It’s not my birthday just yet. At the same time, in a mere 20 days, I will no longer be 19. It’s a hard thing to come to terms with. I tried wrapping my head around it for the longest! There are a lot of things that come with getting older…credit cards, relationships, graduating, moving out, etc. I’m not anywhere near half of those things just yet. I’ve still got 2 more years “officially” until I have to trek out on my own. I learned a lot in the last 19 years that will help me grow into my 20’s and come to terms that I’m not a teenager anymore. I want to share 6 of them with you now.
1. Taxes Suck, but You Can Make Them Your Friend.
This one’s boring, but a good starting point, I promise! I think everyone hates taxes. Honestly, I’m surprised that I’m filing mine. Now that I started my LLC, I am annually. People talk about how horrible the IRS is, but I’m making it work in my favor! Because I run my own business, 95% of what I do on a day-to-day basis over the fiscal year is now expensable. Any travel expenses, new lenses, food or lunches with brands or other creatives, everything is expensable. Even my gas! Talk to the people around you to help you learn these little things because it can truly pay off in the long run.
2. People Come and Go, but Don’t Let That Define You.
In some ways, being 19 really sucked. Saying that, I’m gonna look back when I’m older and know that this was truly nothing. In the middle of it all, it seemed like my world was falling apart. It’s not that I lost a boyfriend or a real relationship. I lost some of the people who I put my trust in at vital parts of my life. Looking at what I did and how the situation went down, there are a lot of things that could have gone differently on everyone’s parts. I can’t dwell on that. I let half of my year, also known as my first year of college, define my life at the end of my teenage years.
That was a time when I was supposed to be going out and enjoying my life. Instead, I spent my time sitting in my bed, wrapped in my housecoat, wondering where I went wrong. People are not always meant to be in your life. It’s hard to come to terms with, but it’s really true. You can’t let people define who you are and stand in your way.
3. It’s Okay to Not Know Where You Want to Go in Life.
Earlier this semester, I wanted into a professor’s office and blatantly asked if they thought I should be in their class. Not that I’m a bad student or I was failing, geez it was the first week of classes, but instead because I was unsure of if I belonged. I didn’t know if I should continue on with the class because I didn’t know if I was as smart as everyone else or if I was good enough.
Stop doubting yourself and know that it’s okay to not know at 19 that you want to be Pre-Med and be a neurologist one day. I have a general idea of what I want for my life and it’s becoming my guiding factor on a daily basis. Especially if you’re in college, not knowing is the best part because you get to try new things and really find who you really are and want to be.
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4. Watch Your Health and Your Mind and Love Yourself.
I’ve been so bad at this since I was about 16, which is a different story for a different day. I know that I’ve only got one body and I need to treat it like it’s a temple, but there are times when I don’t use lotion because I’m lazy or don’t eat dinner because I genuinely don’t feel bothered to get out of bed. Health is a fragile thing and at any moment, you can crack. It’s so important to take care of yourself in your late teenage years because this helps form some of the many habits and traits you adopt in your 20s and form your life around. Love yourself because you’re the only self you have.
5. Don’t Let Society Pressure You into Anything.
I don’t know if this one needs an explanation, but you’re getting one anyway. Never feel like you need to change who you are to please society or someone. Don’t go losing 20 lbs for a new revenge body because your boyfriend called you fat and dumped you. He’s a loser and needed to exit stage right from your life ASAP. Don’t let the gorgeous blonde, photoshopped girls on magazine covers make you starve yourself until you end up in a hospital because you want to be like them. They don’t even look like them.
Your friends keep calling you a prude because you just haven’t found the one guy you wanna have sex with? Well, tell them to piss off because you will know when it’s right for you too because at the end of the day, your body is your own and no one else’s. Societal pressures are at their highest now and some of the worst they’ve ever been. You see the thousands of “IG models” making hundreds of thousands of dollars online because that’s just who they are, but don’t let society change who you are just to make people like you. These pressures and how they affect you are not something that can wish away with a simple heel tap in ruby slippers, but it’s such a needed thing if you want to progress and grow into yourself.
6. Get Out of Your Comfort Zone!
I never thought I’d get out of my comfort zone when I was 17. I thought I was going to get to where I am today without sending an Instagram DM or an email, just passing through life. I’m an introvert and getting out of my comfort zone has led me around the world. I’ve experienced so many new things and met so many beautiful people in this world because I pushed myself, so push yourself to do something new and fun. Enjoy your life and don’t just let it pass you by.
If you’re 19 or 20 and coming to terms with the fact that you’re not a little kid anymore, I really do hope that this post helped. It really did help me to write these things out for you all so maybe they will come in handy to someone who had a lot of the same thoughts I did going into my 20’s.