19 Things I've Learned in 19 Years

In honor of my 19th birthday, I decided to compile a list of 19 lessons I have accumulated over my lifespan. Nineteen is a strange age to be since not much comes with the age. I’d say the “nasty 19” is basically a filibuster between 18 and 20. As I enter my last teenage year, I thought I would reflect on all of the lessons I have learned thus far.


  1. Don’t live a life that fits in with the crowd. Live a life that will ultimately bring you happiness and the success you want.

  2. I would rather get rejected because I tried than feel regret because I never put myself out there.

  3. Never settle. You deserve only the best. Don’t let anyone tell you that you are wrong to have high standards.

  4. Always remember to put your problems in perspective.

  5. It’s okay to reach out for help if you need it. Talk out your problems and create solutions; you’ll feel better. You are not weak for needing help; no one knows the answer to everything.

  6. Not everyone will like you and that’s okay. What matters is that you like yourself.

  7. The past may shape you, but it does not define you.  

  8. Don’t block out feelings. Having emotions is a part of being human and you have to deal with them. Suppressing feelings ultimately ends up being a bigger mess to clean up.

  9. It’s okay to make a mistake, but learn the lesson from it. Do not make the same repeated mistakes over and over again because those are simply bad decisions. Never be complacent with a lifestyle where you just make bad decisions all the time. Change those bad habits!

  10. The truth always comes out. It’s better to just be honest than to create lies. People are always more disheartened to hear that you lied to them rather than hear the harsh truth.

  11. In some situations, you have to put yourself first. When you try to appease everyone else’s needs before your own, you can be the one who ends up losing sometimes. There is a big difference between narcissism and making decisions that ensure your happiness and emotional well-being.

  12. Alone time is important, and it’s okay to be an introvert. Don’t mold yourself to be a fake extrovert.

  13. You are not obligated to maintain relationships with people who are toxic and cause you emotional distress.

  14. When people show you who they are, believe them. Don’t make up false narratives that distort reality.

  15. As my grandma says, “You have to eat a lot of salt to really know someone.”

  16. Always trust your gut instincts. Your gut never lies.

  17. When things don’t go your way, it’s usually for the best. Something better will come your way if you don’t get too discouraged.

  18. Don’t sell yourself short. You’re smarter and braver than you think.

  19. Always speak up for yourself and stand up for what you believe in!