18 Lessons I Learned In 2018

18 Lessons I Learned In 2018

This year was filled with laughs and tears, but more than anything it was filled with lessons learned.

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2018 had both good and bad moments, but all around it was a great year for me. Graduating high school and starting college taught me a lot in a very short amount of time. I'm proud to say that I'm walking out of 2018 a better, stronger, more confident person. Here are 18 things 2018 taught me.

1. If someone cares about you, they will make time for you. 

The idea that someone can be too busy to ever see you is crap. If someone really wants to spend time with you, they will find a way. If they can't find at least a little time for you, you're not a priority in their life.

2. You can't force relationships. 

No matter how perfect someone or something may seem in your head, you can't force someone to love you, whether that be in a romantic way or a completely platonic way. If it's meant to happen it will happen, and if it's not, you have to move on.

3. Some people just aren't meant to be permanent characters in your life. 

As hard as it may be to lose friends or lose touch with people you were once really close with, you have to understand that everyone is not permanent. Sometimes, especially in high school, you have the friends that you have because they're convenient, and that's okay.

4. Being confident does not make you conceited. 

It is okay to love yourself. It is okay to think of yourself as pretty. It is okay to take a thousand selfies, or take a second to admire yourself in the mirror. As long as you don't cross over into bringing other people down to build yourself up, it is okay.

5. Be kind, to everyone. 

As cliché as it sounds, every single person you meet has a personal life that you most likely know nothing about. You never know the positive impact that a simple compliment or act of kindness from you has on someone. Try your best to be kind to everyone you meet.

6. Everything happens according to God's timing, not yours. 

It can be easy to get caught up in the idea that you're somehow "behind" someone else in the race of life, but the reality is that life is not a race. Just because someone else your age is married or has already bought a house or already has a career, doesn't mean that you have to do those things too. It will happen for you when it's meant to happen, and it's all a part of God's greater plan.

7. Money will never make you truly happy. 

You can spend your whole life trying to convince yourself that if you had more money, you would finally be happy. However, it's human nature to always want more than what we have. Focus on being content with what you have instead of wasting your life away wishing you had more.

8. Everything will work out how it is supposed to work out. 

So many times in the past year, things have not worked out exactly how I wanted to, and every single time, I have always ended up happier because of it. Stop worrying about what you might have been, and just let things happen.

9. Being in a relationship is not everything.

When you're single, especially if you have been single for a long time, it starts to seem like everyone else around you is dating someone. That loneliness can lead you to pursue relationships with people that you know are not right for you, and that just isn't healthy. Focus on being happy with yourself. If and when the right person comes along, you'll know it.

10. No one really has life figured out. 

When you're young, it seems like every adult knows exactly what they're doing at all times. As you get older, you realize how far from the truth that actually is. In all honesty, we're all pretty much winging it a lot of the time. It's okay to not have it all figured out just yet.

11. You have to stand for something. 

It is important to know what your own morals are, especially as a college student. Everyone has an opinion, and everyone believes their opinion to be fact. The easiest way for someone to get you to do something you wouldn't normally do is if your moral ground is not solid.

12. You are not entitled to anything. 

Never ever catch yourself thinking that you deserve something when you know you haven't worked for it.

13. Positive thinking goes a long way.

Anyone can sit around and point out everything that's negative about a person or a situation. Focus on being the kind of person that sees something good in everything and everyone, and it will change your life.

14. Make the most of where you are right now. 

A lot of us waste our lives away wishing for the weekend, or to graduate, or to fall in love. Don't waste the time you have now wishing something better was happening. Stop waiting for your future "moment," and make the most of the moment you are in right now.

15. It's okay to walk away. 

The moment that a person or situation stops being productive, it's okay to walk away. Loyalty is one thing, but it's not worth staying even when something becomes unhealthy, which brings me to my next point...

16. Loyalty is not blind love. 

Just because you've known someone for a long time, doesn't mean you owe them your loyalty. And just because you are loyal to someone, doesn't mean you can't hold them accountable for their mistakes.

17. Comparison is the enemy. 

Stop comparing yourself to other people. You are who you are. When you spend your time wondering why you're not as popular, or as smart, or as wealthy as someone else, you're stealing your own happiness.

18. In the end, it's all about what makes you happy. 

You are the one that has to live with your decisions. You, in all reality, are the person you will spend your entire life with. Don't waste time trying to please everyone else. Just do you.

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6 Huge Ways Your Life Changes After Escaping A Small Town

"Don't let small-town life make your life small."

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I've read a few articles on small towns and some statistics show that 20-30% of Americans live in small towns and 80% of the nation's population lived in one of the 350 combined metropolitan statistical areas.

After growing up in a small town myself, I think it can sometimes be difficult to be the person you want to be while trying to please all of your small-town fans. This is the first time in my life I've moved away from my small town with the intention to stay away for a very long time.

Why would I do something so silly?

Over the past two years, I realized how my hometown was stopping me from growing and accomplishing my dreams. Hanging out with friends generally became a gossip session because we were together so often and had nothing more to talk about. Neighbors knew where I was or who I was with. There was always some type of pressure to please everyone. There has always been someone to compare my life to or to be like.

Finally, I realized how detrimental this mentality was to my success.

After a series of events this year, I finally gathered the courage to pick up my life and move somewhere where I was a “no one." Somewhere where I could start fresh and never have to worry about pleasing someone down the street. I can vouch that this has been the biggest change in my life and the best possible move I could have made.

So what things actually change?

1. You find out who your true friends are.

This one will shock you. Remember that person you used to go to dinner with or spent countless nights finding a party or get together to go to with? That person magically fades away. The convenience of you being down the road is no longer an option and that person has now found a new acquaintance who has replaced you. Your genuine friends will continue to invite you to be a part of whatever and most will plan to spend time with you or come see you.

2. You no longer have a close-minded perception of everything.

I remember going to a grocery store and hearing the small town gossip from aisle to aisle. I remember how one-sided most issues were and if you weren't on board, your opinion was irrelevant. Now I can go to the store and not know a single person and have an opinion about anything I want and not have to worry about being shunned.

3. You suddenly turn into a mystery.

This one is great. People will start wondering where you went or what you've been up to. When I call my parents, I always get a good laugh from the conversations they've had with others who wonder what I'm up to. My favorite quote that relates to this is, “The less you reveal, the more people can wonder."

SEE ALSO: 8 Tiny Lies Every Young Adult Woman Has Told Their Best Friend

4.You are suddenly a nobody in your new community, and it's great.

I have a bad habit of trying to avoid people I know, so when I go into stores or do anything in public, I love being a nobody. I love being able to do all of my grocery shopping without being interrupted or asked about school.

5. You appreciate the small hometown things more.

I'm not going to lie, I cringe thinking about making a trip home, but that pizza place I had four times a week and those margaritas that my friends and I would gulp down when celebrating everything from a birthday to making it through a rough day at work suddenly become luxury items. You enjoy those country cruises and those salty fries so much more when you're away.

6. You start to find yourself.

I left this one for last because it's by far the most important thing that's happened to me. I got stuck thinking I needed to be married by 22 and have a family by the time I was 27. I no longer think this. I finally have a bucket list that involves so much more than beating my best friend in a keg stand at the annual town bonfire. I have found who I am through solely relying on me and the things that make me happy.

SEE ALSO: 8 Things You Realize After High School


Don't get me wrong, I love my hometown. It's made me who I am today, but even if it's only for six months, escape your small town. Get away and experience the world. Don't wait until it's too late. It's great out here!

Cover Image Credit: 10 Best Media

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In The Words Of Casting Crowns, My Life Will Be For 'Only Jesus'

"Only Jesus" by Casting Crowns has inspired me to live my life for Jesus.

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When I watch the music video for Casting Crowns "Only Jesus" I am reminded of the reason why we are on this earth, alive, breathing air through our lungs, our hearts beating, and time going on and on.

We are on this earth, not to seek our own glory, our own accolades, and our own selfish greed, but to know God, love God, and to make Him known in this world, through sharing how God's son Jesus has set us free from our sinful lives and has resurrected us spiritually.

At the beginning of the video, we see Mark Hall, the lead singer of Casting Crowns, driving down a road, eventually driving into a junkyard. The junkyard is both a setting for the music video and an allegory. The junkyard is allegorical to show that everything we obtain in this world, both material things and in achieving our own selfish pursuits of self-glory, self-pride, and self-adulation, will one day rot away and decay into nothingness.

No one will remember you in 500 years when you are dead and gone. The only exception to this is if you do something spectacular with your life that makes you famous. Only then will people remember what you did, not the person that you really was.

But living for Jesus and dedicating our lives to the "good fight" is the everlasting legacy we should pass on.

We should be remembered how we dedicated every minute of our lives being fishers of men for Jesus. When Christian men and women live this way, their children learn about God's love, which in turn causes them to surrender their lives to God, then passing God's love to their children, repeating this infinite loop of love for all time until Jesus comes back. Only Jesus is eternal. Only His love is eternal.

So when I die, "I don't want to leave a legacy. I don't care if they remember me, only Jesus."

Because my Lord Jesus Christ, God the Father, and the Holy Spirit is the only thing that matters.

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