22 Lessons in 22 Years

I want to start by saying that I am well aware that I have written multiple sentimental, nostalgic pieces over the past week. I am sorry, but this has been a crazy week. That's it- I have no other excuses and promise that other things are coming. The x Things I Learned at X Age his has quickly become one of my favorite series online and because I am not crazy about being on camera, I decided to try and write out everything. Without reflecting, you can't change, so this is my attempt at 22 things I have learned in 22 years (coming from the girl who had cookies and milk for breakfast this morning). 

1. Get out of your bed (early!) and explore- there is a whole world out there and you have been privileged enough to visit and live in some pretty incredible places, so by all means do something exciting every day. 

2. Take pictures (but also make sure to actually be in some of them- your abroad album is mostly plants and buildings, so please try to branch out).

3. Don't spend time being envious over other people. Everyone has their own insecurities, challenges and secrets that aren't shared over social media. Get to know someone in real life and you will realize this quickly. We are constantly imagining people in our heads drastically different than they are. 

4. You have more control over how you feel than you think- most of it is all in your head. If you wanna have a good day, you can. 

5. Spotify is a life saver. Download it now. (Additionally, you will never regret going to a concert ever, so go to as many as you can manage.)

6. Your 14 year old brother Jackson has more to teach you than you will ever teach him. Your brothers will become your best friends and are watching you to set the tone, so try to get along growing up as much as you can and be a good example. 

7. You know yourself better than anyone else. There will be times when you make a decision that your parents and friends don't agree with, but always go with your gut. It hasn't steered you wrong yet. 

8. Everyone has an awkward phase between 13-20. It's inevitable, so you might as well embrace it. 

9. Being able to laugh and show your humility is everything. (Refer to #8 to keep your ego in check.)

10. You have to go through really low times and bad experiences to fully appreciate the good ones. This can be applied to classes, friends, jobs, and nights out. 

11. Most of the crap we worry about on a day-by-day basis is so irrelevant. Talking to older people at the end of their life is refreshing. If it doesn't matter in 5 years, it's gonna be ok. 

12. Everyone has their reasons for doing what they do. Always try to put yourself literally in their shoes. 

13. Know when to quit something (I'm looking at you 4th grade Emma in piano, just please). 

14. If you are on a family cell phone plan, get the unlimited internet. It will save your family from ripping each other apart, texting trying to figure out who is going over data. 

15. Your parents are godsends who love you no matter what and have for over twenty years. Do everything you can to help them and know that anything good in your life is because you were born to the most incredible family. 

16. Don't talk behind people's backs if you can help it, but if you are going to, it should be things that you wouldn't mind stating directly to their face. 

17. You don't need to worry about trying to get into Stanford or an Ivy League. The truth is that you will end up at a wonderful place and your Stanford rejection letter will be a hilarious thing to laugh at years later. 

18. Stop trying to impress people who don't care. Additionally, there are also some really, really bad people out there. Insecure people will try to rip down anyone around them. Be pleasant, but do not fall for it. Being comfortable in yourself is a trait that not everyone embraces. Not everyone is going to like you and you won't like everyone, but that's ok (even if sounds harsh). 

19. Compliment others- we don't ever do it enough. (Even when you're sober.) The way you treat others says a lot about your character, so always try to make others feel cared for. 

20. Long drives listening to 90's/00's alternative rock solves everything. (And love your first car, because spoiler alert- it's going to get totaled sooner than you'd like.)

21. (Appropriately numbered) Don't put vodka in your wine or go into a night determined to rage. It will end badly for you. I promise. 

22. Smile- there is a lot to be thankful for in your life. It can be really easy to get caught up in what isn't happening, but go for a run and think about everything you have. You've done a lot in 22 years, but have so much to be excited about. Forget about the best 4 years of your life- the best is always yet to come. 

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