It's crazy to think that I have been nineteen for a couple of days. I don't think that I feel any different but I'm glad that I have made it this far in life. Nineteen years ago, I was born in High Point, NC and I'm standing here, thriving at college, alive and well. This is my last year as a teenager and it's making me realize that one, I'm getting old and second, I'll no longer be an adolescent.
When I was a kid, I never thought this day would come and I was eager to be an adult. Since the day has come, I think I hate being grown up and stressed constantly. It does have its perks and I think I'm ready for what's in store for the future.
Over the years, I have had learned so many lessons that I decided to choose different quotes that represent every year for me until now.
1. Don't worry, be happy
This quote is so accurate when you are one years old. You have no responsibilities and everything is done for you. Also, this is probably one of the most of the critical times in your life. Your first time being exposed to the world, actually breathe on own and carefree. You are in control of your life now and that's the only thing that matters during this year.
2. Laughter is the best medicine.
Have you heard that saying where children laugh 300 to 400 times a day while adults laugh 17 times? I think this is because we are still young, carefree and don't have any real consequences yet. I think that when you are two, you have just learned new skills like learning how to walk and talk so you're not fully aware of your surroundings. I remember specifically at this age, I was always had a smile and laughed no matter what the situation.
3. Develop a passion for learning. If you do, you will never cease to grow.
Around this age, I started one of my passions - figure skating. I think that I talk about it so much that it's pretty much the only thing that I know. Anyway, I would say that I exactly fell in love with skating at first if you count hanging onto my mom for dear life and crying a lot.
However, after going over that hurdle, I have developed a love for it through learning. Falling down so many times never stopped me from getting up and to keep going. When you fall, you never cease to learn and grow into a stronger, determined person.
4. Look up at the stars and not down at your feet. Try to make sense of what you see and wonder about what makes the universe exist. Be curious.
When you are four, you start asking a lot of questions, like a lot. I didn't know that I was annoying at four until I got older. However, at this age, you are becoming curious around the world about everything. This urge always you to be vigilant and gain knowledge of your constantly changing surroundings. It keeps the world interesting and exciting because who would want to live in a boring place?
5. Everything you've ever wanted is on the other side of fear
This is the first time when you are stepping into the world by yourself with no one on your side. This is where you start having many of your first: your first best friend, first day of school, first time doing different sports and activities, and it's where you start actually experiencing life.
I think it's nerve-wracking to think about this as a five-year-old so they end up clinging to their parents, not wanting them to go. However, once they let go, they have the best time of their lives.
6. When ambition ends, happiness begins
For a majority of kids at this age, they are usually given a worksheet of the following: What do you want to be when you grow up? Often times kids say: being president, an astronaut, professional athletes, or a billionaire. For me, I wanted to be an art teacher but I realized that I am terrible at drawing and painting.
These dreams are pretty ambitions but not trying to upset anyone but they are not realistic. If you start to recognize that your ambitions are unrealistic or too big to obtain, then sometimes it's better to let go to not be disappointed in the end.
7. Kill people with kindness
Around this age, I started learning the difference from right and wrong from my parents. The most important lesson that stuck with me throughout my life was being kind to everyone, no matter how much you dislike someone. It improves how we think of ourselves and it's rewarding when you are able to help those in need of a smile.
8. Practice makes perfect
I think that I have heard this quote so many times in my life but it's pretty straight forward so I'm not going to explain it.
9. Looks aren't important, it's your life and mind
I think for me, this was one of my happiest times. I was on the top of my game with figure skating, did well in school; had everything that I could have ever wanted and I did all of this with a middle part ponytail and pink wire-rimmed glasses. Honestly, I didn't care about my looks because first, I never thought about this and second, I had no one to impress besides myself.
I was very content with how I looked until about high school. I started battling with my weight and acne started appearing on my face. These factors made me less confident and my looks started getting to my head. I'm still struggling with this but I'm getting more confident every single day.
10. Believing in yourself and working hard will always earn you success
Double digits baby! Reaching that 1-0 feels fulfilling because you are so close to being a teen. However, this is the time where you will start having to take responsibilities. Realizing this, I worked extremely hard in everything in my life to get what I want. I always put my best foot forward and never complained of things that I didn't want to do.
11. They say that age is all in your mind. The trick is keeping it from creeping down into your body.
At this age, you start to grow up and in opinion, every year, as you become older, you don't feel that age. When you turn eleven, you don't feel eleven. Not automatically because it takes days, weeks, and even months before you can say you are eleven. You don't feel eleven until you have lived it. That's what makes you a deep, intelligent eleven year old.
12. Life is full of happiness and tears; be strong and have faith
I had a lot of ups and downs at this age. I mean middle school wasn't the best of times for me: bullies and it was the first time my dad got sick. I prayed often, kept pushing myself to start focusing only on myself and not pay attention to irrelevant people. When I did this, I did really well in school and skating, had friends and my family and those things were what made my life full.
13. Parental love is the only love that is truly selfless, unconditional, and forgiving
Finally reached my teens years! I can do whatever I and I don't need my parents. WRONG! No matter what age you are, you are always going to need. Who's going to be there for you when you do something stupid or when you are sick? Who puts with your angry teen years and helps you when struggling with someone? Your parents are the only ones that do that for you because they love you.
I never understood this because I have thought was really independent and could take care of myself which I still can't. I finally realized that my parents going to be there to always support and do whatever they need to do, in order for me to be successful. That's the best present I could ever receive from my parents and I love them for that.
14. Everything happens for a reason
To this day, this year was the worst for me. My dad passed away and I was hurt mentally and emotionally. At this point in life, I hated the world. Blamed my pain on everything else was all I did because I never wanted to confront it because of the truth: everything happens for a reason.
The things that have happened has me a completely different person: strong, emphatic, and protective. I know now that there was a reason for what happened and I'm grateful for the lessons that my past has taught me.
15. Every failure is a step to success
For me, I still adjusting to a private high school where for it I realized that I wasn't going to be at the top of my class anymore. This was a different playing field and it was especially difficult for me because I was a perfectionist. I still am but I have gotten better being accepting my flaws. I had to realize that everything was going to get harder and that I'm not going to be the best in every class. I just had to recognize that I have to work twice as hard if I want to be successful.
16. Keep true to the dreams of your youth
Around this time, you would be celebrating your sweet sixteenth birthday, getting your driver license, hanging out with friends constantly, and growing more mature by the minute.
However, I realized that even though I'm growing up, I'm still a kid. I'm forgetting what was once dreams and important to me because it seemed irrelevant at that time. All of these things were set on the back burner but I decided in the end that I had to have these things in my life.
17. Enjoy the journey and try to get better every day. Don't lose the passion and the love for what you love
This stage is where you are one year closer to being a legal adult. I think for me this was so scary for me because all I could think about the what ifs. What if I don't get to college, what if I don't graduate, what if I can't do it?
Adding to my anxiety, with what I was already feeling, I finally burst. It was so bad that I remember a lot of sobbing and hatred of life. I have kept everything bottled up for so long that I couldn't take it. However, with a lot of support systems, I found out that I'm not alone and life is full of ups and downs. I had to find a reason to love life again.
18. Time is long, but life is short
Finally, a legal adult. Enough said, time to do go crazy. When you are finally legal, it makes you realize that years are going to go by fast that by the time you have fully grown up, you're going to have regret not having fun.
19. It takes courage to grow up and become who you really are
For year nineteen, I hope to become the person I know who I'm meant to be. I want to be a doctor and being college has given me the opportunity to accomplish those goals. However, it's going to take the life out of me to get there so I can't fear what's ahead. I also can't keep reminding myself of my past obstacles that I have encountered.
Though I'm never going to forget my past, it's not going to define what's in store for me. Nevertheless, the most important time frame is now. I have to focus on the present and take each day one-by-one because this is where I can pave the way for who I am going to be.
All of these lessons that I have learned over the years all still apply to today. I'm still learning multiple lessons but there is always that one extremely important lesson that was my mantra every year. It constantly is changing because I'm changing as well.
Change is normal and even though it's scary, everything is going to be alright in the end.