I live for life lessons. Even though I'm not even 20 years old (one more week!), I feel that I have learned so many indispensable words of wisdom from those around me and thought it would be great to compile them into a list to share with others. May they inspire you as much as they have inspired me throughout the years.
1. Everything is temporary.
Whether life is amazing right now or is absolutely miserable, nothing in life is permanent. If you're happy, live that happiness to the fullest, but recognize that there will certainly be disappointments in life. If you're miserable, realize that this sadness will pass, and that better things are to come.
2. Be careful about who you choose to trust.
Trust is something that is earned, and often, people fall quite short of achieving such a privilege. Be wary of who you tell things to, and don't assume that just because someone is your close friend that they will keep your words under lock. Even if you don't trust someone, you can still be their friend; just be careful about what you choose to disclose with them.
3. ...But always be trustworthy towards others.
Even if you can't necessarily trust someone, be willing to listen to their secrets without feeling obligated to be the secret-spiller they are. After all, as the old saying goes, "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you."
4. Choosing to focus on the positive will lead to positive consequences in your life.
When things are going wrong, it can be easy to constantly think, "Wow, my life sucks." Instead, make a list of all the things you like about yourself, enjoy doing, or things you want to do. Soon enough, you'll find the negative energy in your life dwindling away.
5. Show your appreciation for others.
When people constantly do nice things for you, it can be easy to take them for granted and stop expressing your gratitude. Assure those who care about you that no action of theirs goes unnoticed.
6. Sometimes you need to do what makes you happy, even if it means letting others down.
Busy schedules can get the best of us, and sometimes you just need to spend a night in bed with a bowl of ice cream and your computer rather than going out with your friends. Forcing yourself to do something you don't want to do will only result in you being unhappy, so forget what others think and set aside some "me-time."
7. A few friends can go a long way.
You don't need to be Miss Popular to be happy. Just a few close friends can make a world of difference in your life, both socially and supportively.
8. Being different is not a bad thing.
It's okay to love writing when all of your friends are science majors; it's okay to be obsessed with fashion and makeup when the people you surround yourself with would rather wear sweatpants and a baggy t-shirt. Listen to the music that makes you happy, eat "weird" foods, and be the realest version of yourself.
9. Don't wait for people to come to you; take the initiative.
It can be tempting to wait around for others to ask you to make plans, but it's important to realize that sometimes you have to push aside your ego and initiate with others. If you wait around, you're wasting time you could be spending making memories.
10. Document memories you want to hold onto forever.
Who cares if people will laugh at you for whipping out your phone to snap an artsy pic? While it's important to live in the moment and not take pictures every second, documenting fun experiences is a great way to keep those memories intact. Plus, there's nothing like looking back through old pictures when you're upset and need cheering up.
11. Push yourself out of your comfort zone.
Being shy often holds people back from taking risks, but taking such risks is essential to breaking out of your shell and becoming more confident and outgoing. The more you push yourself to do things that make you uncomfortable, the more comfortable you'll become.
12. Spend time with your family.
Friends may come and go, but family will always be there. They're your number one fans, top supporters, and unconditional lovers. Yes, hang out with your friends, but also accept your dad's invitations to see stupid movies or your mom's requests to help her make dinner. You never know what insightful advice they'll dispense, or what funny stories they might be waiting to share with you.