Never did I imagine I’d be here, turning 16. I know it’s not that old in the whole retrospect of things, but turning 16 means a few things. It means I can now drive on my own (well, not quite, please don’t ask me how that went), I’m about halfway through high school, and I’m most likely moving out in 2 years- which is insane. I’ve learned a lot, and as you all know, I’m someone that likes to write everything down. So, I decided that I’d let you all in on some of the things I’ve written down over the years, and what I’ve figured out for myself.
- Don’t stress about things that won’t matter to you in a year… or even a month. If there’s something that’s causing insane stress in your life, step back, take a breath, and reevaluate. If you know it’s something that’ll be irrelevant in a year (like that one quiz that you failed- yes, I am calling myself out right now), let it go, and move on. Small things won’t turn your life upside down.
- Some people you meet will never like you, and that’s okay. Trust me, I’ve met some people that are not my biggest fans, and it’s been really hard to cope with it. I hate disappointing people and I really don’t like when they’re upset, especially because of me. You always have to remember that not everyone fits together- some people will always be like oil and water, and that’s okay.
- Sometimes the hardest decisions will become the biggest blessings. This past December, I gave up several opportunities that I was beyond excited for (such as stage-managing a local production of Once On This Island), and I was devastated, however, that disappointment turned into one of the best experiences of my life. I found out a few days later that I’d be flying out to New York to work with Lady Gaga‘s Born This Way Foundation.
- Always make people feel loved. If you love someone (friend or more than that!), tell them. Let’s be honest, we all love reaffirmation and compliments- people will never dislike you for letting them know you care.
- Don’t let school consume you. For me, I’ve always been so worried about my grades. I realized that my grades started taking over my life, and really preventing me from getting out and spending time with my friends- I found that if you can balance things right, it’s completely possible to be a good student and a good friend.
- You can always make time. Seriously, I’m considering writing an entire post on this one! If you want to make time for someone, it’s doable, I promise you. If you need to make time to read, watch a favorite TV show, or get ahead on a homework assignment, I’m telling you, it’s all very possible. If you care about it, you can make it happen.
- Actually participate, don’t be embarrassed. I can’t even explain how into spirit week I get. I’m still apologizing to the people next to me at Friday’s assembly- they didn’t stand during the fight song so I yelled at them over the band. Do I have any regrets? Nope. I know I’ll look back at it Senior Year and be proud.
- Meet new people as often as possible. Making connections and learning new things about people is priceless. Go out to coffee with someone, go grab breakfast with another- never be nervous, take advantage of the new connections you’re making.
- Girls- get to know your guy friends. Boys- get to know your girls. Contrary to popular belief, boys aren’t all bad! I’d be the first to tell you that several of my best friends are amazing, loving, hilarious boys who I’ve met in the past year. They’re so easy to talk to, I adore them all, and trust me, it’s good to have someone always at your side ready to back you up in any endeavor.
- Bowling is actually a really great way to bond. As horrible as I am at bowling, I have to admit, it’s one of the best ways to bond with new friends- it’s a fairly competitive game, and it’s super easy to make conversation.
- Find good places to work. If you’re anything like me, you need to be in your element to get anything done. Find the places you love and can relax in- whether it’s your room or the coffee shop down the street.
- Pick something you love to do, and commit to it wholeheartedly. At this age, you can do absolutely anything- take full advantage of it! If you’ve found what you love, do it. My dad always told me if you work hard at what you love for the first 20 years of your life, you won’t have to work later on- this mindset has definitely helped me out.
- It’s completely okay to skip a social event. If you’re exhausted, don’t really want to go out, don’t feel comfortable, or all of the above, it’s always okay to miss out on one party. There will be more, and it’s never worth sacrificing your feelings to go to something you don’t feel comfortable going to.
- Read. Have you ever wondered how there’s that one person that’s so well-spoken? I almost assure you that they’re an avid reader. If you want to increase your vocabulary and sound smarter (yes, that’s a thing!), just read!
- God’s plan for you is always better. This one goes hand-in-hand with the last; I promise you, God always has a next step in mind for you. It might not be ideal timing or an ideal situation for you, but if you take a leap, you never know what’s going to come next.
- Listen. Listen to what other people have to say. There’s nothing better than a friend who listens- I promise.
Thank you so much for reading… I can’t wait for another year, especially since this will be my first full year with the blog. Special thanks to Rachel Kurtenbach for taking these beautiful pictures for me!!