I recently just turned 19. It's weird to think that in one more year I'll be 20; it blows my mind how fast life is moving. Anyways, in my 19 years, I would like to think I've learned a lot. I know I still have a lot more to learn and grow from, but here are a few things I've learned in the past 19 years.
1. God is good
This has been on my heart for a while now. God is so good and so pure, we can't even comprehend it. We are nothing compared to His perfection, yet He loves us in spite of that. Trust Him. Everything He does and has planned will work out for good and for His glory.
2. There is always something good in everyday
I try to stay optimistic, but sometimes it can be hard. We've all had bad days. However, just because the day wasn't as great as we would have liked, that doesn't mean something good didn't happen that day. Sometimes you just have to search harder for the good.
3. You control your outcomes
My dad taught me this one: E+R=O. The event plus your response equals the outcome. We can't control the events in our lives, but we control how we act and respond to situations, and our response determines if the outcome is positive or negative. Don't let the events in your life determine the quality of your life; take charge and make your life good.
4. Change is hard, but good
Change produces strength and character. While it may be hard at first, it can lead to growth.
5. Treasure your friends
Good friends are hard to come by. Thankfully, the Lord has blessed me with so many amazing friends who constantly encourage me, make me laugh until my sides hurt, and love me unconditionally. Don't take your friends for granted.
6. Love your neighbor
Love is a powerful instrument. Without love, the world would be a dark place. Loving people can make such a huge difference in their lives, and it can change yours, too.
7. Know you're blessed
Despite difficulties in life, most of us have it pretty good. Don't get too far down in the dumps to where you can't see any of the many blessings in your life.
8. It is okay to make mistakes
Mistakes are unavoidable. It's okay to make mistakes as long as you learn from them.
9. Be yourself
God only created one you. Don't be afraid to be yourself. Don't try to be someone else, because that's not who you were created to be. Be you.
10. Don't be afraid to say no
Don't do anything you know isn't right or that makes you uncomfortable just because you don't want to have to say no. It's okay to say no.
11. Don't be afraid to say yes
At the same time, don't be afraid to say yes to things that can help you become a better you just because they seem challenging or daunting.
12. Success comes with hard work
Don't expect lots of success if you aren't willing to put yourself out there and challenge yourself to do the best you can do and be the best you can be. Success doesn't come to those who dawdle.
13. Struggles are not final
In the midst of trials, it can be difficult to see the light at the end of the tunnel, but I promise you it is there.
14. Find balance
Life keeps getting crazier the older you get, which is why it is so important to find balance in your life. Finding balance will help prevent stress and will lead to a happier life.
15. Make the most of every situation
I'm a firm believer that everything happens for a reason: the good, the bad, the mediocre. Whatever situation you're in, try to find ways to learn and grow.
I remember when I was younger, my parents would always emphasize the importance of exercising and how it can help your body, your mind, and your wellbeing. I always brushed them off. Now that I'm in college and on my own, I've realized how right they were. I always have more energy and feel better and more positive when I exercise.
17. Family will always be by your side
I'm continuously being reminded of this, especially now that I'm off at college and away from my family more than I'm with them. Your family will always be there to support you, to encourage you, to correct you, and to enjoy life with. They love you, so don't take them for granted.
18. Nothing should define you except Christ
In this world, it can be easy to start defining ourselves by what others might think of us, by how we look, by our grades or majors, by relationships, or anything else. None of this should matter, because it is ultimately Christ who defines who we are, and He calls us worthy.
19. Find what you love and go for it
College is a time of finding yourself and what you love. Whenever you find your passion, I encourage you to pursue that and don't let any obstacle prevent you from reaching your goal.