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I feel like 19 is such a weird age. At 19, you’re still a classified ‘teen’ and therefore allowed to get away with some things, but the overwhelming cloud of adulthood wavers over your head all too often…or maybe that’s just me? The fact of the matter is that wisdom comes with age and so I wanted to pass on some of the wisdom I’ve learned. 

 

19. Nature is cool

I am not the outdoorsy type at all. Every time I’m outside I get the sensation that something is crawling on me then I get home and it turns out I have ten different bites in ten different places. But me being an insect magnet, doesn’t take away from the fact of how beautiful the Earth really is. Mountains, sunsets, sunrises, waterfalls, beaches, etc. are just simple examples of the landscape, but there’s also the ecosystems within each type of environment, not to mention the amount of various animals on this planet! I think it’s important to get out and see the world, before the human wreckage gets the best of it.

 

18. Spend time with yourself

It’s really easy to think negatively about the idea of being alone, but, more often than not, it is actually advantageous for you. In my opinion, I spend too much time alone, mainly because I have no friends but that’s another story for another day. The point is, with all the times I have been alone, I have had time to charge my social battery. I have had time to relax, binge watch, think deeply, get tasks done, and many other things. Having time to and for yourself is always important because time is not something you can get back.

 

17. Know the difference between doing your best and exhausting yourself

You will see me say this a lot in this article, but I still have problems with this. I want to do the best, all the time–especially in school. I strive for perfection and it literally kills my self-esteem whenever I don’t attain it. There has been so many times that I have sacrificed what I wanted or even needed in order to, what I thought at the time, do something that was important. And that was draining. It did not make me feel any better, smarter, or stronger. If you’re going to do something, do it in its entirety. Give everything your all and if in the end it still wasn’t good enough, at least you know there’s nothing on your part that could’ve changed the result, but do not overwork yourself. 

 

16. Process your emotions

This is another thing that I still need to work on. For me it’s easy to feel things, but not so much to realize and handle what I feel. There have been so many instances where I felt sadness, anger, despair, etc. but did not sit down and physically treat the pain. It’s easier for me to pack it away because dealing with hurt, hurts. I am in therapy currently and my therapist is aiding me in the process of taking my emotions and dissecting them. We all know that once we let emotions build up, they explode. Don’t let it get to that point!

 

15. Read more often

I’ve never been a bookworm, but whenever ‘Diary of a Wimpy Kid’ was popular, you bet I had all the books and read each and every one. It’s just so hard for me to find what I like in a book and then afterwards, actually take the time to read it. But I still strongly believe that reading is important and can allow you to escape reality–which is always a plus.

 

14. Understand that you’re a priority too

Something else I’m also trying to improve on. It’s very easy to put school, work, other responsibilities before our own mental health. It’s so crucial to realize that you’re just as, or even more important than, the tasks you hierarchize. Like I said before, it is necessary to be alone and spend time with yourself. Practice saying no to something or someone, practice self care, adjust your expectations, do whatever you need to do to put yourself first!

 

13. Take lots of naps

Anyone that knows me knows that I love my sleep. I try to get a nap in whenever and wherever I can. Sleep is important! Plus, not getting enough sleep can allow eye bags and wrinkles to form, and we’re trying to look young forever. In addition to aging, not getting enough sleep can cause you to lose focus easier, forget important tasks, have mood changes, and a multitude of other things. Do yourself a favor and go to sleep, even if it is multiple times throughout the day. 

 

12. Organization is key for being successful

I do not have much experience at this because I can’t stay organized to save my life. But the few times I actually decide to get my life together, clean my room, finish a couple things earlier than needed, it just feels too good. It’s essential to give your life some order and give everything a place so you can be productive at all times.

 

11. Being vulnerable is not a bad thing

This goes hand and hand with processing emotions. I know society has set this standard that displaying your emotions is a sign of weakness, but I think it’s actually the opposite. Being vulnerable takes so much courage because to do it, you have to be in the right place mentally and emotionally. Being vulnerable is not only good for you, but good for those around. It’s hard for people to reach out to you if you always give them the impression that you’re always doing good. Create friendships and relationships that are deep and intimate so you feel trusted enough to share that side of you.

 

10. People cannot read your mind

TELL PEOPLE WHAT YOU WANT! I know for me it has become too effortless to give people mental expectations and when I see them physically not being met, I’m upset. How are people supposed to know what you want from them if you don’t tell them? Some things are common sense though, like I shouldn’t have to expect you not to cheat on me–you should just know not to do that. But sometimes you have standards that align with your morals, and not everyone has the same morals as you (which goes along with my next point). That’s when you have to inform people what you accept and expect from them.

 

9. People are not like you

My mom has always reiterated this to me. I would be like, “Why would _____ do that? I would never do that!” She would reply, “Well, NaTyah, you have to realize that not everybody thinks the same way you do.” That right there blows my mind. Some things I just feel like people should and should not do because it’s right or because it’s wrong, but people are wired differently from me, and that’s okay. Because people are not like me, and I get to learn from others due to them having different perspectives, values, and experiences than me. But always remember that just because people are not like you does not give you the right to disrespect what they believe in!

 

8. Your body is a temple

Treat your body with respect and don’t compare it to those around you–which is easier said than done, I know. You’re going to be living in your body until you die, and that means it deserves only the best. Make it unique! Pierce it, put tattoos on it, etc. One thing you shouldn’t do is reveal it to those who don’t deserve it or put it in any situations that will make you feel uncomfortable. Appreciate your body and give it the recognition it warrants.

 

7. Self discipline is for your own good

This is definitely easier said than done. I know for me once I see something that I want, I NEED to get it right then and there–especially if I have the money for it. This always comes back and bite me in butt, though. I think that I have estimated my total expenses, but there’s always something I forget, and this is why it’s important for me to not spend every penny I have and actually save. This is just an example for me, self-discipline goes beyond money. It can be for behaviors, thoughts, emotions, etc. Self-discipline stems from self-respect. Not following through with your goals and falling into temptations is doing a disservice to yourself!

 

6. Love your family, hard

I know this could be difficult depending on the situation you might be in, but if you have a healthy relationship with your family, make sure you let them know how much you love them. Every day is a gift, and you should be thankful that those you love in your life are alive and you get to share memories with them. It’s easy to forget to remind those who love you the most that you love them too because it’s assumed. Don’t let your love be an unspoken assumption.

 

5. Let go of pride

This is still very challenging for me to do. Pride can be the cause for so many lost relationships, friendships, opportunities, etc. For me, my pride prevents me from being the first to admit that I’m sorry or that I’m wrong. Pride derives from the lack of confidence and happiness most times, and that is not something you want to exemplify to others. Especially if you are wanting to become a leader, it is crucial to let that ego go!

 

4. Long distance relationships are doable

I remember thinking I would never be in a long distance relationship because of the complications I might face. I was in a long distance relationship for my entire freshman year of college. There were so many distractions and temptations, but the thing that stopped me from falling into them was the fact that I knew my partner. I asked myself the following questions: “How would ______ feel if I did this?” “How would I feel if ______ did this to me?” “Would I do this if ______ was here next to me?” Long distance is easier than what people make it seem if those involved in the relationship truly love AND trust each other. It can be done!

 

3. Toxicity is in the eyes of the beholder

I remember having a particular friendship, and at some point in time we split up and now we aren’t as close. I seen that person recently and she explained to me how toxic I was in her life. I was in awe. You could think that you’re doing everything in your power to do pure good in someone’s life, but in their eyes you could really be ruining it. It is a hard pill to swallow but realize that, as I said before, we all aren’t wired the same way. 

 

2. Talk to God

Talk to whichever religious spirit you believe in! As humans, we get into the routine of believing that we can do everything on our own and once we get in that mindset, we’re letting God know that we don’t need Him–which is definitely not true because when things go bad, where will we be? On our knees praying. I like to remind myself of this truth when I’m feeling hurt or betrayed by God: God is in control of my life–He allowed this to happen for HIS purposes as apart of His plan for me, and everything that feels bad to me is not necessarily bad for me. Whether things are going good or bad, talk to God! He wants a relationship with you and He wants you to know Him just as thoroughly as He knows you.

 

1. Listen to different kinds of music

Listening to the same genre can get boring. It is too easy to listen to one song of one genre and determine whether or not if you like it. There are sub-genres to more generalized genres and sub-genres to those sub-genres! Listen to a little bit of everything because you can get connected to a community who might also have similar interests with you as well. Expand your horizons and get out of your comfort zone!

 

These are the 19 most important things that I’ve learned in my 19 years of life on Earth. What do you think? Do you agree or disagree? Follow my socials and let me know!

I am a sophomore at the University of North Texas with a major in integrative studies which allows me to choose 3 concentrations and study them all at once. Mine are business, communications, and marketing with a double minor in African American and women gender studies. I am sociable, as some would say, and funny, as most would say. I would call myself an introvert that is an extrovert. Honestly, I am trying to still figure me and my journey out and I hope you can join me for the ride.
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