22 Lessons from 22 Years of Life
1. Don’t overspend on a prom dress
I recently saw a tweet that made me lol. It basically said for anyone who needs to hear this: don't overspend on a prom dress. I felt like it should be known that I completely agree with this and I totally overspent on my prom dress. (Well, my parents did..shoutout to them)
In high school prom was everything, I get it. I went to a small Christian school so getting dressed up (not in your uniform) to ball out on a dress, tan, nails, and hair was a highlight of my junior and senior years. But I look back at those beautiful dresses that my parents spent SO much money on only for me to wear once. Literally once. I came to college and discovered online shopping and formal-long dresses could be under $100 and be just as cute. Y’all. Don’t do it. It’s not worth it and in 10 years you’ll probably think the dress is hideous anyways.. I mean, have you ever looked to see what your mom wore to prom?
2. Always make time for your friends
I consider each one of my friends family. They are my go-to people for just about anything and I couldn’t imagine my life without every single one of them. Sometimes I get so caught up in work, school, and life that I miss out on movie night, or going out to dinner. This year was the first year I didn’t work while being in school and it’s allowed me so much more time with my friends. They have truly kept me together in the hardest times and my favorite memories now include movie nights, or happy hours. Make time for them, it’s worth it.
3. Don’t use social media as a comparison game
Ladies, this one is a hard one. But remember Instagram is a highlight reel and apps can edit literally everything and anything. You are beautiful before Facetune and your life is cool even if you aren’t on a yacht somewhere modeling.
4. Try new foods (yes, even the weird ones)
I grew up with a mother who didn’t eat fruit or vegetables. I am not kidding, if you ever meet her ask her to try cantaloupe or a grape-she will probably gag. Because of this you can imagine how small my scope of food was. I didn’t try sushi until my sophomore year of college, I never ate fish until about a year ago and never knew what asparagus was until I moved in with my roommate sophomore year. Even if something looks weird just try it! You can’t say you don’t like it if you’ve never tried it-so why not! You may love it.
5. Travel! Travel! Travel!
Life is so short y’all. I know we’re just poor college kids right now but there is still so many ways you can incorporate travel into your life. I’m not saying you should have a trip to Europe planned by tomorrow but head to Nashville for the weekend, go to the beach for a few days, go somewhere new! Make a road trip and stop along the way to try some local foods or see a small town. See the world and start now, because the sad thing is even if you started today, you won’t see it all. But hey-it’s worth it to try, right?
6. TJ Maxx has everything you could ever need
I mean do I even need to explain this one.
7. And if it doesn’t, check Target
Or this one..
8. Get to know your teachers
I’m going to be honest with you. I probably only know a handful of my professors in college. My teachers though? I could name you every single one I’ve had from Pre-K to 12th grade. Get to know your teachers on a personal level because they are amazing people. For my birthday I had over 10 of my teachers write on my Facebook wall and say happy birthday. Add them on Facebook! Chat with them! Tell them the drama (they already probably know anyways)! They are humans too and incredible people. I attribute a lot of who I am today to the teachers who I personally got to know. (and if y’all are reading this-thank you and I love you all!!)
9. Encourage others. Always.
We live in a harsh world when it comes to girls. C’mon you know what I’m talking about. Middle school girl drama, high school girl drama, sorority drama. Girls attract drama-it’s a fact. And it totally sucks. Imagine if we encouraged others more? What if we started letting people know we think they’re pretty, or smart, or amazing. I will be the first person to comment or dm a person I barely know if I like their outfit, or their feed, or I want to know where they got something, or even just hype them up. ENCOURAGE y’all. Go make someone’s day and hype them up. You won’t regret it.
10. Read something (yes, for fun)
This is a new one for me, and I’m going to be honest it was a New Year’s resolution and it just stuck. Last summer I bought a book for fun because all my friends were talking about it (Big Little Lies if you wanted to know) and I read the entire thing in ONE day. If you never see the book on the shelf, let me be the first to tell you-it’s thick. But I did it. I was so invested and absolutely loved it, it brought back all my love for reading. It made me sad that I couldn’t remember the last book I read since back when the Hunger Games and Twilight Sagas were the talk of the town. Since then, I told myself I was going to read more and then when New Year’s rolled around I said I wanted to read 10 pages of a book a night, and for the most part I do! Find something you enjoy and dive in! Start slow if you aren’t a reader and try 5 pages a night and see how you like it. You may be surprised!
11. Stay busy
Anyone else get super antsy when they get bored? Stay busy! This is the time to load up on hanging out with friends, going to dinner, joining a club, taking classes you enjoy, and doing things you enjoy! Don’t turn into a couch potato or you’ll never want to get up!
12. Call your grandma
No really, when was the last time you called your grandma just to say hi? I probably call each of my grandmas (and grandpas) at least once a month. Catch them up on your life-you will totally make their day. Imagine when you are their age, you’re going to want to know your grandkids and have a relationship with them, so do the same for your grandparents. Not many of us are able to still call our grandparents, some of us never eve had the chance to know our grandparents. So if you’ve got some-call them up!
13. Stop and smell the candles
First of all. I am a candle addict. So, because of this I literally mean yea, you should always stop by Bath and Body Work and sniff some candles or head to TJ Maxx and check out their selection. But more importantly I mean stop and enjoy what’s around you. Take in every moment and enjoy it. You’ll never get yesterday back and you’ll never get another today!
14. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day
I actually don’t understand how people don’t eat breakfast. Maybe this is more of a personal thing but I absolutely love breakfast and think everyone should eat it. It is the most important meal of the day.
15. Remind someone you love them
As morbid as this is, you never know when it may be the last time. If you love someone, let them know.
16. You deserve a manicure
There is one thing every girl does that makes them feel prettier. For me, when I get my nails done I really am convinced I have my life together. I also love blow outs, spray tans, and pedicures too.. But I’m saying that if something makes you feel confident or makes you happy, remember we all need some self-love and to go ahead and treat yourself! Sometimes I talk myself out of doing something because of how much it will cost or how much time it will take. But then when I do it and can have a second to relax and breathe and bring on some confidence, I regret not doing it sooner. So go ahead, you deserve a manicure,
17. Stop using filler words
This is one of my worst habits. I say “like” and “um” WAY too much. I never really noticed until 1. I actually got called out in an interview for using them too much and 2. I began working and realized I sounded unintelligent when I kept saying “like” repeatedly. It is such a hard habit to break, and I struggle with it to, but it is something everyone can benefit from. It’ll make you sound smarter and more confident.
18. Have more dance parties
My roommate and I have full on dance battles. I’m not kidding. To the point where we are completely sober dancing to whatever music we’re in the mood for (right now it’s throwback country) and will dance until we literally can’t breathe and are probably sweating. It’s one of my favorite traditions. It’s not cute, it’s definitely not sexy, but oh my goodness is it fun. Lighten up, turn on some music, and have a dance party. It’s a great stress reliver, but more importantly it’s just fun and sometimes we all need a little more fun in life.
19. Be thankful
It’s so much easier to complain about something than it is to be thankful for something. And often times are aren’t thankful for something until it’s too late. We all have something or somethings to be grateful for. We need to start looking at the glass half-full and being thankful for everything in our lives.
20. Grades aren’t everything
This is not an excuse to fail your classes. I’m just saying there is so much more to life and there is so much more to living. Learn a balance, know when to work and when to play. Grades aren’t worth crying over. You will get through this test, or this paper, or this class. It may suck, it may be a lot of work but you can do it. And refer to #16 when you’re finish.
21. Stop trying to grow up
This goes for anyone at any age in life. I remember being in elementary school carrying a huge binder in the hallways because when you’re in middle school you got to change classes and carry your stuff to different classrooms. Then I wanted to be in high school so I could go to high school football games, meet new people and then before you know it I wanted freedom and to be in college. We’re all guilty of it. We always think the next step will be better..and maybe it will be. Just don’t let that get in the way of you enjoying today. And with that being said let’s wrap it up with #22.
22. Celebrate every day like it’s your birthday
I am a birthday fanatic. No seriously, they are the best holidays in the whole world. There is no better feeling then making someone feel so loved and cherished on their special day. There is also no better feeling that feeling loved and cherished on your special day. We deserve both of those feelings every day. With that being said, wrap up these 22 life lessons and head off into the world with a smile on your face as if it’s your birthday and treat others as if it was their birthday too. This world needs more love and more dance parties, and especially more birthdays. Cheers!