Non-STEM Related

10 Things I Wish Someone Told Me Before I turned 19

Being the oldest a teenager can be, I still feel like a baby in the new found Adult World. Moving away from home was a good idea, no doubt – but to be on my own is difficult and nobody could have prepared me for the slap that came as a backlash of being naive. My mother gave me loads of advice as I grew up, and many I still used today, however, I wish she had told me about the real world before I got knee deep in it.

  1. Not everyone you meet will be an ally, and vice versa. Some people are just crude and they do not deserve your kindness, no matter how difficult it may seem.
  2.  Nobody will look out for you, only you can. I like to have faith in humanity, but more times than not, I have been disappointed. At school or at a bar, you have to watch your own back because no one can be trusted more than yourself. Have faith in yourself and do not underestimate your abilities.
  3. Hydrate! I often find myself without water when I need it most, which is all the time. Dehydration is very serious and you do not realize you are a victim of it until after you pass out, or worse, wake up in the hospital. So carry a bottle of water with you all the time, no matter how weird you may seem. (Extra tip: Buy a fashionable water bottle from Target and do not waste plastic water bottles, #SaveTheEnvironment )
  4. Write down everything. If this does not happen, be prepared to forget a lot of crucial things that you have going on. Deadlines, lunch dates, even plan it down to the tv shows you plan on watching that night while you eat left overs.
  5. If you are bored, you are probably forgetting to do something. This goes back to number four, however, if you do ever feel like you have nothing to do, then maybe you are forgetting something. The busy life of a (more than) full-time student and a job and a pet to take care of is demanding and there is always something to do like reading or studying or planning the week.
  6. Be prepared to be lonely. Being an only child, I was used to this. However, as I grew older I gained a lot more friends. Everyone else is very busy with their lives and their own goals to reach, so most of the time schedules do not line up. Do not be upset if nobody can hang out with you that night, just be happy to have time to yourself and do leisure things you love (like exercising, reading, painting, etc.).
  7. People are dumb (when it comes to love). Do not get caught up with someone you think is cute, it is a trap. If they wanted to talk to you, they would- it is not up to you to start the conversation all the time; if they wanted to be in your life, it would not be difficult for you to keep them there. If it is difficult, and you are looking for a sign to get out of it, this is your sign. Distance yourself and focus on the bigger picture – the future. Go run some laps and then the pain will let you forget about the person.
  8. Pick up some healthy habit. I despise exercising, it just is not for some people, one of those people being me. However, I have found that yoga is like exercising and meditation all in one! I am also a lot happier since I have taken up this form of working out. It gets your heart pumping and your sweat glands going, which releases chemicals and all of that stuff that is healthy for you.
  9. Go to bed early. If you have an early class the next day, the “logical” thing to do is go to bed earlier! Makes sense, right? I mean, if you have an 8 am, and you go to bed three hours before you are supposed to be up, that may pose a problem. A plus to going to bed early, you get to feel a little bit better about life in the morning, and if you are naturally an early bird, maybe take more time in the morning since you have more energy after sleeping longer.
  10. Do Not be Afraid. The one thing I have realized after being on my own for a year is that you do not have time to be afraid – you have no time to hesitate. A presentation for someone with horrible social anxiety is something to be put off until the last minute, BUT you have to do it regardless, so might as well hold your chin high and breathe deep. The necessary adulting that I have done has made me fearless, I grocery shop by myself, I give public speeches, I want this new world to know about me. There is not time for fear, because if you feel fear and act on it, the moment will have already passed. Nelson Mandela once said, “I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear.” So there you go! Go out there and let the world know you, because that is pretty much the only way to succeed as an adult in this Adult World.

 

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