As of November 22, 2017, I have been on this Earth for 18 years. Time really has flown, I guess, and if I am being honest, I did not foresee my life going in the direction I ended up, but I can also honestly say that I am relatively happy with where I am, and I hope that I continue to be successful in the years to come.
1. You don't have to be 100 percent happy 100 percent of the time.
Don't get me wrong; I am a very happy person, but sometimes we all have to "take our medicine" and go through things that we don't necessarily want to. In life, plenty of situations are just an ends to a means, and it is up to us to adjust accordingly.
2. Grades aren't everything.
School is important, and you should always be trying to learn and better yourself, but it is more important to be a good person than a better-at-chemistry person. My mom taught me this one from a young age, when the night before a big test, we would watch a movie. It kept me calm and taught me that you can only study so much before it is time to relax to prepare yourself mentally for the exam.
3. Not everyone is perfect at everything.
This is another lesson my mother taught me, especially when I would be upset about not doing well in either sports or a particularly hard class. Everyone has their gifts and talents, and we either need to find them or stick with them in order to be happy. It is unnecessary to worry about not being good enough at something when you yourself may be amazing at something else.
4. "You'll live."
My dad used to say this to me whenever I would fall and scrape my knee, or get a little cut, and it taught me resilience. Other people were taken aback by this tough-love approach, but in the end, (surprise!) I lived every time.
5. People will suck sometimes.
We meet so many people throughout our lives that it is impossible to expect them all to be awesome. Many people are going to absolutely awful. All of them need to be tolerated, but it is best to prepare ourselves for the less-than-nice people that we will encounter.
6. You are unique for a reason.
Not all people are artsy or athletic or intellectual, and if they were, the world would be pretty boring. It is best to balance ourselves as best as we can between these things (and any other activities you may enjoy) and not let ourselves be defined by labels. It is imperative that we branch out and talk to people who are different from us and take in their views on things.
7. Naps are really, really great.
I was one of the unlucky kindergarteners who did not have a "nap time" during school. The first time I was able to experience this was in college, where I have designated myself "nap breaks" throughout the day.
8. Every now and then you need a day to yourself.
I learned this in the summer when I began to read again. I have discovered that reading is what makes me happy and makes for a good, relatively productive activity for me to participate in when I am not doing school work or other things that are on my to-do list. This time for myself makes me more productive and recharged for the rest of my tasks.
9. Sometimes it is more fun to be alone than surrounded by people.
In today's world, almost no one feels comfortable with being alone. People often bounce from relationship to relationship in record time or will walk around with a large group of friends. In my 18 years, I have learned to value doing things alone. I have enjoyed plenty of walks on my own, and it is refreshing to take in the world instead of being with other humans.
10. Dogs are probably the best thing that has ever happened to this world.
I love dogs. I had always loved dogs. I love my dog. If there is a dog within my field of vision, there is a very good chance I am going to pet it. I have attempted to bring my dog from home to live in my dorm with me (it didn't work she's a 76-pound lab mix). Dogs are my primary source of joy, and that has remained constant the entire time I have been on this Earth.