Time seems to fly by pretty damn quick the older I get. In a few more months I'll be in my second year of college. A couple of months after that I'll be turning twenty. I think a lot about how I've grown these last few years; I'm pretty proud of the woman I've become and am excited to see the person that I will be! As I look back on my last nineteen years of life and look forward to my twentieth, I've made a list of all the lessons that have truly helped me grow and change over the years.
Some of these lessons were hard to learn, some took time to truly stick, but all have helped me so much.
It's okay to put yourself first sometimes.
Your mental, emotional, and physical health should always come first. Don't apologize for that.
When it comes to friendships, it should always be quality over quantity.Giphy
It's better to surround yourself with a few people that love you completely and have your best interests at heart than to be surrounded by a sea of strangers.
Love comes in many forms.
Just because it's not romantic, doesn't mean that it doesn't matter.
Honesty without kindness is just brutality.
Don't sugarcoat your truth, but always make sure it comes from a place of sincerity and love.
The things we say in anger are almost impossible to take back.
Sometimes it's better to take a moment to collect our thoughts before we speak. Biting our tongue is NOT a sign of weakness, but a testament to our maturity.
It's more than okay to say no.
There is no reason to feel guilty about telling someone no. You have every right to not want to partake in something.
Not every love interest is 'The One'.
You're going to go through a series of hits and misses before finding someone that's worth your time and energy. Enjoy the ride and take the lessons you learn along the way to heart.
Your skincare regimen is becoming more important than ever.Giphy
Apply that sunscreen, ladies. Don't use that walnut scrub. Drink your water.
Focus your energy on what matters to you.
The older you get, the more you realize where your values lie. When you figure out what matters to you most, give it the attention it deserves. You won't regret it.
If it doesn't bring you happiness, leave it behind.
If it's not bringing you some sort of joy, no matter what it is, it doesn't deserve to take up space in your life.
Everyone needs a good cry once in a while.Giphy
A nice, long cry can really make you feel a million times better. All those little problems you're facing won't seem nearly as troublesome once you let out your stress.
You are in charge of your own life, no one else.
This may seem pretty obvious, but all of us can be easily swayed by other people's opinions and desires. Do what you think is best for you, not because you think it will please someone else.
Comparing your beauty to another is pointless.
All of us are beautiful in our own unique way. Just because you don't look like the Instagram model on your feed or the girl you saw at the pool earlier, doesn't mean that you aren't gorgeous. You have your own beauty that is special to you and only you- own it! Embrace it! Learn to love it.
Give yourself time to live in the moment.
Yes, it's nice to have pictures of the fun and wild things you got into to look back on later! But give yourself just a second to bask in the moment, to appreciate where you are and who you're with before you snap that photo. Try to hold onto the feeling you have in that moment.
Stop restricting yourself to feel good about yourself.
Right now you're probably in the best shape of your life, whether you believe it or not. Take care of your body and your health, of course, but don't forget to indulge a little every now and then. If you have to restrict yourself from the good things in life, are you really living your best life? Enjoy that cupcake or that extra slice of pizza while you can.
Everyone needs a moment to let their wild child out.Giphy
Take a deep breath and let loose. Turn up your music and dance on the counter, laugh until your cheeks hurt, act as goofy as you want without shame. This keeps you young at heart and gives you time to appreciate the silly things in life.
Fake it til you make it, baby.
Sometimes you have to fake a little confidence in yourself to get to where you need to be. Whether you're having a bad hair day, you're nervous for that job interview, or anything in between, keep those shoulders back and your head held high. Exude that false confidence until you actually have it. This will get you far in life.
Smile, you never know who needs it.Giphy
A simple smile can truly brighten anyone's day. It's an easy way to make someone feel cared about and important. Not only will it lift someone else's mood, but it will make you happier, too.
You don't have to apologize for everything.
You don't have to apologize for your feelings being hurt, for doing what is best for you, for being yourself, or for moving on. The list can go on and on, but the basic idea is that you don't have to apologize for being human.
Your voice, the light you bring to this world, and the energy you give is important. There is a reason you are here, that you have been a part of so many people's lives. You are worth more than the likes you get on Instagram and the retweets you have on Twitter. You are perfectly imperfect and that makes you matter.
I look forward to the many new lessons I'll learn in the next twenty years of my life.