Being 19 is a weird age in my opinion. You've been a legal adult for a year, yet you probably still don't know how to do some "adulting" things like filing taxes and writing out checks. Even though there's things I don't know how to do, I've learned some things that might help others out along this journey called life.
1. Sleep is Important
Everyone in college, whoever says "sleep is for the weak" is wrong. Sleep is so important to our bodies as it presents our bodies with time to repair things like blood vessels and helps your brain prepare for the next day. Without enough sleep, one not only faces health problems, but also runs the risk of falling asleep in class and falling behind.
2. Be true to yourself
As cliche as it sounds, it's important to stick and be honest with yourself. If you change who you are for others, and that change isn't something you don't normally do or feel comfortable with, that's not good. If we get rid of our own personal values, what will we be? Empty shells conforming to society? Maybe. But if we stick to who we are, we will find people who accept as we are and those are the true friends to cherish for life.
3. Dessert is good
If your debating eating that slice of cake, or that bowl of chocolate ice cream with some peanut butter, JUST EAT IT. It's okay to let yourself indulge in it because it's okay to treat yourself every now and then.
4. Being Vulnerable is okay
People often think that showing vulnerability is a sign of weakness, but trust me it's not. Don't be afraid of opening yourself to those around you and who care about you. If you open yourself up to a "true friend", they should still love and care about you and accept that soft spot. Also, don't let the fears of life affect how vulnerable your heart can be.
5. Love the little things
We all have those little things in life that make us happy. It could be a nice cup of tea or coffee while curled up with a book, the color of the leaves as they change in the fall, or the smell after it rains. Cherish those little things that put a smile on your face and make you happy.
6. Messy Life?
Have a messy life? That's okay. Nobody is perfect except our Heavenly Father, who put us on Earth for a reason, even if we have no clue what it is yet. Yes, your life may be a mess, but it's probably a part of His great plan for you in your life.
7. Cherish your friends
These friends you have in life, cherish them, because someday, you might not have them by your side. After college, you may be hours or days apart in different cities or states, or you may just grow apart, but cherish them now and enjoy every second of this adventure called life as a college student.
8. But cherish your family more
Family is so important. They are the ones who instilled in you the values that guide you through life and have watched you grow into the person you are today. They are your number one fans, you personal cheerleaders. They celebrate the good times, but also walk with and comfort you in the bad times. Again, someday they might be there with you physically, but know that they are in your heart and still love and care about you, no matter where the path of life takes you.
9. Stress can be managed
If you are a college student that doesn't have stress, let's trade places. I know I've had my fair share of stress. But I've learned to manage it by finding time to watch a movie with friends, taking time to go to a daily Mass or spending time in Adoration. No matter how much stress you have, know that you can get through it. Just find an outlet to release it so it doesn't get overwhelming.
10. Do something different
Don't get stuck in rut. Try something new every once in a while that you've never done before. Whether that's late night food or Wal-Mart run, going a service trip, or trying a new hobby, branch out of our comfort zone. You never know, you might just end up liking said new hobby. Or maybe, you go do service somewhere and help someone in need, and come back with a great life lesson learned and memories to last a life time.
11. Take pictures
With the current age of smart phones and social media, we always have the ability to take picture to capture the moment. Take advantage of technology and take a picture every chance you get. Capture the first time you try a new hobby, a night out to dinner with friends, or a night in chilling with your roommate. Someday, seeing the mementos of the good times, might be able to help you through the bad times. Also, it totally gives you the excuse to have a photoshoot on a day when you and all your friends look amazing and need to share it on Instagram.
12. Failure is okay
Sometimes, we fall short in our lives, and that's okay. Get up, brush yourself off, and keep trucking through life. Failure presents us the chance to learn from our mistakes and giving us a clean slate to start again. Failure may look scary, but it allows us to grow for the better.
13. Go with your gut
Yes, another cliche saying, but going with your gut in a situation is the best choice in decision making. Trust your instincts because going with your head that thinks too much and going with your heart that feels too much will skew and sway your choices. But your gut and instincts are probably right.
14. Don't overthink
Overthinking things is something I have a tendency to do , but I'm trying to get better at. Thinking too hard and dwelling on it only makes it worse that what it actually is and probably only causes more problems. Blowing small things out of proportional doesn't help anyone. As it's been said, don't sweat the small stuff.
15. Being alone is okay
Wanting some time to yourself is a good thing to want. Taking a step back from a busy social life and spending some time on your own is a great way to relax and refocus yourself on the goals ahead. It's okay to just want to enjoy your own company every once in a while.
16. Let it go
As much I love Disney, I'm not referring to the hit song from Frozen. What I mean is if something happens, let it pass and move on. Dwelling on wrongs will not some how magically make them right. Don't hold a grudge with someone over one small thing. Forgive and forget.
17. Do what makes you happy
Yes, hopefully, as college students, we picked our major because we enjoy it and can see ourselves using it for our futures. But what about outside the classroom? Are you a theatre kid? Or a tree hugger? Find what makes you happy because happiness is key for a good life.
18. Late Night Conversations
If you find yourself up late, talking about life with a friend, that's beautiful, really great advice and openness can happen at the oddest of hours. If that person is willing to sacrifice their sleep in order to talk with you, especially if there's something going on in your life, then they honestly and truthfully, care about you. Keep them in your life. You won't regret it.
Never lose hope no matter how rough things get, or how down life has you. Push through it, I believe in you. Have hope in yourself, hope in you life, hope in your friends. Hope is amazing.
The past 19 years have been full of adventure and life lessons, but I can't wait to see where the rest of life takes me and how God will shape and form my life.