19 Things I've Taught Myself In The First 19 Years Of My Existence

19 Things I've Taught Myself In The First 19 Years Of My Existence

I've learned how to live the way I do and how to do the things I do.
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I am 19 years old. Wow. Even writing those words down scares me a bit. I remember my 13th birthday like it was last year, and my inner self keeps denying the fact that I am a full year past "adulthood."

It just doesn't feel real yet, and I suppose it never will.

The past 19 years of my life (the ones I remember, of course) have been absolutely crazy. I've been around the world, met hundreds of people, experienced countless feelings and accomplished some of the most incredible achievements.

The most amazing thing of all, however, is that I've learned. I've learned how to live the way I do and how to do the things I do. Most of these things I've taught myself, which makes them even more special to me.

1. Taking yourself seriously is not nearly as fun as lightening up a bit and enjoying yourself

There is a time and place for being professional, but being with your friends isn't one of them. Laugh a little, crack a joke or two. You'll be so much happier.

2. Your mom is your best friend

She is always there for you, and she always will be. She also is brutally honest with you and sees the beauty in you when no one else does.

3. If your friends aren't there for you through the good and bad times, they're not your friends

This sounds obvious but really think long and hard about the people you call your true friends. Are they there for you through everything? If not, drop them. They're not worth your time.

4. High school means absolutely nothing

Anyone who tells you that high school is the best four years of your life is lying. It's a good time to experiment and find your passion, but other than that, graduate and leave it in your past. Popularity is pointless.

5. Having two or three close friends is so much better than having five plus friends and not being extremely close with any of them

All you need in life are a few people to help you through the good and the bad. Plus, it makes Christmas shopping so much easier, don't you think?

6. You are the best you there is on this planet

Although you'll go through times where you feel useless and constantly upset, there is absolutely no one like you, and that is the most beautiful thing in the world. Always know this and never let it slip your mind for a second.

7. Do not take your life or opportunities for granted

There is someone out there who would kill for what you have, so don't you dare get cocky.

8. Hard work comes through when talent fails

When I was a freshman in high school, one of the most amazing choir directors I've ever worked with told me that talent can only take a singer so far, but those who work for the voice parts they have will get so much more out of the experience. But this applies to so much more than singing. Working hard is always better than relying on pure talent.

9. Learning by doing and seeing is so much more valuable than learning in a classroom

Get out and see the world. Watch people. Notice how the universe works. It's so much more beautiful and powerful when you witness how this world functions rather than sitting in a classroom and taking notes on it.

10. Being mature and professional will get you further than being irresponsible and stupid

Sure, it's good to loosen up a little bit and have fun sometimes, but handle yourself well. Be the one people say, "They deserved that" about. Not the one people say, "How did that happen?!" about.

11. First impressions are important

But they're not everything! Making a good first impression on someone (and them making one on you) is important, as that's probably what will stick with you (or them) for the longest time. However, you may get a chance to prove that impression right or wrong, so carry yourself accordingly.

12. Don't do work or activities you hate just to add them to your resumé

Companies and colleges will be able to tell when you joined something just for the heck of it versus when you participated in something you actually care about. Also, it's exhausting to work on something you're not passionate about. So not worth it.

13. Your mom and your friends can see red flags before you can

If they're telling you that one boy is trouble or the decision you're about to make is a bad one, trust them. They know you better than you know you.

14. Follow your heart

Do you want to pursue a major you love but that makes no money? Do it. Have you found something you are passionate about? Keep working at it. At the end of the day, you are your number one priority, and making yourself happy should always be your number one goal.

15. Your mental health is so important (so listen to yourself!!)

If you feel as if you need any help regarding your mental health, get it. You will thank yourself later. And P.S. — receiving help for your mental health is so OK! Don't be embarrassed--you're allowed to get support when you think you need it.

16. Voicing your opinion is better than keeping quiet

Your voice matters, and it deserves to be heard by anyone who chooses to listen.

17. You're allowed to be sad, but never let it consume you

Sadness is an emotion, and you're allowed to have emotions--you're a human after all. But never let it take over your life. Always remember that if you won't remember it in five years, don't be upset about it for more than five minutes (although that is dramatic, you get the point).

18. Eat whatever you want

Food isn't meant to be stressed over. Food is meant to bring people together, fuel our bodies and bring us happiness. Screw the calories, you deserve that extra cookie.

19. Love with every bone in your body

Don't half-ass it. Love and love hard. Yes, it makes you vulnerable, but I promise you it is worth it.

Cover Image Credit: Abigail Borin

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It's Time To Thank Your First Roommate

Not the horror story kind of roommate, but the one that was truly awesome.
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Nostalgic feelings have recently caused me to reflect back on my freshman year of college. No other year of my life has been filled with more ups and downs, and highs and lows, than freshman year. Throughout all of the madness, one factor remained constant: my roommate. It is time to thank her for everything. These are only a few of the many reasons to do so, and this goes for roommates everywhere.

You have been through all the college "firsts" together.

If you think about it, your roommate was there through all of your first college experiences. The first day of orientation, wishing you luck on the first days of classes, the first night out, etc. That is something that can never be changed. You will always look back and think, "I remember my first day of college with ____."

You were even each other's first real college friend.

Months before move in day, you were already planning out what freshman year would be like. Whether you previously knew each other, met on Facebook, or arranged to meet in person before making any decisions, you made your first real college friend during that process.

SEE ALSO: 18 Signs You're A Little Too Comfortable With Your Best Friends

The transition from high school to college is not easy, but somehow you made it out on the other side.

It is no secret that transitioning from high school to college is difficult. No matter how excited you were to get away from home, reality hit at some point. Although some people are better at adjusting than others, at the times when you were not, your roommate was there to listen. You helped each other out, and made it through together.

Late night talks were never more real.

Remember the first week when we stayed up talking until 2:00 A.M. every night? Late night talks will never be more real than they were freshman year. There was so much to plan for, figure out, and hope for. Your roommate talked, listened, laughed, and cried right there with you until one of you stopped responding because sleep took over.

You saw each other at your absolute lowest,

It was difficult being away from home. It hurt watching relationships end and losing touch with your hometown friends. It was stressful trying to get in the swing of college level classes. Despite all of the above, your roommate saw, listened, and strengthened you.

...but you also saw each other during your highest highs.

After seeing each other during the lows, seeing each other during the highs was such a great feeling. Getting involved on campus, making new friends, and succeeding in classes are only a few of the many ways you have watched each other grow.

There was so much time to bond before the stresses of college would later take over.

Freshman year was not "easy," but looking back on it, it was more manageable than you thought at the time. College only gets busier the more the years go on, which means less free time. Freshman year you went to lunch, dinner, the gym, class, events, and everything else possible together. You had the chance to be each other's go-to before it got tough.

No matter what, you always bounced back to being inseparable.

Phases of not talking or seeing each other because of business and stress would come and go. Even though you physically grew apart, you did not grow apart as friends. When one of you was in a funk, as soon as it was over, you bounced right back. You and your freshman roommate were inseparable.

The "remember that one time, freshman year..." stories never end.

Looking back on freshman year together is one of my favorite times. There are so many stories you have made, which at the time seemed so small, that bring the biggest laughs today. You will always have those stories to share together.

SEE ALSO: 15 Things You Say To Your Roommates Before Going Out

The unspoken rule that no matter how far apart you grow, you are always there for each other.

It is sad to look back and realize everything that has changed since your freshman year days. You started college with a clean slate, and all you really had was each other. Even though you went separate ways, there is an unspoken rule that you are still always there for each other.

Your old doom room is now filled with two freshman trying to make it through their first year. They will never know all the memories that you made in that room, and how it used to be your home. You can only hope that they will have the relationship you had together to reflect on in the years to come.


Cover Image Credit: Katie Ward

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11 Tips And Tricks To Help Get You Through The Hell Known As FInals Week

You've been preparing for this all semester, but somehow your professors expect you to remember what they talked about the first week of class?
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Stressing over that one test? Or maybe those 3 tests? You've been preparing for this all semester, but somehow your professors expect you to remember what they talked about the first week of class?

They put new AND cumulative information on it and make it like 50 questions longer, but yet you're supposed to be a genius and get them all right? Well, you can do these 11 things to help you make it through finals week.

1. Listen to music.

Make yourself a bomb playlist and jam out while studying because honestly I cannot sit and study in complete silence or I might go insane.

2. Do yoga.

I have learned that this is a great way to relieve stress and to relax so that you are not all tense.

3. Eat meals at normal times.

I know it may be hard to eat on a normal schedule, but that will help you to remember the information if you can just eat at a normal time.

4. Take breaks.

Don't study for 12 hours and then wonder why you are exhausted, especially if you did not take a break. Taking a break is vital to your mental health during finals week, and you might want to be sane for that test.

5. Call home.

Call your mom or dad and just talk to them because I am sure that they are wondering about how you are doing and it is a great way to vent about how loud your roommate is being and how it is distracting you.

6. Talk to another human being in person.

Tell your friend that you want to get dinner with them or just take a break and go walk around with a friend because before you know it, you will be home for the summer, not seeing these people all the time.

7. Watch a movie after a test to take a break before you study again.



TAKE A BREAK! Just because you just finished taking a test, go do something that is not studying!

8. Workout.

Go do something productive. Working out can relieve a lot of stress for you.

9. Sleep.

GET ENOUGH SLEEP! If you do not sleep then you won't remember the material on your final and you could possibly not do as well as you would have liked just because you were too tired to remember what you studied.

10. Facetime with your dog.

This is honestly my favorite thing to do during finals week. I call my mom and tell her to get the dog ready because I just need a good stress reliever and trust me that is my dog.

11. Don't stress too much.

I know these exams are hard and mean a lot to your grade, but the more you stress the less you will remember, so just use some stress relieving techniques and you will be much better off. Don't end up like this guy!

Well here is a funny gif to start your finals week off right!

Cover Image Credit: Becca Tapert on Unsplash

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