
5. Friendships don’t last forever. Some are for the best, but that’s not to say that it doesn’t hurt.
Friends come and go. Your best friends in high school may not be your best friends in college, especially if you go different ways. But, hold on to your true friends. They are the ones that will carry you through whatever you need. Don’t let them go!
6. Your vulnerability is not a sign of weakness.
We all need to have a time in our life where we have to be open and honest. It is a beautiful thing!
7. You don’t have to apologize for everything.
Be yourself. Don’t apologize for it. Do the thing that makes you happy, even if you fear people will laugh at you.
8. Speak now or forever hold your peace.
Ask your teacher for clarification. Ask for extra credit. If you see something that is unjust, speak up. More often than not, you’ll regret not saying something then if you did.
9. Dance and let your hair down.
This is one of my favorite things. During middle school we had a couple of cluster dances and I remember being super shy and not wanting to dance. Then during high school, I was the co-chair of the dance/prom committee and I had no care in the world! I danced like no one was watching… Part of that probably came from the fact that I’ve danced for 15 years of my life. But dance like no one is watching. It’s the best feeling in the world. Especially when you can put on Christmas music and dance across your kitchen floor while singing your heart and soul out. (Yes, I’ve done this)
10. Let go and Let God
God’s got you. Surrender to Him and beauty will come. I invite you to pray the surrender prayer in times of need: “Oh Jesus, I surrender myself to you, take care of everything!”
11. Things will almost never go according to plan.
Life is messy, but the detours are part of your story. You don’t have to follow along the same path as everyone else. As harsh as it sounds, God doesn’t want us to walk a straight path. The rollercoaster of life is how we find the greatest redemption. Isn’t it the best feeling getting off the rollercoaster after going through a few upside-down loops? I’d rather do that, rather than those little kiddie rides that just go in a continuous circle.
12. What you see on social media is not always real; comparison is damaging.
I’ll be honest. Sometimes social media sucks. I’m trying to run a business with that as my platform, but I admit it. I get sucked into the lies of the screen. I end up comparing myself to others and thinking I’m not good enough. Meanwhile, those people could be looking at my profile and wondering the same thing. Comparison is damaging – you don’t get the full story! Don’t compare your behind the scenes to their highlight reel. Some of the pictures that I upload take me hours to get the right angle or the right filter… #sorrynotsorry
13. Life is too short to do the things you think you can’t do or are ashamed to do.
Do you want to bungee jump? Or write a book? Maybe start a business? Do it. Life is too short to not do those things. My mom wrote a great blog post on doing the things you think you cannot do. Here is the link to that.
14. Gratitude is so important.
Clear eyes. Blessed heart. Can’t lose. I love that motto. Here’s my podcast episode about gratitude. Find the things to be thankful for in life and your perspective will change.
15. Nothing lasts forever
I constantly have to remind myself of this one. The pain that I felt in the past is now nothing but a distant memory. I never thought I would get past it, but here I am, stronger than ever, ready to take that pain and use it for good. A dear friend of mine was talking to me about this the other day. In each of the moments of my past, I thought that I would only ever be living in that moment. But, I’m still here, 3 years later, looking back on the past with strength. That was then, this is now.
16. What happens in high school does not make or break your future – one bad grade will not prevent you from getting into your dream school.
I’ll admit it. I’ve failed a couple tests in my lifetime. I still managed to get into my top schools and land pretty decent scholarships. Colleges are starting to realize that your worth is not determined by a number on a transcript. On top of all of that, missing a football game to study is not going to ruin your year. You have to ask yourself: is this something I’m going to remember in 20 years from now?
17. You don’t have to divulge everything.
Being vulnerable is a good thing, but some things are meant to be sacred. Once something leaves your mouth, you can’t take it back. Gossip is no one’s friend, and you don’t want to end up regretting sharing something you did in the heat of the moment.
18. Confidence is the best look on you
Your confidence is so important. Do things that make you happy – because happiness gives you that awesome glow! Put on your favorite outfit because it changes everything!
19. Second chances are good. But, you don’t need to give endless ones to those who don’t deserve it.
God gives us multiple chances. We all fail, that is just the beauty and curse of the human nature. But, eventually, we realize that our dignity and worth is better than giving someone endless chances. It might be painful, but in the end, what is best for your health and your spirit is what matters.
I hope you guys enjoyed this post. I had fun putting this together! It really made me think. Merry almost Christmas!