Hello, my sunshines!
It’s July 14th and I turn 19 years old today. Sounds really strange to say that… It’s my last year being a teen. Next year, I’ll be 20, ¡uyyyy, no, deja eso! A lot of things happened when I turned 18. There were a lot of changes that impacted my life for the good which is why I wanted to share 18 things that I learned in my journey of being eighteen
1. Change Is Inevitable
If there’s one thing that I’ve learned at 18 is that I am always facing a state of change. College, friends, love life, and your personality are constantly changing. A gal like me who studied for 12 years with the same people in the same school was going to college without knowing anyone. It was scary! But thanks to those changes, I’ve become a better person, mature and somewhat independent.
2. It’s Okay To Cry
In elementary, I was known to be the sensitive kid. I would literally cry about anything: whether you pushed me by accident or if I got a B in math. Years have gone by and I’ve controlled myself but sometimes I just burst into tears. For many people it can be embarrassing to cry in front of others but for me, it feels relieving. When we cry, we get rid of toxins out of our body that can induce stress. While we’re busy crying our lungs out, we release endorphins (happy hormones) that makes you feel at ease afterwards. Let out a good cry once in a while! It’s good for you. NEVER bottle up your feelings!!
3. Everything Takes Time
This took me a while to sink in. I am a person that likes to do things fast so I can move to another task. That, being said, I can be a bit desperate achieving something. However, goals are not meant to be a short-term thing. The process of reaching your goals can be a slow and tedious process but in the end, it was worth the wait. I want to become a better photographer but to acquire knowledge of photography, I have to study for two more years. Remember guys, Rome wasn’t built within a day!
4. Read, Participate, Learn
This is a VERY valuable lesson I’ve learned in my first year of college. I saw too many people uninterested about learning (they think that looks cool but for any person or an intellect that’s a turn off). Professors LOVE it when you do your research and ask questions. Nothing makes them happier than to have a student who actually tries to look interested in the class. Who knows, maybe in the future they can recommend you cool jobs or help you out if you’re struggling in the class.
5. Get Out Of Your Comfort Zone
Let’s face it, millennials are not known to stick with a long-term routine. At 18, a side of me had an urge to discover new things. I wanted to get out of my comfort zone more often. I wanted to eat in new places, meet new people and go to different places where I’m not so used to going (*cough* jangueos *cough*). This small urge that I had in the back of my mind for years, awakened my personality. Now, I know what are things that I like and the things that are not my vibe. I still have a long way to go but this is just the beginning.
6. Be Gentle With Yourself
I am still in the process of learning this valuable lesson. I am a perfectionist. If I don’t see things are coming out a certain way, I would punish myself by saying really negative stuff in my mind. When I had stressful days, I went home crushed and depressed. Now, when I have days like those, I come home and I drink green tea, listen to music, light some candles and try to calm myself. Treat your body right! You deserve all the good things in life. Remember, you’re doing the best you can and that’s all that matters.
7. Jobs Can Suck
It may sound cool to say “sorry, I have work” but in reality, it can suck. My first job was at a retail store and I thought I was going to love it because it was a boutique. I was pressured to be an extrovert, dress in a certain way and harass people to buy the clothes or my boss would scream at me. I would go home crying because the pressure was too much but I had to suck it up. In this world, you will work with a lot of bosses and deal with a lot of clients. What’s a good thing about work? Pay day and you gain experience along the journey. Even though I hated my job, I’ve learned to engage with strangers and satisfy their needs.
8. Mom Is 95% Right Of The Time
LISTEN TO YOUR MOMMA!!! We all have our fights with our moms and we may not discuss certain things with them but never doubt her when she doesn’t get a good vibe from a friend or a “jevo/jeva”. In the end, she is going to be right and we all dislike it when we hear “I told you so”. They know what’s best for us! My mom is like my best friend and even if I disagree on her about something, I know she does it because she cares.
9. Write Everything Down
TRUST ME ON THIS ONE! If you’re one who has a difficult time expressing yourself with others, write it down. If you look at my notes in my iPhone, you will find 100+ of poems, letters and random thoughts or words. If I feel very romantic, I would write about a very peculiar moment that made my heart flutter (*cough* kef, if you’re reading this, I already changed my password so you can’t read them *cough*). If I feel overwhelmed, I would write down all my worries and make a list of things I am grateful for. Sometimes writing can be more effective than talking it out.
10. Take Pictures of Everything
A picture is a long lasting memory. You never know what can happen tomorrow so go ahead and take pictures. Take pictures of your cat, a plant, mom, best friend, or your significant other. Every time you take a picture, you’re capturing history. Maybe in a year things have changed or stayed the same. Show other people how you perceive the world!
11. Accept That you Will Be Wrong
We are in a phase where we all think that we’re right about everything. It is time to accept when we are wrong, it sucks, I know. ALWAYS listen other people and then you could give out your opinion. That’s part of becoming mature. I wouldn’t want to have a friend who is arrogant and think he’s the smartest person in the planet. Anyone can hear but not many people can listen!
12. Dress for Success
If any friend from college is reading this, you know that I am always put together. Perhaps it seems extra to dress really pretty everyday to college but I really don’t care what other people think about it. I found out that when I took my time to put together outfits, I felt confident throughout the day. It gives a very good impression that you are organized and responsible. Plus, it feels nice when someone compliments your outfit!
13. Embrace Your Skin
Having acne in your late teens sucks. It makes you somewhat less confident of going all natural. In high school, I didn’t put makeup on because I was in an all girls school. However, the first days of college I would cake my face everyday to hide my bumpy red skin. I realized halfway through the semester that people don’t care if you have acne or not. Having this in mind, I started to wear less makeup. It still bothers me to have acne but I’m learning to live with it. Gotta love my imperfections!
14. You Shouldn’t Compare Yourself To Others
I am still struggling with this one. In high school, there was always a competition of who’s the smartest kid in the class. I would get angry if I got an 88 and another girl 90. In college, I noticed that I was not happy or satisfied with my photography because I kept thinking “fulano’s art is way better”. In order to be happy and proud of your work, is to never compare yourself to others. If you do, you will live your life unhappy.
15. Stick With A Healthy Lifestyle
I can’t stress this enough. I see a lot of people smoking and drinking almost everyday (which it’s totally okay, you do you, boo!) However, at this age, we tend to abandon our bodies and eat unhealthy foods. You don’t have to eat like a rabbit but having a somewhat healthy lifestyle will make you feel better and your body will thank you. Drink plenty of water, take the stairs, eat a bit of veggies and you’ll see a difference.
16. Enjoy Some Time Alone
Back in high school, I was obsessed by the idea of having someone by my side telling me cute stuff. I always associated the word “alone” with “sadness”. After hundredths of miserable attempts to make a guy like me back, I gave up. When I stopped caring about boys, I started to enjoy my own company. I would go to the movies alone, eat lunch, take walks and enjoy the beach. I filled voids I had in my heart with self-love.
17. Wake Up Early
As much as staying in sleeping sounds wonderful, I feel unproductive if I get out of bed at noon. If I push myself to wake up early, I can do all my tasks and chores sooner so I have time to relax in the afternoon. I am not a morning person but I cannot just lay in bed all day looking at my phone. Because of this, I started to work out in the mornings, make healthy breakfasts, write a little, and plan the day. It has turned my mornings way more fun and it keeps me with a positive mood throughout the day.
18. Positive Mind = Positive Life
I’ve learned this lesson the hard way. At some point, I felt that life was always an “what if” and I would point out the negative stuff about my day. I realized that having negativity in my life, I would perceive life as a cold and bad place. If you change your mind into thinking that everything is going to be okay, eventually you’ll see life as a brighter one. It may be hard at first, believe me, I am still struggling with this one. You should always know that everything will turn out to be alright and you’ll be okay. I wasn’t used to having so many changes in my life within one year, therefore, I was overwhelmed by everything. But now, I am prepared for anything and nothing will stop me. I am aiming for the stars!
Those are my 18 lessons that I learned when I turned eighteen. It’s been a crazy year, however, it sure did some good for my soul. I still have a lot to learn about life and eventually I’ll face some darker paths but I’ll be okay. I can’t wait what life has for me! I can’t wait to see the world, love more, enjoy more food, and most importantly, I can’t wait to see how much things will change in the next year. Until next time!