19 Things I've Learned in 19 Years

19 Things I’ve Learned In 19 Years

In just a few days, I will be 19 years old. The 21st night of September, to be exact. 19 seems to be one of those birthdays that doesn’t really matter. I’ve been able to legally drive for four years now, I can go to “adult only” venues, I can vote, and I can buy lottery tickets. That’s about it. But, in my 19 years, I have learned quite a few lessons…

  1. Drinking coffee will almost always make you feel like you have your life together. Just pretend like you’re in Central Perk with Rachel, Monica, and Phoebe.

  2. Cutting out toxic people can change your entire life. In my experience, toxic friendships are exhausting and you constantly feel beat up by your so-called “friend”. Cut them off and don’t feel bad about it.

  3. Drink your water, sis. Add some lemon or whatever you have to do in order for you to get it down. Drinking water is the cure to everything.

  4. Complete strangers will come up to you and touch your hair. They’ll ask if it’s real and it will get on your nerves. People act like a black girl with naturally long hair is so rare. It’s not!

  5. Yes, it’s true that boys take longer to mature, but don’t give up on them. When you find the right one, you’ll laugh at the dumb things that used to leave you in tears. Teenage heartbreak is inevitable and swearing off the whole male species won’t do anything but make you miserable. Love will come when it is time. It’s not always bad to get back with an ex, either!

  6. Leave your eyebrows alone!

  7. Cooking is a life lesson that you need to learn. I’m not Chrissy Teigen by any means, but knowing how to make easy dishes will create a healthier lifestyle for you and save you money (and pounds) in the long run.

  8. Always keep your feet done. Always. You never know when you’re gonna have to throw on some open toed heels or some slides.

  9. Working out really does help you feel better. There have been countless days where I’ve been in a horrible mood and going to the gym turned my day around. Finding workouts that you enjoy, varying weight training, group classes, cardio, etc, will keep you happier. I promise.

  10. Less is more with your makeup. Piling on product isn’t worth your time for your everyday look. Stick to the basics and make sure to ROUTINELY clean your makeup brushes.

  11. Racism is real and it will never go away. No matter how smart or successful I strive to be as a black woman, I will always be looked down upon by someone, somewhere. Keep fighting the stigma.

  12. Your mental health is more important than anything else. Taking time to de-stress, fuel your body, and relax are just as important as anything else.

  13. If you’re serious about sports, be prepared to argue your opinion 24/7 because men will never take your opinion seriously because (guess what I’m about to say!), you’re a woman. I will never forget when one of my old teachers told me that girls never know what they’re talking about when it comes to sports. Newsflash, sir! I’m making sports writing my WHOLE career!

  14. Take care of your skin. In a couple years, your wrinkle-free and clear complexion will thank you.

  15. When you are passionate about something, you will be labeled as a woman with an ‘attitude’ or an ‘angry black woman’. I have been told my whole life that because I’m not passive, I’m too “feisty”. Just a fancy word for a bitch, I’d say.

  16. Your dogs think you’re Beyonce’. Behave like you want to make your dogs proud.

  17. It’s okay to say no! Don’t overwhelm yourself with dinners, work, dates, and homework if you cannot handle it. Manage your schedule and know what’s worth your time.

  18. People will only treat you as you allow them to treat you. I was always the girl in the class who stood up to the ‘mean’ boys and spoke up for what I believed in. It doesn’t make you a bad person to hold yourself to a standard that other people must comply to.

  19. It’s okay to not be okay. You can cry, scream into a pillow, belt out your favorite angry song, sulk, and throw a temper tantrum if need to.