19 lessons I've learnt at 19


Discailmer: In Canada, 19 is the big year when teens move on to adulthood, hence why we have 19 lessons rather than the usual 18…

1. You never stop growing

With naivety and immaturity, some thoughts can appear too concrete in our minds. Especially things like interests, goals, and priorities are fluid ideas that are subject to change after new experiences and life lessons.

2. “I don’t have time for it right now” is a bad excuse

Though it may seem like there is never enough time to check off everything on your bucketlist, it definitely is possible through prioritizing and perseverance. In a single day, there is a limited amount of time. Add to that, classes and necessities (Eg, eating, sleeping, and exercising), there is an even smaller amount of free time left. However, even in one of the most rigorous program - engineering - I have found that there is some free time in every day, that if put to good use, can add up to mean something significant.

3. Ambition can be harmful, too

Continuing on from the last lesson… Ambition can also harm a person when it comes in large maginitudes or long durations. When a person becomes too focused on their goals, it can hinder their abilities to care for their physical and mental health. It is important to work towards achieving goals at a healthy pace that your brain and body can handle.

4. Choose to be happy

From meeting new people and having fresh conversations, I have learnt that happiness is heavily reliant on perspectives. While pessimists see happiness as spikes in a typically flat line, optimists see happiness as the flat line with occasional dips which represent some not so happy moments.

5. Some friendships never die

Maybe I am a little too young to use the word “never”, but when everybody in high school promised to stay in touch with each other, I was skeptical. I have always been a skeptical person in that I do not easily believe in others’ opinions or ideas until I have witnessed enough proof for myself. However, having gone through some of the hardest times with my best friends, I now believe that there are certain friendships that will last for a long long time.

6. I am super lucky

Sometimes, being secluded in my little city, in my little school, it is easy to forget the hardship that exists out there. Not many people around me realize that we exist in the top 1% of people living. We should always be reflective and appreciative of what we have because it is so easy to lose perspective.

7. Music can change a lot

Memories. Friedships. Emotions. Stress. Music can contribute to any of these easily

8. Be kind

I know this is one of the first lessons we learn as a kid, but, seriously, be kind to one another. In our rapidly changing society, it seems as if everybody has an input on literally any topic, whether it be big or small. As important as it is too spread awareness to important subjects and to end the stigma on rotten ideas, there is also an equal amount of (if not more) hate spreading among these debates. Everybody should just focus on their own lives and participate in discussions that have a direct impact on their own lives. Let others live THEIR lives however they want to.

“If you don’t have something nice to say, then don’t say it.”

9. Express love to those that you love often

Even though your loved ones probably know how much you love them, it is important to express that in words occasionally. It is always warm to hear that you are loved.

10. Make a plan

I am a sucker for to-do lists. Not only does it serve as a reminder for my poor memory, it also supplies a certain satisfaction in checking off the little box after having completed a task, whether big or small.

11. Reflect often

I began journalling at the end of last summer, however, I soon realized it wasn’t as effective as I imagined it. It was taking up a lot of precious time that I should’ve spent studying and ended up in the back of my bookshelf. I realized that bullet journaling is something that may help me in the future, maybe after I have a routine during work, etc. For now, I will stick to my method of journalling: documenting significant event in five words or less.

11. Perseverence is hard

The alternative of perseverence, giving up, is possibly the easiest route any student can take. And, giving up is not necessarily synonymous with dropping out of school. Some people can and do achieve amazing goals with their lives without the guidance of university, however, dropping out of school to live a meaningless, lazy life is what I mean by giving up. My tip is to listen to Jordan Peterson whenever this feeling is prominent because he is one of the most motivating speakers that may just have the exact words you need to hear to get back on track.

12. Treat yourself

Self care and self love is the new thing! Treat yourself after having worked hard on a project, a course, or a workout!

13. Learn to say no

In the past, I used to believe that flaking on plans with friends was the worst thing you could do. Now, I truly believe that it is 100% acceptable to cancel on plans if you are not in the right mindset and need to take a mental day.

14. Live a litte

Sometimes, I need to stop worrying about every person and every little detail and just let loose so my mind can relaxxx.

15. My family is my everything

This speaks for itself. My parents have sacrificed everything for my brother and I, and even then, all they ask for is for us to be healthy and happy. I am forever grateful of my happy little family and can only hope that I can grow up to treat them half as well as they have for me.

16. Have a little faith

Ask for help when needed and trust in others. Trust in the system. Trust in yourself!

17. Forgive and forget

For their sake and yours, grudges don’t help anyone. Just be aware of the lesson learnt and be more careful to avoid it in the future.

18. Speak your feelings

If you feel like fighting, then fight. If you feel like arguing, then argue. Sometimes the little things are better spoken even if it leads to an argument. It is important to speak your thoughts and give both parties a chance to stand up for themselves. If everything just continues to get pushed down, you have to live unhappily, while the other is clueless about it.

19. Live in the moment

As someone that overthinks everything, I often find myself feeling sad in happy situations because I am fast forwarding ahead to when the moment ends. One of the biggest goals I have made for myself is to try to forget everything else and just enjoy the moment while it lasts, and accepting that it will be sad when it ends but more happy moments will come.