There are so many things I wish I knew when I was younger. Lessons I’ve learned, experiences that have shaped me, mistakes I’ve learned from and more. I feel like I’ve grown so much in the last few years, and ladies, I’m sure you feel the same. So, here are some things I wish I’d known when I was younger.
1. Get out of the house sometimes! You have friends for a reason. Hang out with them!
2. Don’t be afraid to say “yes”, but know when to say “no”.
3. However cliché this sounds, don’t knock it until you try it. This can apply to nearly everything.
4. You don’t have to be great at everything you do! All you have to do is love it.
5. Other people don’t get to decide who you are. Only you get to do that.
6. Never be ashamed of what you love.
7. All of your feelings are valid, even if people tell you they aren’t.
8. There is life beyond the SAT. Standardized tests aren’t the end of the world.
9. Not everyone will like you, but that’s okay. Surround yourself with the people that do.
10. Have standards, but keep your expectations in check.
11. DO. YOUR. HOMEWORK. Just trust me on this one. It’s worth it.
12. Dress up sometimes! Chances are that if you look good, you’ll feel good too!
13. Don’t let who you date define who you are. There’s more to life than relationships.
14. Your opinion of yourself is so much more important than others’ opinions of you.
15. It’s okay to stay home and take a mental health day every once and a while. Everyone needs a break sometimes!
16. Numbers don’t define who you are. You’re more than your weight, SAT score, class rank, and grade point average.
17. Tell your family you love them more often. They know you love them, but it’s always nice to hear it.
18. People will grow and change, and you will too. There isn’t anyone to blame for friendships drifting apart.
19. Stick with your volunteer work. It’s so rewarding in the end.
20. Some relationships aren’t meant to last, and that’s okay. Enjoy them while you can.
21. Don’t let one bad experience ruin something you love forever.
22. Sometimes, self-love takes a lifetime to find. Don’t worry; you’ll get there eventually.
23. Just wear your retainer. You’ll thank me later.
24. Don’t rely on other’s experiences to form your opinions. Hold your judgement until you experience something yourself.
25. Break off from the crowd and do your own thing sometimes.
26. Be nice to the underclassmen. We were all in their shoes at one point.
27. Make a friend in every class you go to. Boring lectures are so much better when you have someone to roll your eyes with.
28. Some relationships are mean to last forever, so cherish those with all you’ve got. Those are the people that will always love you.
29. Take pictures of everything, especially your friends. Memories fade, but pictures never will. They’ll give you something to remember when you’re older.
30. Take time for yourself. There’s nothing wrong with turning your phone off and spending an entire Sunday in bed with Netflix.
31. There’s nothing wrong with wearing hand-me-downs or thrift store clothing.
32. Don’t keep your emotions bottled up. If you’re upset with someone, tell them. If you need help, talk to someone.
33. Getting a summer job is so worth it, even if you hate what you do. You’ll thank yourself later for putting the time in.
34. Clubs look great on applications, and they give you a reason to get out of the house.
35. It’s okay to have friends that are different ages than you, just use common sense.
36. Keep an open mind. People change, opinions change, and situations change. You should be willing to change with them.
37. It’s not cool to hate things. Nobody wants to hear you constantly complain, so find something to be happy about.
38. Cherish your pets. All they do is unconditionally love you, and they won’t be around forever.
39. Life isn’t always fair, so don’t expect it to be. Just be thankful for what you do get.
40. Last, but not least, open your heart to the people around you. Life is more fun if you love and let yourself be loved.
Share these lessons with your little sisters, your younger cousins and friends. Share this with everyone. These lessons are so important, and may just make growing up a little bit easier. But, it’s not truly growing up if you don’t make a few mistakes on the way…and life is pretty awesome regardless of our mistakes. We’re so proud of the way we all turned out.
Embrace yourselves, Collegiettes. You’re amazing.