Ten Things I Learned as a 19 Year Old

2081c5e1d458e4aca5fed4a9e7e1f910.jpgAge is just a number. That’s definitely true, considering maturity is not defined by age and feeling young is not felt by the way we look. As I soak up the last few months of being a teenager, I thought, why not write about some of the things I’ve learned in the past few years. The difference when people ask me about my age, is that I don’t feel like my age (if age ever had a feeling that is). There is somehow this old soul in me that is bursting to relate with someone who loves Ella Fitzgerald, Ray Charles or listening to Classical music too.

1. Numbers will never define your self worth. Weight, height, age, likes, followers, measurements, income, wage and so on. Those numbers are just a number. They do not make us any better or less than the person beside us. In fact, in the age of social media, it’s even more important to emphasise this point. It is easy to be blinded by numbers and relate it to our self worth. In the end it’s moments and experiences in our lives that bring us the greatest happiness.

2. High school sucked but the lessons taught me a lot. For some, high school may of been a tough time in terms of socialising and fitting in. It definitely was for me, but four years since leaving high school at 16, I can say for sure that if it were not for the things that happened in high school I would not be the person I am today. Whether it is learning how to include others, when I can relate to the feeling of being left out back in high school.

3. True love does exist and long distance can work. I believe in true love. There have been times where I’ve been told that long distance will never work, but if you really fight through it, then it will. Often, we consider our career, education and all the parts of the future that we hope to achieve. But, the one in the end that means the most is love and the relationship we have with others, including friendship.

4. University is not for everyone. It took me a while to realise this, after 2 years of university and knowing that it was not my calling to sit in a lecture room or practice in a confined room for what felt like endless hours. These moments call for going with your instincts and doing what your heart tells you. If something doesn’t feel right for a long time, then it probably isn’t. There is always other options and interests can change over time.

5. We cannot please everyone in this world. And not everyone can please us. It’s true that we should not judge others and we should be kind to others. But, not everyone is going to be our best friend. In fact, we may come across people who are not very kind, and learn how to avoid them. Don’t ever be someone you’re not in order to fit in with a crowd. Just be you.

6. Saving money is important for long term goals. Short term satisfaction is instant and fades quicker than eating a chocolate cake. That’s not to say one shouldn’t reward themselves from time to time. However, saving money is a great way to achieve your long term goals whatever they may be.

7. That it’s okay to feel not okay. If you ever feel upset, don’t ever tell your self “What is wrong with me?” because we often associate these sorts of emotions as wrong. Everyone feels sad, angry or unwell from time to time. It’s normal. Accept and acknowledge those feelings and don’t bottle them up. Learning to cope with different emotions is a life lesson.

8. Health is the greatest gift in life. Of course Family and friends are too, for without them I could not feel as sane. When the world feels too superficial and materialistic, it’s a great instant reminder that our health is the wonderful gift that keeps us alive. Remember to be grateful for it.

9. People change over time. Change is inevitable. We are always changing. That’s the beauty of life. Physically, mentally and emotionally. The precious thing is that in order to change, we often need to over come barriers and struggles. The biggest lessons in our lives are most often from failure. “It is impossible to live without failing at something, unless you live so cautiously that you might as well not have lived at all – in which case, you fail by default.” – J.K. Rowling

10. Life’s too short to have regrets. Ah, let’s face it. I still have small moments that I have a slight shudder or two, and wonder what happened. But, sometimes those are the moments that you can laugh it off. We can forgive others, but often the difficult thing is to forgive ourselves. Don’t hold onto a grudge forever. Life is too short to hold any burdens and far too precious to waste being angry and mean.

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