47 Things I'd Say To Sixteen Year Old Me

47 Things I'd Say To Sixteen Year Old Me

Sixteen would've been a whole lot sweeter with these simple truths, but you live and learn.
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1) Don't be an idiot.

2) Listen to your mom. She's right.

3) Very few high school boys have good intentions.

4) Talk to your teachers more.

5) Family is more important than social events.

6) Pick friends who encourage you in your goals.

7) You really aren't a good driver.

8) Don't be stubborn.

9) It's okay to have feelings

10) Let people in on what you're passionate about.

11) Seriously, boys are DUMB.

12) If your grandmother makes homemade pizza, drop everything you're doing and go eat it.

13) Spend more time with your dad; He's a cool person.

14) Be a good example.

15) Tell Mrs. Jones that you love her every single day because the days that you don't see her every day are hard.

16) Let people know what they mean to you.

17) Branch out.

18) Play Lava in the hallway at least once a week.

19) Wear that dorky Christmas turtleneck in the middle of April.

20) Be brave.

21) Don't be mean to people who are mean to you.

22) Study.

23) Take PE just for fun.

24) Your sister actually loves you, even though she acts like a parental figure. It just means she cares.

25) That job that you have isn't stressful at all.

26) You don't have that much homework... just do it.

27) Don't get embarrassed if one day, you're mom still has to take you to school. BUT it's okay to get embarrassed if she honks.

28) Listen to your brother's music.

29) Although you'll meet all circles of friends, don't forget your inner circle. You guys won't be more together than you are now.

30) Cherish every single Christmas. Little do you know that when you're 20 years old, you won't have all of your family together for the first time in your life, and that's a tough pill to swallow.

31) Tell people what you like about them.

32) Remind your coaches that they made you better.

33) Take a nap.

34) Learn how to knit. It could be useful later.

35) Write a lot. Not even for everybody else, but do it for yourself.

36) Celebrate everybody's birthday, even if you barely know them.

37) Tell yourself all the things you love about yourself.

38) Show more people your wisdom teeth videos---they really are funny.

39) Don't walk in front of the TV when your brother is watching football; it really isn't funny.

40) Keep trying to convince your parents to get you another kitten.

41) Don't get caught up in things or even that one person who doesn't want to be your friend and you can't figure out why.

42) Start reminding yourself that you're a lot more than people in your hometown can grasp, and that's okay.

43) Be honest with everybody even if it's uncomfortable.

44) Don't forget to tell your family goodbye and that you love them every day you leave the house because one day, you'll be living somewhere they aren't and you'll never get that opportunity again.

45) Eat ice cream when you feel like it.

46) Embrace your childhood friendships.

47) Tell your friends and family that you're proud of them, and you wouldn't want anybody else's support in the world except theirs.



Cover Image Credit: My Photo

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​An Open Letter To The People Who Don’t Tip Their Servers

This one's for you.
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Dear Person Who Has No Idea How Much The 0 In The “Tip:" Line Matters,

I want to by asking you a simple question: Why?

Is it because you can't afford it? Is it because you are blind to the fact that the tip you leave is how the waiter/waitress serving you is making their living? Is it because you're just lazy and you “don't feel like it"?

Is it because you think that, while taking care of not only your table but at least three to five others, they took too long bringing you that side of ranch dressing? Or is it just because you're unaware that as a server these people make $2.85 an hour plus TIPS?

The average waiter/waitress is only supposed to be paid $2.13 an hour plus tips according to the U.S. Department of Labor.

That then leaves the waiter/waitress with a paycheck with the numbers **$0.00** and the words “Not a real paycheck." stamped on it. Therefore these men and women completely rely on the tips they make during the week to pay their bills.

So, with that being said, I have a few words for those of you who are ignorant enough to leave without leaving a few dollars in the “tip:" line.

Imagine if you go to work, the night starts off slow, then almost like a bomb went off the entire workplace is chaotic and you can't seem to find a minute to stop and breathe, let alone think about what to do next.

Imagine that you are helping a total of six different groups of people at one time, with each group containing two to 10 people.

Imagine that you are working your ass off to make sure that these customers have the best experience possible. Then you cash them out, you hand them a pen and a receipt, say “Thank you so much! It was a pleasure serving you, have a great day!"

Imagine you walk away to attempt to start one of the 17 other things you need to complete, watch as the group you just thanked leaves, and maybe even wave goodbye.

Imagine you are cleaning up the mess that they have so kindly left behind, you look down at the receipt and realize there's a sad face on the tip line of a $24.83 bill.

Imagine how devastated you feel knowing that you helped these people as much as you could just to have them throw water on the fire you need to complete the night.

Now, realize that whenever you decide not to tip your waitress, this is nine out of 10 times what they go through. I cannot stress enough how important it is for people to realize that this is someone's profession — whether they are a college student, a single mother working their second job of the day, a new dad who needs to pay off the loan he needed to take out to get a safer car for his child, your friend, your mom, your dad, your sister, your brother, you.

If you cannot afford to tip, do not come out to eat. If you cannot afford the three alcoholic drinks you gulped down, plus your food and a tip do not come out to eat.

If you cannot afford the $10 wings that become half-off on Tuesdays plus that water you asked for, do not come out to eat.

If you cannot see that the person in front of you is working their best to accommodate you, while trying to do the same for the other five tables around you, do not come out to eat. If you cannot realize that the man or woman in front of you is a real person, with their own personal lives and problems and that maybe these problems have led them to be the reason they are standing in front of you, then do not come out to eat.

As a server myself, it kills me to see the people around me being deprived of the money that they were supposed to earn. It kills me to see the three dollars you left on a $40 bill. It kills me that you cannot stand to put yourself in our shoes — as if you're better than us. I wonder if you realize that you single-handedly ruined part of our nights.

I wonder if maybe one day you will be in our shoes, and I hope to God no one treats you how you have treated us. But if they do, then maybe you'll realize how we felt when you left no tip after we gave you our time.

Cover Image Credit: Hailea Shallock

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10 Pieces Of Advice From My Parents That Have Helped Me Survive This Thing Called Life

I don't like admitting that they're right, but they've helped me through more than they'll ever know.

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As I've entered my 20s and have made it halfway through college, I've learned that life can be hard and challenging at times. Like many kids, when I was growing up, I could care less about what my parent's advice or opinions were. Nine times out of ten, I would do the complete opposite of what they said. Once I got older and actually started listening to their advice and put it into perceptive, I learned that they're right more often than I'd like to admit.

1. Don't take things for granted

leonardo dicaprio

I've learned to cherish what I have because I might not always have it. It's easy to take life itself and many things it involves for granted. They've taught me to take a step back from this crazy life sometimes and be grateful for all that I have.

2. Don't be afraid to put your heart on your sleeve

pizza

My parents have taught me that if you feel something, don't be afraid to say it or embrace it. If you love someone, then tell them. Don't be afraid to put your heart out there just because you might get hurt.

3. Be vulnerable

risk taking

In life, in relationships, in your work. Take risks, get shot down, and then try again. Being vulnerable is scary yet so powerful.

4. You can never have too many shoes

shopping

Otherwise known as it's okay to treat yourself. Life is hard, so take care of you. If that means going on a shopping spree every once in a while, then so be it.

5. You're going to be okay

finding nemo

Whatever it is you're going through, you're going through it and you're going to come out on the other side. It may seem horrible now, but you'll learn from it and be okay in the end.

6. You have to have friends in life

friends

It's important to have people to lean on, especially on your bad days, and to celebrate with on your good ones. You can't just have you or a significant other to rely on.

7. Never be afraid to share your opinion

laverne cox

Don't be afraid to put your thoughts and opinions out there because they might be wrong. They could have a huge impact on someone or something.

8. Don't stress over things you have no control over

don't stress

Everyone is on their own path, which means everything will work out the way it's supposed to, even if it doesn't make sense right now. Again, you're going to be okay.

9. Happy, healthy, wealthy, wise

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My dad always says if you tell yourself every day that you're happy with yourself or your life, you're healthy and strong, you're wealthy in love and surrounded by great people, and you're knowledgable or wise, then you can achieve anything in life.

10.  S*** or get off the pot

pitch perfect

My all-time favorite piece of advice. Making decisions can be hard and scary, especially if the outcome could be getting hurt in the end. So, you either make a decision and roll with it no matter the outcome or you walk away.

Thanks, mom and dad for always being a phone call away when I need it! Just know that your advice and words of wisdom don't go unnoticed. For others, your parents have been on this planet much longer than you have and most likely experienced the same situations that you're dealing with. They don't have all the answers, but they are there to help.

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