"Nineteen things I’ve learned before I turned nineteen.
1. Always carry $5 and a lighter with you (even if you don’t smoke).
2. Ask every person you meet how their day is going. Genuinely ask with the soul intention of learning how their day is. Ask the coffee shop employee. Ask the person next to you in line at Walmart. Ask your distant friend. Ask everyone.
3. Take many photos of yourself. Take photos of yourself when you’re happy. Take photos of yourself when you’re sad. Take photos of yourself because there are millions of trees in the world, and we all look at the same sky, but there is only one of you.
4. Stay in contact with your parents. Try not to hate them. They are the reason you have the ability to feel anything at all. Try not to hate your parents.
5. Opening your skin will not set your demons free. Open your heart. Open your mind. Open your hands.
6. Nobody knows anybody completely. That’s okay.
7. Be gentle, but be aggressive. Take a stand. Nobody hears your voice if you stay silent.
8. Respect everybody. We are all humans trying to survive. We all deserve respect.
9. Wearing black will ALWAYS make you feel better about yourself.
10. Always give tips, whether it be a couple extra dollars or a piece of mind. You never know how much you could be helping someone.
11. Change is the only thing consistent in life. Do not allow that bother you. Embrace chance and move with life, whichever direction it chooses to take you.
12. Smile often. Smile at strangers. Smile at your friends. Smile when nobody is looking and you’re alone in your bedroom. Smile when somebody is rambling to you.
13. Body image means nothing. Your body is merely just a seatbelt in the car. Your body is here to protect you. You choose the direction you go, and your body will not hold you back. Only you can hold yourself back.
14. Don’t hold grudges. Don’t allow yourself to hate anybody. Forgive them. Learn to love them for the person you never got to see them to be. Believe that a beautiful human exists in that person. Wish them well.
15. Drink orange juice. Lot’s of it.
16. Don’t allow the opinions of others to choose your destiny. We are all simply trying to live our own life.
17. Sing all the time. Sing off key. Sing in a silly voice. Sing like you’re on stage. Sing no matter who is around. Singing is breathing for the soul. Sing.
18. Take time to think. Write your feelings down. Write letters to the people you love. Texting is overrated and not as heartfelt as a nice handwritten letter.
19. Live for yourself. Breathe for yourself. Do everything in your life for nobody but you. This is your life. This is it."
- Internships are the building blocks of your résumé. Apply to them. Meet people.
- Choose a degree that is relevant to the real world. Minor in History if you love it so much.
- Everyone knows how to use Microsoft Office. Putting it under the “Skills” section of your résumé is not impressive.
- See the world. This is the only time you have in your life to spend months in a foreign country. Take advantage of your lack of responsibility to travel.
- 99.9% of employers will never look at your transcript. A 4.0 GPA will not land you a job. Good interpersonal skills might.
- No employer cares whether you were on the executive board of your fraternity or sorority or other campus organization. Serve the organization because you love it, not simply to use it as space-filler on your résumé.
- Proofread everything. Twice. Or else no one will believe that you’re “detial-oriented.”
- You have four (or five) years to make something of yourself. Use that time wisely.
- Go out with your friends on a Tuesday night despite having a test on Wednesday. The test won’t matter in ten years, but your friendships will.
- Do not expect the college senior to fall in love with you after you sleep together. Actually, just don’t sleep together. This will not end well.
- Really get to know your professors. Use office hours to your advantage. You never know what doors they can open for you.
- Graduate school is rarely a good idea, especially if you’re only using it to delay the real world for a few years. The more money you make now, the less debt you’ll have later.
- Realize that you will be in debt until you’re forty. Make peace with this early.
- One bad grade won’t ruin your life. Get over yourself.
- Beware of credit cards. No matter what they say, money isn’t free.
- Don’t burn bridges. You never know when you might need help from someone.
- Eat good food. Nothing will make you feel worse than six straight nights of Ramen.
- Buy a plunger before you actually need said plunger. Just trust me on this one.
- Press save. It will keep you from having that 4:00am mental breakdown.
- All-nighters will not help you learn the material. Budget time throughout the day to study so that you can actually sleep before the final exam.
- Use a condom. No one wants that “I’m late” text.
- Work during the summers. Employers want someone with real-life experience.
- Call your mom once a week. She wants to stay involved in your life, and a twenty-minute phone conversation won’t kill you.
- You have four years to learn your alcohol limit. This will save you from puking at the office Christmas party.
- The college cafeteria will make you fat. So will alcohol. Be careful about what you’re putting into your body.
- Find a few hours each week to work out. Cardio is great stress relief.
- So is sex. Booty calls are sometimes necessary. Don’t beat yourself up for it in the morning.
- Learn to cook. Eating out is expensive and unhealthy. A few basics can last you a long time.
- Take pictures. Not everything has to be posted to Instagram, but you will want to have these memories documented.
- Volunteer. Not because you have to, but because you want to. The Humane Society always needs people to play with the animals.
- Learn how to budget. Your parents won’t be around to give you money forever.
- Buy shower shoes. Use them. Save yourself from foot fungus.
- Beer is expensive. Buy vodka.
- Interviews are nerve-wracking. Practice with a friend before you go.
- Find good references. They can be the difference between being offered your dream job and being turned down.
- It’s okay to turn down your first job offer to wait for a better one. Have faith in yourself.
- If you’re treated like a slave at your internship, it’s okay to leave. Find a company that sees your worth.
- Learn how to code HTML. This is an invaluable skill.
- Also learn Photoshop. Every company in the world needs someone who can design a poster.
- Take a couple classes just for fun. There’s a difference between smart and educated.
- Know your priorities. Stick to them.
- Start searching for a job a year before you graduate. It takes time to find something you want.
- Apply for jobs you may not be completely qualified for. You may be the only applicant.
- Don’t get too discouraged when you fail at something. Lay in bed for two days. Cry. Then get back up and start living again.
- Everyone has something to teach you. Listen to them.
- Make mistakes, but be sure to learn from them.
- Textbooks are expensive and you will never need them again. Rent, don’t buy.
- No one will ever care how wasted you were last night. They saw it first hand. Shut up.
- No one is responsible for you except you. Think twice before you do something.
- Don’t think that these have to be the best four years of your life. Life after graduation is pretty awesome too.