They said when you turn older, you turn wiser as well. Based on my experience, that’s not the case at all. (My intro is soooo cheesy!!!) Now that I turned 20, I feel like writing some cheesy post about it.
I had to make decisions and at nineteen, I made bad ones… really bad ones. I had broken off friendships and relationships, and just went down the wrong road. It was one of my ‘off years’ as well. I realized that every “third year” in my life has been unforgettable – but I mean it in a not so positive way. During my third year in high school and now, my third year in college. Both not so great years for me but still I learned so many valuable lessons.
This is the point in your life where the friends you will have are the ones who you’ll be attending each other’s weddings or the one’s you’d most likely travel with. Keep in touch with your friends may it be from high school (or even elementary!) or that friend you have in your Philosophy class. Even at 19, you would still encounter fake friends.
Throughout my teenage years, I have been passed on from different cliques and hung out with lots of different groups (good and bad!) but even whoever I’m spending my time with, I always go back to my best friends from high school. We still manage to meet up every other month and it’s nice to know that there will be people who will forever keep you grounded and will be happy to guide you back on track no matter what road you took.
ALCOHOL ISN’T REALLY COOL.
If you’re one of those kids rebelled because your parents never let you tried alcohol when you were younger, then this one is for you. Sure going out with friends and having drinks might be fun for a while but you should not make a lifestyle out of it. There is so much more than partying and alcohol. AND based on a personal experience, getting drunk isn’t really cool as well.
You will get rid of your hangover but the people who were with you won’t forget about your one-man party or you puking your guts out. I’m not saying you should totally stop drinking but just drink in moderation and if your “friends” have digital copies (which I’m pretty sure they probably do) just do your future self a favor and just don’t get to crazy with the booze. You’re future self and your kidney will thank you later.
PRIORITIES. PRIORITIES. PRIORITIES.
There will come a point where you will be struggling with your academics and your extra curricular activities (especially if you’re juggling with 2 undergraduate degrees plus being part of a student organization like me!) There was a semester where I focused on my acads which I was too happy because I made it to the Dean’s List and a semester where I focused on my extra curricular activities and just spending time with many toxic people which resulted to my grades going down the drain (I didn’t fail though!) and I was less productive as well.
It actually just depends with you if you can manage all your classes and your clubs or if you should just take a breather every now and then.
For the past year, I had the opportunity to go to different events, press conferences, got myself into part-time jobs and volunteer jobs. Through that, I met professionals who I’d want to become later on. Some where volunteers from big organizations, bloggers, media personalities, influential speakers, authors, artists… the list is endless. I’m very thankful for the opportunities that were given to me to meet them and of course, thinking about the future, I would often make small talk.
Exchange contact details, stories, recommend good reads or even a good movie to watch and that’s already a small step to network with one of your potential future colleagues or bosses!
Whether you’re travelling or just sitting at the back of the classroom as one of the few irregular students from a block section, it’s good to meet people. Try to be nice with the people you encounter. If you have on your “resting bitch face” permanently, then try to smile a bit, say hi, offer them a piece of gum.
Small talk is the key.
TRAVELING ALONE IS GOOD.
I don’t know what it is about being alone at airports but I find really calming and therapeutic. Traveling alone is liberating and I feel like every one of us should experience it. I like the independent feeling I get whenever I travel alone whether by plane or boat (I may or may not have gone to Iloilo for a day one time.) P.S. Traveling alone doesn’t necessarily mean going to a different country.
Anyway, traveling alone is good. You get to see the world differently and importantly, you learn more about yourself. For example, I learned about how I prefer going places alone because I have the freedom to choose. It was scary for me to have to commute alone as well but once you get used to it, its fun. Plus when you get lost, it adds to the adventure.
REKINDLE OLD FRIENDSHIPS.
I have a habit of pushing people out of my life after I’ve become too comfortable with them. I can’t understand why I do that. Ask my “former” friends.
After realizing how stupid it was, it made me sort of change (Well I think I did change.) I try to maintain my current friendships and reaching out to the ones I’ve hurt or pushed away. If you know me personally, you know I find it hard to reach out to the people who I hurt because of my ego. I can’t say I have fully changed but I’m getting there.
HAVE ALONE TIME.
A friend once told me that being alone isn’t really a bad thing and spending time alone doesn’t mean you’re lonely.
I have spent many coffee dates alone and I do enjoy quality time with myself.
Whenever you’re too stressed out from school, work or your relationship, just sit down, take a breath and just enjoy the silence embracing you. Bring a good book, your journal or even your laptop somewhere you’re completely comfortable with and just take your time there. No rush.
DISCOVER NEW HOBBIES.
I always thought I’d be a good writer when I was a kid. I still have that dream but I lack practice, I don’t get motivated as much anymore and I find it more of a chore than a passion project but it doesn’t mean I’m stopping from writing.
That period, I went to try every other thing I might gain an interest in like making films, blogging, reading, trying out a workout routine, cooking, make-up and every thing else. I later found an interest in hand lettering or modern-day calligraphy. Its one of the things I’m really passionate about because I already started to invest on my materials and time.
Finding a hobby couldn’t be done overnight. It might take a while but once there’s something you wanna try, just do it.
PLANNERS ARE REALLY USEFUL.
Ever since I decided to get a planner, I’ve been bringing it everywhere I go and it’s really useful. I’m happy that I don’t get too lazy to fill out the dates. I know this sounds quite overrated but it did help me keep track of my schedule better than saving notes and dates on my phone. I usually get distracted by several apps so I don’t get to check my schedule very often on my phone.
LEARNING DOESN’T REALLY MEAN SCHOOL.
I’m happy that I’m not just stuck in the four corners of the classroom. I’m also really thankful for several opportunities to work outside the school and explore our other interests.
No matter how boring class gets, the lessons your pick up would actually be really useful when were all part of the working force. Its true – not lying. After all they said: “Experience is the best teacher.”
REMOVE TOXIC PEOPLE IN YOUR LIFE.
Just remove them. No questions asked.
NO, THE NEWS ISN’T SO BORING.
Surprisingly when you do get older, you develop an interest to wanting to know what is happening to the world. Personally, I find Philippine politics quite interesting and intriguing. Try to read the newspaper or watch one full newscast. You’d be surprised you’re more excited to hear about a development on a plunder case compared to some showbiz gossip.
HAVE A POSITIVE MINDSET.
No matter how shitty your day, week or month is, just keep going. You will be struggling, hurt and confused sometimes and that’s okay. Its only temporary. Just think about tomorrow.
There were several times where I wanted to give up soooooo bad but luckily I have people who believed in me to continue doing what I was doing then.
KEEP THE FAITH.
Don’t lose your faith just because you feel lost or you’re confused. Just know that He will always make a way.
DON’T RUSH ROMANTIC RELATIONSHIPS.
Don’t skip the friendship stage and rush to the romantic stage. It will all backfire at some point.
I usually do this to most guys I like and it all went south. Try to really get to know someone before committing to them. Don’t worry, there’s someone out there for each and every one of us.
TIMING IS EVERYTHING.
Yes. His timing is everything. So whatever you feel right now, it’s all part of his plan. Don’t worry, the best is yet to come.
SPEND TIME WITH YOUR FAMILY.
I used to spend more than 12 hours in school last year and I don’t see most of my family because of that. Try to cut down friend time and just spend more time at home. You can never tell how long you have to spend with your family and always remember, when you fail, your family will ALWAYS be there for you… ALWAYS.
TRULY LOVE YOURSELF.
I don’t care if this is cheesy AF but it’s really true. If you don’t love yourself, how do you expect to love other people?
It’s hard to for teenagers especially to love themselves because of all the insecurities. But hey, we all get insecure at some point in our lives. But as time passes by, there are more important things to worry about than your mole or how weird your feet are or your weight or height or hair and those flaws, would be one of your best assets. Trust me.
So being nineteen wasn’t the end of the world for me. Here’s to being twenty!