This past weekend, I turned 19 (i’m getting old i know). And although I am still a year away from beating teen pregnancy, I have learned a few things in my 19 long years on this wonderful planet. So here is a list of wise lessons that I have gathered.

1. Not everything is going to work out, but it will all be okay in the end.

Not everything is going to work out in the way you imagined it, but from experience, just letting life take its course has always worked better anyway.

2. Boys (they don’t even qualify as men) ain’t shit.

Pretty self-explanatory.

3. You aren’t going to impress everyone.

It used to be a personal mission of mine to please everyone, but in the midst of working so hard to please everyone else, I forgot to focus on things that made me happy. Doing things that make you happy will impress the people that actually matter.

4. Not everyone is going to love you.

Goes hand and hand will number three. Don’t place all of your effort on making everyone adore you, because it won’t work anyway. Make yourself happy first.

5. Insecurities are what make you unique.

I am a first-hand example of someone who has struggled with insecurities all of their life. Hell-- I’ve even undergone surgery to try and fix them. But I have come to peace with myself when realizing that I am never going to be perfect, and my quirks, in fact, make me different, and I am better that way.

6. Don’t be afraid to try new things.

In a literal sense, I am the PICKIEST eater alive. Like a strict mac and cheese & chicken nuggets diet all through high school. So trying new food has really branched my horizon. But also trying new routines, styles, music, etc can completely change a mood for your day or your entire life. You’d be surprised.

7. You WILL make mistakes.

I’ve had my fair share of mess ups, but ya know, live and learn is all I’ve gotta say.

8. Even when you think you’ve hit rock bottom, honestly, you will probably hit an even lower point.

Pretty negative, but it’s true.

9. But after you have hit the official rock bottom, things can only go up from there, and eventually, they will.

Just give it time, patience, and a positive attitude. Things will always pick up, you won’t stay at the bottom for long :)

10. Things that seem like they may be a huge deal at the moment, will not matter in a few years.

This is one of the most important ones. The guy you hooked up with last Saturday, that risky text you sent, or falling in front of your entire lecture, none of it will matter next week. Let that shit go!!!!

11. No one cares who you were in high school.

Another big one. Leave your big ego and your popularity on the graduation stage honey because no one cares. Once you go to college, you are a totally new person, and if you really wanted to, you could lie about your entire high school experience, no one would think twice.

12. Love everybody.

Everyone is worthy of your love until proven otherwise. Allow everyone into your life with open arms, give everybody a chance.

13. Experience as much as you can while you still can.

Ok I know I am not super old or anything but once I am out of college and get a real person job that isn’t a part-time waitress or Starbucks barista, I won’t have time to do all the things I still want to do. I know I want to travel, and experience everything I can-- so that’s what I am gonna do.

14. Stay close to your friends that treated you well.

Staying close with my best friends from high school was probably one of the best decisions I ever made. Being excited to come home to people I loved, hear about all of their lives, and staying connected is one of the things that makes coming home so great (s/o friends gm ily).

15. Embrace the little things.

Dinner with your dad, shopping with your mom, watching the sunset, jamming to a new song; enjoy all the little things that will make you happy. Take advantage of them.

16. Self-love is the most important.

Another thing I, and many others struggle with. Loving yourself does not make you conceded, or overconfident, but shows that you have love and respect for yourself, and encourages people to do the same. It also makes you happy when you love yourself a little more!! (cue "Flawless" by Beyonce)

17. Let your hopes and dream drive everything you do.

My ultimate goal in life is to travel and see as much of the world that I can. This dream of mine drives me to do well in school, study hard, and plan what I can. Find your dream and do the same.

18. Love and respect your parents.

Your parents honestly do so much for you, show them appreciation by saying thank you & that you love them. It means more to them than you think.

19. Live your life to the absolute fullest.

A pretty basic one but honestly a phrase to live by. If you aren't living every day to the absolute maximum, then what are you doing??