This upcoming week, I will be celebrating my 19th birthday. Each year, new people and experiences are brought into my life that change my future. Last night, while reflecting on the past few years of my life, I put together a list of 19 important things I have learned during my few trips around the sun.
1. Appreciate the little things in life.
It's the little inside jokes between you and your best friends, coffee dates, and spontaneous beach days that make you realize how amazing it is to live this life.
2. If it won't matter in five years, don't waste more than five minutes thinking about it.
There have been so many times where I have found myself guilty of stressing over little things. However, at the end of the day, everything happens for a reason. People make mistakes and everything is going to work out.
3. Makeup is way too expensive to ruin crying over boys who don't know the difference between foundation and concealer.
Just my mascara alone costs $26. Never again will I let a boy who doesn't care about my feelings be the reason I ruin my makeup.
4. You shouldn't have to change yourself to make others like you.
Throughout high school, I felt as though I struggled with fitting in. Don't get me wrong, I always had friends and people around me but internally I knew something was off. I found myself constantly pretending to be someone I was not and pretending to like things I honestly hated so that I could be liked by everyone. You don't need to change yourself for someone else's approval. If you do, those people are not meant to be in your life.
5. Music is more powerful than you think.
I have always used music as a way to express my emotions. Music can you feel a type of way that words can't. There is a song out there to describe almost any emotion you could possibly be feeling. Take advantage of that.
6. Waking up early is the key to productivity.
When I was younger, I remember my grandpa waking up and starting his morning before the sun would come up. Honestly, I never really understood why but as I've grown up it has started to make a lot more sense. Starting your days just a little bit earlier helps you to have more time to be productive and get things done before everyone else is awake. Plus, it is so nice to be able to actually have a cup of coffee and get ready in the morning without being in a rush. Thanks, grandpa.
7. You are in control of your own happiness.
Nobody else can make you happy. You have to be happy with yourself.
8. Rainbows only come after rain.
You need to reach some low points to appreciate the high points. You can't appreciate the good things without going through the bad.
9. It is ok to disagree.
Everybody has their own opinions. You are not always going to agree with people. Sometimes you have to step back and just agree to disagree. It will save you a lot of stress.
10. Go with your gut.
The majority of the time if you have a bad feeling about something, you shouldn't do it. Don't let people pressure you into doing things you don't want to do.
11. Nobody has everything figured out.
I remember being in elementary school and thinking that college kids had everything figured out. Yet here I am, 10 years later, with eight dollars in my bank account and no clue what exactly I want to do in life. The truth is, nobody has everything figured out, even adults. As life goes on, you continue to grow and change. Your goals and desires never remain the same. You truly don't ever figure your entire life out, but that's ok. You aren't supposed to.
12. Small minds talk about people, big minds talk about ideas.
Think about the people you surround yourself with. Do they encourage you to go out of your comfort zone and try new things? Do you talk about the future and what it has in store with them? If not, you should try to seek out those people. Those people and the conversations you have with them will help you out in life a lot more than the ones you have with the girls stuck on 10th-grade drama.
13. Honesty is the best policy.
No matter how good of a liar you are, liars always manage to get caught. Save yourself some stress and just be honest.
14. It's important to tell your friends you love them.
You never know what is going on behind closed doors. Sometimes a simple "I'm thankful for you" can make someones entire week. Make sure to tell your friends how much you love them. It is sad and scary to say, but you never know when your last time with them could be.
15. It is also important to tell your family you love them.
I don't know why 15 year old Jessie thought it was ok to act like she was too cool for her family, but it wasn't. Your family has your best interest in mind always. They are your number one supporters and best friends. Don't forget to tell them you love them and care about them. Don't take your time with them for granted.
16. Don't hesitate to ask for help.
Whether it is figuring out how to put something together or needing advice, it is ok to ask for help. It does not make you weak.
17. You don't need to go out every weekend to have fun.
I love going out and spending time with my friends. However, that doesn't mean I need to spend every weekend at a different club or bar. Sometimes nights spent in your room with your best friends are even more fun than going out. If you are not in the mood to go out, don't!
18. Spend your money wisely.
Before buying that black tube top that looks exactly like seven of your other shirts think to yourself, do you really need it? If the answer is no, put it back, You'll thank yourself later when you have some spare cash around.
19. Do things that make you happy.
Buy those concert tickets. Go out on a Monday night. Dance like nobody is watching. Do things that make you feel the most alive. You are only on this earth for a limited amount of time, don't let it go to waste