19 Things I'm Happy I Learned By 19

19 Things I'm Happy I Learned By 19

Turning 19 is probably the weirdest age to reach, but I've learned some things.

As I turn 19, I see my childhood begin to slip away from my fingertips.

Lately, I have reflected on my life: what I have done, what I have yet to do and what I've learned through that journey. I've said it time and time again: life is short. I'm happy to say that within these 19 years, I was able to learn a lot through both the bad and the good times. I think so often that people are too focused on the future and where they will end up. It's important to remember that the journey is the destination. It is within our individual journeys that we learn, grow and become better. Never forget that there is nowhere to arrive at.

Here are some things that I'm happy to have experienced and learned these past 19 years. If you focus on what is going on right now, the rest will take care of itself.

1. People will leave

People aren't meant to stay in your life forever and I think that I've accepted that. I believe that the people who you are surrounded by at each moment in your life are there for a reason. So when people do leave, it just means that they are not needed to help you in life anymore. Whether it's an ex or a friend, these people just taught you everything that you needed to know, and it's time for the future. You can't live your life fearing that others will leave. You must be strong enough that even if they do, life will still go on and you will be OK.

2. Life isn't fair, but it's still good

In this life, things aren't fair. You might be the nicest person ever, but still have the hardest obstacles come your way. Life isn't fair and everyone (whether it seems like it or not) experiences hardships. Everyone has had insecurities and pain before. It's important to realize that although things might not be going your way right now, life is still amazing and so many of us take it for granted. Be happy with what you have because it's something that someone else envies. That idea brings me to my next point.

3. NEVER compare yourself to others

How many times have we said to ourselves, "I wish I was this person" or "I wish I had their relationship", etc. Behind every beautiful photograph and every smiling person, there is still pain and sadness. You can't compare yourself to someone else because you are simply not the same as the other person. It's as if comparing french toast to bungee jumping ... the two have nothing to do with each other. Know that everyone is a complete and utter mess sometimes; some people are just way better at hiding it. You should focus on yourself rather than compare yourself to someone else who might be just as upset.

4. Make peace with your past so that it won't screw up your present

Everyone has a past that they're not proud of. Could be as simple as an embarrassing middle school glasses and brace-face wearing stage, or something deeper. In order to fully move on and look toward the present, you have to make peace with your past. Otherwise, you'll be stuck and will never be happy because it will be dragging you down.

5. No one is in charge of your happiness except YOU

If there's one thing that I have learned in my 19 years of being alive, it is that. Many of us, myself included, have relied on others to receive true happiness. That is not right. You are in charge of your own happiness and no one else is. Since learning this, people have left my life, and I've still stayed the happy smiling girl I am. People will disappoint you. It will hurt, you will cry. There is always a lesson. Life is not fair and it does not make sense, but we adjust, adapt and move on. The pain will subside. Sure, sad things happen, but I make myself happy and I don't need to rely on others for creating my happiness, and neither should you.

6. Whatever doesn't kill you makes you stronger

Just typing the above lesson out, I am hearing my mom saying it. My beautiful mother and many others have taught me that sometimes things have to come crashing down to test our strength. When going through a tough time, always remember that those tears are making you stronger. You will come out better than before and you'll be thankful that you went through the tough times to get to the amazing place that you can now reach.

7. Laugh

Laugh and enjoy those special moments because they are something worth remembering.

8. We make mistakes; forgive yourself

Everyone makes mistakes. Don't beat yourself up over something that you recognize that you did wrong and have apologized for repeatedly. Time moves on, and after a while, so should you. It doesn't make what you did right, but it's in the past and if there's nothing more that you can do to help it, forgive yourself and move on in the right direction.

9. Not everyone will like you

Yeah, I know right? It's terrifying to hear, but some people are just not meant to be in your life. Move on from that. Don't wait around and try so hard to be in someone's life because you shouldn't have to kill yourself to have a friend around. It's their loss.

10. Dance like no one is watching as often as you can

Yeah, there are times when I literally blast music and dance around the room like an idiot. In fact, I just did that before writing this article to celebrate the end of freshman year after finishing my finals. Sometimes it's OK to be a little cooky. You deserve some fun and it's a great stress reliever. So whether you're with your friends at a party or alone in your room, blast your favorite song and let loose. You'll be surprised how great it feels to be yourself and dance like you don't care who sees.

11. Hold the door. Smile at people when you walk by. Say 'please' & 'thank you.'

Not only are these things polite, but they can make someone's day. I remember earlier in the year when I started college, I was so nervous about making friends. One girl held the door for me and smiled, it turned my whole thinking around. Like I've said, you don't know what someone's going through. So how hard is it to be friendly to people that you may not even know? It's effortless, so go make someone's day because it's as simple as that.

12. If you love someone, tell them

Whether it's a boyfriend, girlfriend, best friend, mother, sister, cousin or your 76-year-old grandpa, tell them that you love them. Every day if you can. You don't know when the last time you'll be able to say that will be.

13. Life's too short to be spent hating someone

Sure, someone could have wronged you, but spending your life with resentment is such a waste of energy. They're not worth your time; forget about it.

14. Don't be afraid to be yourself

Never pretend to be someone that you're not just to "fit in." That is for middle school and high school. Grow up and find people who will love you just the way you are because there is nothing wrong with being unique.

15. Your family is the most precious thing that you will ever have

I can't reiterate to say 'I love you' to your family members each day. Sure, they are, excuse my language, a giant pain in the ass most days, but when it comes down to it, they're your family and will do anything for you. At the end of the day, they are all that you have, so don't take them for granted.

16. Failure is good

We try so hard to avoid failure, but failure is the real evidence that we've tried. If you avoid failure, you avoid taking action. Expect and accept that failure is part of the experience. Learn from it and move on. In my mother's words, "Just do the best you can and that will be enough."

17. You aren't always right

We think that we have the answers, know what's right and wrong, good and bad, best for ourselves and other people. We aren't always right, though. There's always more than one version. There are many perspectives that are valid. Keep yourself open to that truth and doing so will allow you to grow no matter how old you are. We learn something new every day.

18. You matter

Never think of yourself as just one person in a world of billions. You matter. You are unique, special and here for a reason. Love yourself because it is the only thing that you can do in a world full of hate.

19. Don't take anything for granted

Life is so short. A month, a week, a minute — it could be taken away from you. Experience the pain, the happiness, the fun, and appreciate it. Never take this crazy, unexpected life for granted.

Cover Image Credit: Pintrest

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When You Give A Girl A Dad

You give her everything

They say that any male can be a father, but it takes a special person to be a dad. That dads are just the people that created the child, so to speak, but rather, dads raise their children to be the best they can be. Further, when you give a little girl a dad, you give her much more than a father; you give her the world in one man.

When you give a girl a dad, you give her a rock.

Life is tough, and life is constantly changing directions and route. In a world that's never not moving, a girl needs something stable. She needs something that won't let her be alone; someone that's going to be there when life is going great, and someone who is going to be there for her when life is everything but ideal. Dads don't give up on this daughters, they never will.

When you give a girl a dad, you give her a role model.

If we never had someone to look up to, we would never have someone to strive to be. When you give a little girl someone to look up to, you give her someone to be. We copy their mannerisms, we copy their habits, and we copy their work ethic. Little girls need someone to show them the world, so that they can create their own.

When you give a girl a dad, you give her the first boy she will ever love.

And I'm not really sure someone will ever be better than him either. He's the first guy to take your heart, and every person you love after him is just a comparison to his endless, unmatchable love. He shows you your worth, and he shows you what your should be treated like: a princess.

When you give a girl a dad, you give her someone to make proud.

After every softball game, soccer tournament, cheerleading competition, etc., you can find every little girl looking up to their dads for their approval. Later in life, they look to their dad with their grades, internships, and little accomplishments. Dads are the reason we try so hard to be the best we can be. Dads raised us to be the very best at whatever we chose to do, and they were there to support you through everything. They are the hardest critics, but they are always your biggest fans.

When you give a girl a dad, you give her a credit card.

It's completely true. Dads are the reason we have the things we have, thank the Lord. He's the best to shop with too, since he usually remains outside the store the entire time till he is summoned in to forge the bill. All seriousness, they always give their little girls more than they give themselves, and that's something we love so much about you.

When you give a girl a dad, you give her a shoulder to cry on.

When you fell down and cut yourself, your mom looked at you and told you to suck it up. But your dad, on the other hand, got down on the ground with you, and he let you cry. Then later on, when you made a mistake, or broke up with a boy, or just got sad, he was there to dry your tears and tell you everything was going to be okay, especially when you thought the world was crashing down. He will always be there to tell you everything is going to be okay, even when they don't know if everything is going to be okay. That's his job.

When you give a girl a dad, you give her a lifelong best friend.

My dad was my first best friend, and he will be my last. He's stood by me when times got tough, he carried me when I just couldn't do it anymore, and he yelled at me when I deserved it; but the one thing he has never done was give up on me. He will always be the first person I tell good news to, and the last person I ever want to disappoint. He's everything I could ever want in a best friend and more.

Dads are something out of a fairytale. They are your prince charming, your knight in shinny amour, and your fairy godfather. Dads are the reasons we are the people we are today; something that a million "thank you"' will never be enough for.

Cover Image Credit: tristen duhon

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The Lazy Girl's Guide To The Gym

Also, everything else you should know if you're a slightly out-of-shape girl (like me).


With my freshman year coming to an end, I realized a lot of things. I made new friends, I found new hobbies, and I learned a lot of lessons. One of them being that the "Freshman 15" is very real and very scary.

While my friends and family have attempted multiple times to convince me that I'm just being dramatic (I am), I still want to make a change in my lifestyle or I will, in all seriousness, be on track to the "Sophomore 20".

Here is a list of my best gym and healthy lifestyle tips that I am slowly attempting to live by this summer in order to resurrect Emily's 18-year-old body and health.

1. Increase water intake.

2. Find a gym buddy.

3. Start off with cardio.

4. Don't stop on your cardio until you're dripping in sweat.

5. Chug a LOT of water an hour before the gym.

Do not do it right before, or you will be in pain.

6. Eat light beforehand but just enough to hold you over. 

7. Plan out what your routine will be BEFORE you get there.

My routine: Elliptical for a mile, Stairmaster for 10 minutes, ab HIIT workout for 10 minutes, 5 more minutes on Stairmaster.

8. Buy healthy foods while you're feeling motivated.

9. Find a gym that isn't too far from your house. 

10. Don't get mad at yourself if you don't see results in a day.

I know this is a hard one.

11. Try fitness classes. 

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