12 Things Life Has Taught Me
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12 Things Life Has Taught Me

"It takes a great deal of courage to stand up to our enemies, but just as much to stand up to our friends."

12 Things Life Has Taught Me

Life is a tricky adventure. It has ups, downs, and in-betweens. In only 20 years of living, I've learned a considerable amount of important lessons. Lessons that will guide me through the next 20 years and beyond.

1. Be kind

This is essentially the golden rule of life. I truly believe in good and bad karma. It doesn't cost anything to be nice to other people. I believe if you're kind to others and do your share to make peace on this earth, good things will happen to you. Even if you don't believe in karma, being kind to someone doesn't take that much effort. It makes someone else feel happy and spreads peace throughout the world.

2. Always say yes to midnight ice cream/McDonald's/diner runs

Being healthy is an important aspect of life. If you're body isn't physically healthy then chances are neither is your immune system. However, it's OK to not eat healthy all the time. Midnight food runs with friends, family or significant others are the best. You make so many amazing memories at midnight. Not only are you getting deliciously unhealthy food and having adventures late at night, everyone knows the hours between midnight and 4 a.m. are the times for deep and meaningful conversations. We all need a sincere talk with each other every once in a while.

3. Love yourself

Love is an important part of life, but loving yourself is, in my book, more important than any other love out there. I know from firsthand experience how hard it is to look at yourself and love every part of you, especially with the society we live in. Sure, when I look in the mirror I can always pick out something I don't like, but the pool to choose from has gotten significantly lower in recent years because I'm learning to love who I am. When I look at models on magazine covers, I know for a fact that over 90 percent of that image is photoshopped. So is that model that thin? Probably not. Is her skin that clear and even? Most likely no. Why are we going to hold ourselves to an idea of beauty that doesn't exist? As long as we're healthy, we're all beautiful.

4. Everything happens for a reason

As cliché as that is, it's the truth. I believe that the things that happen to us in life happen because they're meant to teach us something. Every friendship that's fallen out, every loss I've experienced has taught me lessons on trust, love, loss and bravery. In the moment, it doesn't seem fair and the only thing it feels like is pain. But when I look back on everything that's ever happened in my life, I see how it's shaped me into who I am today. If nothing bad ever happened to us, we'd all be very different versions of ourselves.

5. Music is always there for you

I genuinely don't understand how people don't like music. Music is one of the best parts of my life. There is a song for every single situation ever. Need a break-up song? Taylor Swift is your girl. Need an emotional one? Ed Sheeran is your go to. Need something happy and upbeat? Try Ellie Goulding. Music is there for the best times and for the worst. It speaks the words you can't bring yourself to say out loud. There are tons of different genres of music for you to choose from. If you're ever in a rut, try listening to music. If you're feeling really happy, try to listen to a song that will amplify your mood. It'll be great, trust me.

6. Always try new foods

This, coming from me, is a huge deal. I was by far the pickiest eater in the world for my entire childhood. As I grew up and started to appreciate food and culture more, one of my personal rules has become: don't knock it till you try it. I was the kind of person where it didn't matter if I've never had it before, if it didn't look or smell good, I wasn't eating it. I've grown up a little since then and now I try everything at least once. If I like it, great. If not, oh well. I refuse to go through life eating the same five meals. Especially since I'm going to study abroad, I want to try everything. If you ever go to a foreign country, don't be afraid to try anything. You'll either like it or not, so there's no harm in trying.

7. Don't be afraid to let people in

Opening up and trusting people through and through is really hard. We all need someone though. Whether it be a friend, a significant other, family member, or all of these people, it's OK to open up and let them in. We all need a shoulder to lean on sometimes. We shouldn't have to go through life alone, and we don't have to. I know it's hard to trust someone, but we have to at least try right?

8. Don't judge other people

This is a big one for me. I hate being judged by others, so why am I going to judge someone else? We aren't all meant to be the same. If someone wants to have 10 different colors in their hair, then so be it. I don't get to decide how other people live their lives. One thing that makes my blood boil is the fact that some people don't believe slut shaming someone is judging them. News flash: it is. Why should I judge someone on their sexual activity? Lots of sex or no sex, if it's not my sex life, I don't really care that much and neither should anyone else. All judging someone does is make that person feel bad about themselves and leaves you with the guilt of hurting someone else. Judging someone is a waste of everyone's time and pushes us away from peace and love.

9. It's OK to stay in and have time to yourself

I'm definitely the kind of person who loves being with other people, but also loves being alone. Sure going out with my friends is fun, but some days, staying in with my cats and a good book is all I need to feel perfectly content. You should never feel pressured to go out if you don't want to. We all need time to ourselves, and it's OK not to go out every single night of the week. You do you.

10. Dream big

I feel like a lot of the time, people don't dream big enough because they're afraid of failing or they think it's too big of a dream. There's no dream too big. Since I was little, I've always wanted to be famous. As I grew up, that dream became a fantasy, but here we are in a world where people who make six-second videos are becoming famous. So maybe I won't become a super famous singer, but maybe I'll become a famous writer like J.K. Rowling. Who knows? I want to inspire people and make a difference. I have the power to make all my dreams come true with a little bit of hard work, perseverance, and the will power to make it all happen, and so do you.

11. Let yourself fall in love

I haven't ever been in love with someone yet (unless you count Harry Styles, but most people don't). I've seen all the romantic films that people find funny. And just based off those, who doesn't want to be in love? Who doesn't want to know they'll always have someone in their corner? To be so close to someone is something magical. I've seen love fail, I've seen love soar. But it's better to have loved and lost, than to have never loved at all.


12. It's going to be OK

Life is hard. It's scary, but we're all in this life together. We all have ups and downs. We will face parts of our lives that will make us want to crawl into a hole and never come out. We will face other parts that will make us want to scream from a mountain top. Life is ugly and wonderful all at the same time. If you look hard enough, you will find something beautiful even on the worst days. It's OK to cry, it's OK to be happy, it's OK to feel something. Life is a test and we get to decide if we pass or fail. I don't know about you, but I want to pass for myself. I want to make myself proud. No matter how old you are, I'm proud of how far you've come. Like I said, life isn't easy, but it has its truly wonderful moments and we will all be OK in the end.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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