19 Things I Learned In 19 Years

19 Things I Learned In 19 Years

College has only helped me put these lessons to use.

My birthday is right around the corner and it has been an interesting year. My life has changed a lot since beginning college, and I've had time to reflect on the bigger things in life. So, with that came a list of things I have learned over the years and the ones that were most important to me.

1. Always carry $20 hidden in your wallet.

You never know when it’s going to come in handy. It will get you that little bit of gas to take you where you need to go.

2. Leave the house dressed as if you'll run into someone.

Never, ever leave the house dressed as a slob. Saying to yourself, “I’m only going to Shoprite, nobody is going to see me,” does in fact put some bad Voodoo on yourself and you’ll see everyone from your kindergarten teacher to your former crush. Dress nicely when you leave the house.

3. Always try your best.

If you don’t try your best on an assignment or even in life then your results are not acceptable.

4. Find new friends that your old friends would like.

If your old friends who have known you since you were five do not like the new friends you’re making in college, it’s time to reevaluate. Thankfully I seem to have made some good decisions.

5. You can always call your parents.

Who else are you going to call at 11 a.m. on a Tuesday after you failed your first math test? The answer is nobody else.

6. Your mom is always your excuse.

My mom always told me that if I didn’t want to go out all I had to say was, “My mom won’t let me go.” I’ve used that one more than I care to admit.

7. Laughing is the cure for everything.

Even if you’re in your worst mood and you crack a smile it just seems to make everything better.

8. Your mom is always right.

She just always is. Don’t argue with it.

9. Springsteen is superior to Bon Jovi.

I don’t even think this one needs an explanation.

10. You should let your dad watch the Yankee game every once in awhile.

My poor dad watches any show that I want to. Some nights you just need to blend into the couch and let him relax.

11. A book is a great way to escape.

If you want to dive into a world that is not your own a book is a great way to do so. Always have on on hand.

12. Find people you can laugh with but also sit in silence for hours and not have it be awkward.

My best friends and I can laugh at the stupidest things, but we can sit in silence on the hammock in their backyard and talk about nothing and be content. You need a mixture of both in your life.

13. Wake up early every once in awhile.

You accomplish more things in the morning hours than you think you would.

14. You can become quick friends with anyone if they listen to one direction as well.

Something I have been learning for the last six years. The band just brings people together.

15. Friday’s call for chocolate ice cream.

The school weeks in college are tough. Why not end your week on a high note with some homemade ice cream?

16. The beach can solve all your problems.

If you sit there for long enough, the answers will come to you.

17. Giving compliments make all the difference.

Think of how good you feel when someone tells you they like your hair. Repay the favor every once in awhile.

18. Spend quality time with your family.

Having dinner every night with them or just texting each other random funny things are the best ways to stay connected.

19. Do things that make you happy.

Happiness is apart of life. If you don’t have you, try and find it.

These are just some of the things I have learned over the years that have made all the difference in life.

Cover Image Credit: Ariana Pelosci

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To The Girl Who Had A Plan

A letter to the girl whose life is not going according to her plan.
“I am the master of my fate: I am the captain of my soul.” - William Ernest Henley

Since we were little girls we have been asked, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” We responded with astronauts, teachers, presidents, nurses, etc. Then we start growing up, and our plans change.

In middle school, our plans were molded based on our friends and whatever was cool at the time. Eventually, we went to high school and this question became serious, along with some others: “What are your plans for college?” “What are you going to major in?” “When do you think you’ll get married?” “Are you going to stay friends with your friends?” We are bombarded with these questions we are supposed to have answers to, so we start making plans.

Plans, like going to college with our best friends and getting a degree we’ve been dreaming about. Plans, to get married as soon as we can. We make plans for how to lose weight and get healthy. We make plans for our weddings and children.

SEE ALSO: 19 Pieces Of Advice From A Soon-To-Be 20-Year-Old

We fill our Pinterest boards with these dreams and hopes that we have, which are really great things to do, but what happens when you don’t get into that college? What happens when your best friend chooses to go somewhere else? Or, what if you don’t get the scholarship you need or the awards you thought you deserved. Maybe, the guy you thought you would marry breaks your heart. You might gain a few pounds instead of losing them. Your parents get divorced. Someone you love gets cancer. You don’t get the grades you need. You don’t make that collegiate sports team. The sorority you’re a legacy to, drops you. You didn’t get the job or internship you applied for. What happens to you when this plan doesn’t go your way?

I’ve been there.

The answer for that is “I have this hope that is an anchor for my soul.” Soon we all realize we are not the captain of our fate. We don’t have everything under control nor will we ever have control of every situation in our lives. But, there is someone who is working all things together for the good of those who love him, who has a plan and a purpose for the lives of his children. His name is Jesus. When life takes a turn you aren’t expecting, those are the times you have to cling to Him the tightest, trusting that His plan is what is best. That is easier said than done, but keep pursuing Him. I have found in my life that His plans were always better than mine, and slowly He’s revealing that to me.

The end of your plan isn’t the end of your life. There is more out there. You may not be the captain of your fate, but you can be the master of your soul. You can choose to be happy despite your circumstances. You can change directions at any point and go a different way. You can take the bad and make something beautiful out of it, if you allow God to work in your heart.

SEE ALSO: To The Girl Patiently Waiting With An Impatient Heart

So, make the best of that school you did get in to. Own it. Make new friends- you may find they are better than the old ones. Apply for more scholarships, or get a job. Move on from the guy that broke your heart; he does not deserve you. God has a guy lined up for you who will love you completely. Spend all the time you can with the loved one with cancer. Pray, pray hard for healing. Study more. Apply for more jobs, or try to spend your summer serving others instead. Join a different club or get involved in other organizations on campus. Find your delight first in God and then pursue other activities that make you happy; He will give you the desires of your heart.

My friend, it is going to be OK.

Cover Image Credit: Megan Beavers Photography

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Change, Change, Go Away...

Come again some other day!


Change sucks.

I've gone most of my life convincing others (and myself) that "I love change!"

Or saying "I like to think I'm adaptable, so spontaneity is something I love."

To give you the cold, hard and honest truth: All of that is a bunch of shit. Aside from when I still wore diapers, I have never been more full of shit than when I say these things.

There comes a time in life when we grow tired of our own lies and until that point, nothing generally changes. Except, change sucks, right?

I like when the weather changes from freezing cold to invitingly warm.

I like when someone else changes my sheets for me and I don't have to jump and sprawl my 5'3" body to secure the fitted sheet onto the farthest corner of the bed (which generally ends unsuccessfully).

I really like it when the stoplight changes from red to green (because I have a need for speed).

I even like when someone asks to change seats with me on a flight because the reality is that there is no such thing as a good seat on a flight. If you're on the window, you can't get up easily (but you can rest your head) and if you're on the aisle, you can sit there and get up as much as you want, as long as you don't mind your elbow being taken out from under your head while you sleep every time the drink cart passes by.

The point is, these trivial changes are fine, expected and some can even be enjoyable.

It's the changes that we do not expect, the ones that go against our status quo and our life flow, that knock us off balance and send us into a spiral of confusion, excess chocolate consumption and challenge.

As I've mentioned in previous articles, I am a big believer that all stress is a result of something being different than what we want or expect.

Big changes are no exception to this stress.

The coolest, most amazing, incredibly awe-inspiring part about life is that change is possible. Everything around us, at all times, is constantly changing. Unfortunately, this means that we too are subject to this change.

So, what kind of change am I talking about?

Am I talking about the change in your pocket you thought you lost and then found? No.

After all, nobody likes to lose anything besides weight these days.

And to that point, our bodies are constantly changing too. Our hair, our face, our skin, everything physical about us. These are the types of changes I'm talking about. Our relationships change, our jobs, our friends, our understandings of life, all of this changes. These are the big guys, the "uh-ohs," the "I didn't want to learn another life lesson this week" kind of changes.

However, despite the fact that I am 21 and those of you reading this are a range of ages (which I am so grateful for), one of the many qualities that unite us is that we have all experienced change.

Individuals of all ages experience loss and grief. Death plays no favorites and spares no ages. Physical changes happen to all age groups too. Life changes that alter our emotions and mental states are constantly happening to everyone, at all times.

The last three years of my life have been laden with changes. More specifically, the last six months have mentally worn me out but there's a quote that I keep going back to that my mom shared with me over the summer, it says: "an arrow can only be shot by pulling it backward. When life is dragging you back with difficulties, it means it's going to launch you into something great. So just focus, and keep aiming."

If you want to rearrange it, you've got to change it.

My hope is that we realize that we don't have to love change. In fact, we don't even have to embrace it because some changes are just too tough. What we do need to do is hold on and keep aiming and acknowledge the fact that we all are constantly going through changes.

Whether we talk about those changes or not, they're present because they are a sure fact of this wildly amazing life we live. One of the few things that remain constant in this life is the fact that things will constantly change.

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