18 Things I Learned Before 18

18 Things I Learned Before 18

Having very recently become an adult in the eyes of the law, I suppose I've had enough time to learn a thing or two in my life. Though I'm far from knowing everything, here are a few of the lessons I’ve picked up so far.
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1. Find people you can fall back on.

Whether it be God, friends, family, or all three, life is so much easier when you have someone there to balance you out or help you when you stumble.

2. Read.

It might be the back of a cereal box or Europe: A History; no matter what, it’s so important to learn something new every day.

3. A clean room helps create a clean mind.

I know it’s no fun to pick up your mess, but you’ll thank me the next time you have one hundred things to do and finding the shirt you’re looking for doesn’t become another struggle to add to the list.

4. Get some sleep.

I fail at this one constantly, but I wish I didn’t. Sleep aids with escaping overwhelming mindsets, refueling your body, and reinvigorating your brain.

5. Have some fun.

You’re stressed all the time, and so am I. It’s time to take a break. The world won’t fall apart because you stopped that assignment for ten minutes to check in with a friend.

6. Don’t change the small habits you have right before a big event.

If you normally wear a watch, then don’t not wear the watch on the day of your big interview. It’ll throw you off balance when you need to have a sharp mind.

7. Drink water.

This is another one I fail at all the time, but it’s not so hard. When I do hydrate, my skin thanks me, my tired eyes thank me, and my legs thank me when I go to softball practice.

8. Do your homework.

Yes, I mean it. It’s the easiest grade you will ever receive, and it’ll prepare you for your major assessments.

9. Tea is the cure for sadness.

It sounds ridiculous, but a warm cup of tea is a panacea after any disappointment or heartbreak. Even if just for a minute, a warm cup in your hands reminds you that life isn’t all bad.

10. Study what you love.

If you can, love something and don’t turn back. I love art, so I visit art museums and read about Impressionism. So what if I don’t major in art or become some rich and fancy curator? I have an interest to talk about with others and know about just for myself.

11. Go outside.

You don’t even have to play a game of basketball or walk your dog, although that’s enjoyable sometimes. Other times, just sit on the grass. Feel the wind. Hear the birds. Remind yourself that you’re alive.

12. Find some music you love.

I don’t care if it’s the Top 40 or some foreign music I’ve never heard. Listen to it, memorize it- make it a part of you. Music revives. Music saves.

13. If you pray, pray every night.

If you don’t, remind yourself what you’re thankful for each day. It’s important to stay humble and grateful.

14. Say thank you. All the time. Every single time.

When that girl holds a door for you or when that teacher hands you a paper or when that boy picks up the pencil that you dropped, say thank you. It encourages kindness in both you and the person who assisted you.

15. It’s okay to feel.

It’s fine to cry sometimes or yell at the sky until your throat burns. Don’t stifle it or shove that emotion aside. It’s there to tell you you’re human.

16. Talk to your family. Tell them what’s going on.

Yeah, sometimes you fight with Mom and sometimes Dad doesn’t say what you want him to say, but we shouldn’t push away those people who are important to us. Those that would drop everything at any time for us are hard to come by. Keep them close.

17. You’re not more important or less important than others, and others aren’t more or less important than you.

Regardless of what anyone has done or anyone has said, there’s a certain respect every person deserves.

18. Eighteen doesn’t mean anything.

I’m just a kid. My sector of the world is just a drop in the ocean, a single leaf on the tree of life, an infinitesimal spark before the flame. So much is left to be found; so much is out there to be discovered. I don’t really know anything. But I will learn.

Cover Image Credit: Tumblr

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If You've Ever Been Called Overly-Emotional Or Too Sensitive, This Is For You

Despite what they have told you, it's a gift.
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Emotional: a word used often nowadays to insult someone for their sensitivity towards a multitude of things.

If you cry happy tears, you're emotional. If you express (even if it's in a healthy way) that something is bothering you, you're sensitive. If your hormones are in a funk and you just happen to be sad one day, you're emotional AND sensitive.

Let me tell you something that goes against everything people have probably ever told you. Being emotional and being sensitive are very, very good things. It's a gift. Your ability to empathize, sympathize, and sensitize yourself to your own situation and to others' situations is a true gift that many people don't possess, therefore many people do not understand.

Never let someone's negativity toward this gift of yours get you down. We are all guilty of bashing something that is unfamiliar to us: something that is different. But take pride in knowing God granted this special gift to you because He believes you will use it to make a difference someday, somehow.

This gift of yours was meant to be utilized. It would not be a part of you if you were not meant to use it. Because of this gift, you will change someone's life someday. You might be the only person that takes a little extra time to listen to someone's struggle when the rest of the world turns their backs.

In a world where a six-figure income is a significant determinant in the career someone pursues, you might be one of the few who decides to donate your time for no income at all. You might be the first friend someone thinks to call when they get good news, simply because they know you will be happy for them. You might be an incredible mother who takes too much time to nurture and raise beautiful children who will one day change the world.

To feel everything with every single part of your being is a truly wonderful thing. You love harder. You smile bigger. You feel more. What a beautiful thing! Could you imagine being the opposite of these things? Insensitive and emotionless?? Both are unhealthy, both aren't nearly as satisfying, and neither will get you anywhere worth going in life.

Imagine how much richer your life is because you love other's so hard. It might mean more heartache, but the reward is always worth the risk. Imagine how much richer your life is because you are overly appreciative of the beauty a simple sunset brings. Imagine how much richer your life is because you can be moved to tears by the lessons of someone else's story.

Embrace every part of who you are and be just that 100%. There will be people who criticize you for the size of your heart. Feel sorry for them. There are people who are dishonest. There are people who are manipulative. There are people who are downright malicious. And the one thing people say to put you down is "you feel too much." Hmm...

Sounds like more of a compliment to me. Just sayin'.

Cover Image Credit: We Heart It

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Poetry On The Odyssey: It's a Girl

An ode to the little girl raised to be insecure.

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They raise little girls to be insecure

Little girls grow to be big girls

People always ask big girls why they're so insecure

Big girls aren't quite sure

Day after day the big girl can't keep up

She's exhausted

Her soul feels worn

The big girl learns to grow hard

In a way, she's a bit stronger

People call her a bitch

Bitch

What is that?

How can she let that affect her

It's simply the only way to be her

She mourns that little girl

Hoping that one day

She'll be strong


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