As my nineteenth birthday approached, I found myself reflecting on the past couple of years. Over this time, I have built up an arsenal of weapons against all the curveballs life has thrown at me, and though it meant having to endure difficult times, it truly was worth it, because having learned these lessons I am able to pass them onto others, like my little sister, in hopes of helping them as they themselves, grow up.

1. Your mom is always right

As much as I hate to admit it, my Mom has been right about 99% of the situations I have gotten myself into. She's always been the first to spot a fake friend, and unreliable person, or a trash boy. Sometimes your mom's advice is the hardest to take, because you want to prove to everyone around you and yourself that you can handle whatever situation you are in, but trust me, your mom or any parental figure in your life, has gone through something similar if not exactly what you're going through and their advice and opinion can be valuable to the way in which you handle the situation.

When it comes to spotting fake friends, untrustworthy people, trash boys, and just people who are genuinely just not worthy of your time, I can safely say that my mom has pointed out these people wayyyyy before I noticed it. Sometimes its easier for someone who has an outside perspective to see someone's true intentions.

2. Everyone is working on their own time clock

If I have learned anything over the past couple of months in college, it would be that everyone is working at their own speed. There's no set time for one to accomplish everything, graduating college at 24, getting married at 28, having kids at 30, are all just times one can get things done by. I've met 22-year-old freshmen, seniors graduating at 21, and have sat next to full grown adults taking intro level classes, everyone moves at their own pace and there is absolutely nothing wrong with it. Just because the people around you may be moving faster than you, does not mean that you should feel bad about the way in which you are getting things done, because no matter what pace you're moving at, remember you're still going,

3. You have the power to make yourself happy

It's probably one of the hardest things I have ever had to learn but it's honestly the biggest truth in life. At any point, you have the power to change your life completely. You could stop talking to that toxic person, quit the job that makes you unhappy, drop that super boring class that you hate, or blow your entire week's pay on new clothes. Blaming your unhappiness on other people is probably the easiest thing to do but the worst thing to do because you have the power to change your life at any point, so if you're not completely in love with it, change it. It could be the smallest improvement, and sometimes it's the little things, that make the biggest changes.

4. Nobody Really Cares if You Go to the Party

Coming from the girl that has SERIOUS FOMO, nobody honestly cares if you say no to going out for a night or a week. Taking time for yourself is incredibly important to not only your physical but also your mental health. In college, it's extremely easy to get caught up in the going out every night stigma, and I will be the first person to say that my first couple of weeks of school I fell into this routine, and it promptly got me sick and just extremely tired. So next time on a Friday night you hear about a party but could really use a Netflix marathon in your bed, remember that it's totally OK to take time for yourself because nobody is going to judge you for it. Hey, they might actually envy the extra five hours of sleep you got over them that night.

5. Everything happens for a reason

It's honestly as simple as that, everything happens for a reason.

6. You will find your people

Throughout your life, you're going to meet so many people and form and loose so many friendships. But eventually, you will find your people. It may take a while, but I can guarantee you that once you meet them you will not be able to imagine how you did life without them and how you could continue to do life without them.

7. Watch where you put your energy

I have wasted so much time putting effort into things or people that really did not deserve it in the end. At times, it's difficult to notice, but some people really just aren't worth your time, you could put so much effort and energy into a relationship only for them to barely reciprocate. So trust me when I say, that even though it may be difficult, it'll save you time, energy, and heartbreak in the end.

8. Literally, just be nice

What has anyone ever gotten from being rude? literally nothing. So in the end, there's no point to being rude or disrespectful, not only will being nice make you happier, it'll make those around you happier too.

9. DRINK WATER

You stay hydrated and your skin looks clearer and bouncier, yes water is the true icon.

10. Let it go.

There are a couple of things you won't be able to control in life: People are going to think whatever they want about you, and it is not your job to change that. Whatever happens in the past, is in the past for a reason

Whether it be a past event or a current concern about the way in which you are perceived by your peers, my only advice is let it go. You will be a happier and far less stressed person in the end.

While some of these lessons were the result of incredibly difficult times, they are some of the most important ones I've learned.