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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Brandeis chapter.

I turned 19 on Sunday, and one of my friends asked me to come up with a list of 19 things I’ve learned in the 19 years I’ve been alive. So here’s my list! These all apply to me personally, and may or may not apply to you as well. Take from them what you want:


  1. Know your personal limit when it comes to workload

Burnout sucks. Don’t put yourself through that.


  1. Don’t waste time agonizing over small decisions

Save that decision-making energy for the big ones. If you get better at making little choices, you might find it easier to make the larger ones. 


  1. Prioritize your time

Keep deadlines in mind, but also think about how important the project is to you. It’s okay to give 75% to something in order to give 100% to what you care about more. 


  1. If you think you want to be alone when you’re upset, you’re probably wrong

Isolating yourself tends to amplify your bad feelings. Get out of your room and surround yourself with other people, even if you just sit in silence doing work. 


  1. Look up and take a deep breath every once in a while

Life moves fast, and we move even faster. Let yourself breathe. 


  1. Pay attention to details

There are cool things all around you. Focus in on them and maybe you’ll learn something new.


  1. Stay open-minded when it comes to other people, especially during conflicts

Everyone has a different perspective. Listen and try to understand them before anything else.


  1. Find your creative outlet

 People that say they aren’t creative are lying–and totally missing out.


  1. Find something you can do everyday

For me, it’s reading. Either a sentence or an entire book, it doesn’t matter, it just has to be a daily thing. Make it low stakes but hold yourself to it.


  1. Listen to what your body tells you

Everyone is different, with different needs. Understand your own needs. 


  1. Ask for help when you need it

Still working on this one. People are usually willing to help you out, but they aren’t mind readers. Speak up. 


  1. Figure out how many hours of sleep you need a night

The typical window is 7 to 9 hours, but finding your personal magic number will help with maintaining a good schedule for school or work.


  1. Stay in the loop with what’s going on around the world

Watch the news, get the paper on your phone, or listen to NPR podcasts. Be informed. 


  1. Be open to learning new things

Try to be a good student in every situation you find yourself in, even outside of the classroom. Everyone has something to teach you, and you can learn from everything you experience. 


  1. People know you better than you think they do

And they can give you some good advice if you listen to it.


  1. Conversation is basically just sharing stories

Get better at telling them.


  1. Don’t fixate on things you can’t change

It doesn’t do you or anyone else any good. Like, at all.


  1. Take pride in the things you accomplish

Don’t brush off or downplay your successes because someone else did something “better.” You’re entitled some bragging rights every once in a while. 


  1. Practice kindness

You’re a person, just like everyone else. We’re imperfect. Show empathy for others.

Lindsey is from a small town in upstate New York. She's currently a sophomore at Brandeis and is double majoring in english and creative writing with a minor in studio art. You can usually find her reading or watching marvel movies.
Aarti Jain

Brandeis '23

Aarti is an undergrad at Brandeis University (class of 2023) and is an emerging writer. She is from Chicago, and writes articles or fiction.