19 Doesn't Have To Be A 'Filler Year'
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Everyone always complains about how the ages of 19 and 20 are just filler years between 18 and 21. They say there is nothing exciting you can do when you turn these ages. You gain no incredibly important rights or privileges. There is nothing fun about turning 19.

However, as you wait in your filler year of 19, here are 19 things you can do to fill your time.

1. Get a tattoo

Everyone always talks about how they want one. So, why not finally just go get it? Make sure it is a good one and has meaning to it. A tattoo is permanent. That means it will not come off with just some soap and water. So, pick one that is going to always be special to you, and put it somewhere that will be easy to cover. (Unless you do not care if others know you have a tattoo or want people to know.)

2. Figure out your political affiliations

If you are just turning 19, chances are (unless you are me) you probably could care less about politics or just voted one way because that is what your parents/friends told you to vote. The next election is this year (Midterms) and the 2020 Presidential Elections will soon begin. Take time now to really learn about different issues and the fundamentals of how our government works. (I recommend reading the Constitution for starters, and then The Federalist papers.)

It does not matter to me what side you are on, and other people do not really care as well. Just know what side you are on and why. Or maybe you are a moderate. But educate yourself and know why you are voting for who you are voting for.

3. Beat teen pregnancy

I mean, you've made it all this way. It is your final year of being a teenager. What is one more year? Make your parents proud. :)

4. Learn to cook

You are probably going to be moving out of your parents' house very soon. Money can only last so long, and the Wendy's down the street can only sound good so many nights in a row. The sooner you learn to cook, the more your body will be thanking you.

5. Go hiking

Get that exercise in! Go hiking with some friends or a significant other! Local parks have great trails in their woods, and I am sure (as long as you have a phone or GPS with you) making your own trails would be pretty fun. Go see some nature, and maybe plat some trees while you are out there.

6. Go camping

Why don't you make that hiking trip a camping trip? Pitch a tent by a lake or river and spend the night around a fire making smores! Bring your friends, family, or significant other and have a great weekend together. It's a great way to get close to others while still being able to have fun. (It also costs barely any money.)

7. Go to a music festival

It doesn't have to be a huge festival like Coachella! It could literally be the small festival the nearest city to you puts on. Music festivals are a great way to discover new music and get some nice Instagram pictures. They also get you out of the house for a day or two and get you going on road trips with maybe some of your best friends.

8. Watch ALL of the classic Disney movies

I don't think this one needs any explaining. However, imagine getting popcorn and other munchies, sitting in a cozy living room, and belting out all of the old tunes from "Mulan," "The Lion King" and "Tangled." There is nothing better than reliving your childhood and singing so loud you can't talk the next morning.

10/10 would definitely recommend.

9. Work on that dream body

You've got to start somewhere. Might as well spend all this boing extra time on getting yourself where you want to be so when it is legal for you to go bar-hopping you'll look fabulous doing so. Whether it is eating healthier or starting to hit the gym more often, get into a routine that is good for you. Not something that is going to make you have a mental break down.

10. Go on spring vaca

Don't be the person who regrets never going to that crowded Florida beach during Spring Break in college. Go! You can find cheap plane tickets, or carpool with a bunch of friends and split the gas money. Hotel rooms can be split, and food isn't that bad. Just budget your money! Go spend sometime for yourself and your friends, and maybe flirt with that super hot frat boy from that one college you can't remember.

11. Read that one book

Everyone has that one book they've been meaning to read for years. Now is the time to do it. This filler year needs to be filled with all of those books you've said you would read "next." And then never did. Read on the beach, at the pool, by the fireplace, or in bed. You can literally read anywhere.

12. Volunteer somewhere!

Giving back to the community is always great, and a wonderful way to spend some free time. Volunteer at local nonprofits to help out the community, or start a small lawn mowing business. Do something to keep you busy. Donate to nonprofits and give your time, energy, and talents to them to put to good use. They can always use the extra hands.

13. Go stargazing

One of my literal favorite activities to ever do is stargaze. While this could have been included in camping, I believe it is its own category. Stargazing is so much fun. Either with friends or your significant other, just cuddling underneath all of the amazing stars can lead to so many different discussions. Get to know each other, name stars, and just sit in silence enjoying the sounds of crickets. Don't forget to bring blankets!

14. Date around

You are young still! Dating is meant for you to figure out what you like in a relationship. If you aren't dating to get married, why are you dating at all? That is the whole point of dating! To figure out what you want in your future relationship. Get out there, and maybe get that Tinder going (maybe). If you find a guy, stay with him! But set your standards and keep them, and don't ever lower them no matter what.

15. Plan a Galentine's Day

Nothing is better than having just a girls day! Plan with your best gal pals to go get your nails/hair done! Go see a movie, watch Disney movies (see number eight), or go on some crazy adventure. Just don't make it stressful and go wherever the day takes you. This is your day, and don't let anybody ruin it.

16. Go skinny dipping

Sounds fun and thrilling! For those adrenaline junkies, this one might be for you. Whether it is at your own pool, or a lake or river. Find somewhere to just go without anything and swim around in the water. This will feel especially nice on a very hot summer day.

17. Go thrifting

As college students, nothing is better than really cheap clothing! We all love to shop, but the price tags at the mall are just too steep. Thrift stores are made for people who can't afford to go and buy those higher-end clothing. I would like to say college students fall into that category. Thrifting can be fun with your friends, and you never know what you are going to find!

18. Geocaching

Driving around looking for small pill box? Sign me up! There are multiple apps you can download that have the location of hundreds of different geocaches! It's a fun way to spend lazy afternoons when you can't figure out anything else to do.

19. Know who you want to be

People always say to figure out who you are, but I simply say just know the person who you want to be. Discover that person first, and then you can begin working towards that. If you just try to change yourself into someone that you don't know exactly who yet, things could end up messier than before. Focus on the type of person you want to be, and eventually, you will get there rather than changing yourself immediately.

There are so many things to do in your "filler" years. Try not to look at them as something that is holding you back but rather as time to let yourself live before you have to go off and fully become an adult. Let yourself live a little, and then the serious things can come later.

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

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