• Skyler Neal

19 Things I've Learned at 19

Updated: Nov 27, 2017


A lot of people don't know what they're talking about. People base their opinions on their own life experience, however, your life is different than theirs. One piece of advice could be really helpful to one person and very unhelpful to another. This isn't to say don't take any advice but don't blindly follow people you look up to. Nobody can be right all the time, even the people you respect and admire.

2. LAUGH AT YOURSELF. Taking yourself too seriously is a big mistake. Slipped on the stairs and fell on your butt in front of all your peers? Made a joke but no one laughed? So what. It's okay to not execute everything gracefully, you're probably not a ballerina. All I'm saying is that down the road you'll probably be laughing at yourself anyway so why not start now? Take it from someone who embarrasses herself all the time. You're going to be okay ;).

3. BE YOURSELF Ugh I know, another cliché, but hey, take this one seriously. Don't waste your time trying to please everyone around you because that isn't going to make you happy. Buying into the superficiality of keeping up appearances is boring as hell. I think a lot of people struggle with this including me. Over the years I've come more and more out of my shell and let me tell you I'm having way more fun because of it.

4. FIND YOUR DEFINITION OF HAPPINESS Our society tends to tell us what to do and what not to do in order to fit into this societal mold of what happiness looks like. Well, it doesn't take a genius to tell you that that's bull****. It's hard, however, to catch these little un-helpful messages we receive every day from commercials, other people, tv shows, etc. These messages are trapped in your subconscious and holding you back from finding true happiness. You need to define happiness for yourself in order to find it.


Take a breath, chill, distract yourself, then come back to the situation. Reacting with emotional impulses never helps any situation. Take a break to cool down and think about the situation, then decide how you want to react. Unless you love drama, in that case just do the opposite of what I'm telling you to do.

6. TAKE CARE OF YOUR BODY Drink lot's of water, eat mostly healthy, workout. These are all things that will increase your energy and ultimately put you in a better mood. You don't have to have the perfect diet or workout routine to be healthy, I mean who has time for that anyway? If you make your health a priority, you will find what works best for you. I workout around four or five times a week. A trick I've learned to save more time for the fun stuff is to multi-task while working out. I'll watch videos on subjects I want to learn more about or read books in order to pass the time. This has made a huge difference in my time management throughout the day.

7. TAKE CARE OF YOUR MIND There's a huge pressure to be perfect these days because of several factors, which I'm not going to get into here but one of the big ones is social media. You can't be perfect. I repeat you CAN'T be perfect. Perfection is a myth. It's sold to you in ads and media but it does not exist. It exists in the minds of advertisers for the sole purpose of selling you the idea that if you have whatever product they are selling you will finally be perfect!! Nope.

8. TREAT YO' SELF It's okay to treat yourself to a nice warm hot cocoa on a chilly afternoon or buy yourself a new bottle of nail polish because you passed your final exam. But I will say this, treating yourself should only be a reward for something you accomplished, otherwise people would be treating themselves for sitting on the couch all day and that, while admirable to all couch potatoes, really isn't something to reward yourself over, no offense.

9. DON'T TAKE SH** FROM ANYBODY If you know you're right, deep down inside you, then follow your gut and stand up for yourself. We are told to always be polite and nice even when we are being put down by someone. Control the situation and handle it like Donald Trump would "WRONG!" "YOU'RE WRONG." "I'M ALWAYS RIGHT" "#NOREGRETS." Hopefully, you get sarcasm, but maybe just be a bit more mature than that when you stand up for yourself.

10. DON'T OVERDOSE ON CAFFEINE Maybe it's just me but I feel like everyone I know is sooo tired like all the time. Well, I'm tired of hearing about it so go get yourself a cup of coffee. 1-3 cups are what the average American consumes, any more than that, and you're going to be buzzin'. I've "overdosed" on caffeine twice in my life and I thought I was dying and it was NOT fun. I do not recommend it.

11. TREAT EVERYONE WITH KINDNESS There's a difference between being nice and being kind. Kindness is genuine, it runs deeper. Being nice is just a superficial societal demand that you don't have to follow. Just be kind ok? ok.

12. NOT EVERYTHING IS ABOUT YOU JEEZ The most miserable people in the world are the most selfish people. They only care about themselves and because they're all wrapped up in their own little problems and dilemmas, they can't see the beauty around them. There is a beauty in helping other people and being thankful for everything you have because you know a lot of people have A LOT less.

13. DON'T BURY YOUR EMOTIONS Break down if you have to. Let yourself feel pain because it's healthy. It'll be a lot more painful down the road if you hold it all in. It's like waiting for a volcano to explode. Mini explosions are better than big ones.

14. YOU CAN'T RUN AWAY You can try to escape your issues because they will follow you wherever you go. It's hard resisting the urge to ignore your problems but you need to face them. The sooner you face them the sooner it will be resolved.

15. NOTHING IS SIMPLE Everything has many sides to its story. The details matter but don't give yourself a headache analyzing and overthinking. Acceptance that there may not be an answer is the best thing you can do.

16. WHO GIVES A FLYING FUDGE Act like it's not a big deal, and other people will follow. You have a choice to either give a negative situation the power or give that power to yourself. I remember back in high school, it was two weeks from prom and I needed a date. I finally got up the nerve to casually ask this guy if he wanted to hang out sometime (and maybe go to prom). I didn't think it was a big deal. Well, let's just say he thought it was a joke and I felt like a joke myself for a couple of days. Then I got pissed because he decided to tell a couple of his friends. By that time I was over the situation but his friends were drawing it out way longer than it needed to be. I mean really? Their lives must be so boring to be interested in my life. That's the perspective I had throughout the entire ordeal and it worked because the moment they saw they couldn't get a reaction out of me was the moment I took the power back. So go ahead and take your power back too.

17. ACT LIKE YOU'RE HOT, EVEN IF YOU'RE A HOT MESS As they say, fake it till' ya make it. Everyone feels like a plastic bag at some point in their lives, that's normal. Before you find that spark of success, whatever that means to you, act like you are confident. Confidence is attractive and it can be an influential key to winning at life.

18. PEOPLE COME AND PEOPLE GO The thought that people will come into your life and come out of it for reasons only the "universe" knows, isn't complete bull****. Know that the right people will come into your life at the right moment. Sometimes they leave and it hurts like hell for a while but you will not be alone forever. Personally, I have a lot of good friends but unfortunately, they are all over the country. If only I had a private jet so I could hang out with them. My point is, I feel lonely sometimes too, everyone does at some point, therefore, you are NOT alone. Remind yourself that nothing last's forever, even loneliness.

19. YOU CAN'T FIX EVERYTHING I'm the worst at remembering this. I want everything to be perfectly dealt with in a speedy fashion but since that is impossible I end up crashing and burning. Relax. Focus on what is important. Take a breather. Do whatever you need to do to get a healthier perspective on the situation. Not everything can be fixed. The sooner you accept this the better you will be.

#lifelessons #beyourself #birthday #noregrets #advice