Sixteen Things I’ve Learned by 16

     Good morning!  Today is my sixteenth birthday, so I thought I would do a fun post in honor of that; “Sixteen Things I’ve Learned by 16.”  I’m sharing sixteen things, including life lessons and little pieces of day to day knowledge, that I think are important that I’ve learned in my sixteen years of life.  I like to think I’m more or less wise, so hopefully this post will give you some useful information.  Enjoy!

  1. You will meet people you don’t like, and that’s okay, but that doesn’t give you the right to be mean to them. – Sometimes you just flat out won’t like someone.  Maybe they act in a way that you don’t agree with or they’re mean to someone you care about.  It’s perfectly fine to dislike people, but this isn’t an excuse to be rude to them.  I’m not saying you’re expected to constantly walk up to them and spark positive conversations, but smile at them every once in a while and try to avoid talking negatively about them.  This can definitely be hard, I know, but you and those around you will be better for it.
  2. Never dry any piece of clothing you like.  Ever. – I wouldn’t exactly call myself a laundry pro, but I’ve been doing my own laundry for the past two years and I have yet to ruin, shrink, or dye anything.  One thing I absolutely live by when it comes to laundry is never drying anything I like.  I hang dry all of my favorite big tee shirts, nicer tops, cute shorts, dresses, the list goes on.  Drying is most often what shrinks your clothing and I like most of my things to fit a little looser than normal, so this is a good tactic for someone like me.
  3. If an insult regarding your appearance or being “annoying” is the worst thing someone can say about you, it says more about them than it does about you. – I can’t even count how many times I’ve been told that someone said I was annoying.  It used to really hurt me, but now I just brush it off.  If someone feels the need to take time out of their day to make a negative comment about your appearance or to call you “annoying” rather than comment on your personality or heart, it truly speaks more about their heart than about you.
  4. Always try/offer to do the dishes at your friends’ house after a meal their parents have prepared/bought for you. – This is something my grandmother taught me when I was about eight years old.  She did this as a teenager and said she was always invited back because everyone’s parents loved her.  Little acts like this show your respect, gratitude, and kindness towards the family that is hosting you and that’s something that they won’t forget.
  5. Don’t quit being a friend when things get tough for them. – People will go through hard things, that’s life.  Sometimes these events will cause your friends to take out anger on you, and while that can be tough, they still need you, now more than ever.  Even when it’s hard to be a friend, be one.  You’d want a friend to be there when your life gets hard no matter how much you push them away, right?
  6. Best friends can make anything fun. – Need to go grocery shopping for your parents?  Pick up your best friend on the way.  Want to start working out?  Take your friend with you to Zumba class.  Have a (your sport here) game you’re nervous about?  Make your friend come.  Best friends make everything better.  I speak from experience.
  7. Always tell your teachers to have a good day/afternoon/weekend when you leave their classroom. – Yes, there will be kids who think you’re a suck-up or whatever, but this could very possibly be the nicest thing this teacher hears from a student all day.  A little kindness goes a long way, you never know what this teacher might be going through.
  8. Sometimes people will dislike you for no reason at all, but if they can’t see your value they’re not worth your time right now. – There’s a quote I read a few years ago that said something along the lines of “You could be the sweetest, ripest peach in the world, but there will always be someone who doesn’t like peaches.”  I especially love this quote because I don’t even like peaches.  You can’t please everyone, so I think the best thing to do is just be so undeniably you that anyone who just doesn’t like your personality will flake off before you get hurt by them leaving.
  9. You are entitled to your emotions. – Don’t take this the wrong way, I’m not telling you that you should be overdramatic about every single thing that happens to you.  However, if someone does something that hurts you, don’t think you have to get over it immediately just because they don’t think it’s a big deal.  I hate that the word “petty” has gotten so big over the past couple of years because I think it frowns upon people who take the hurtful actions and words of others seriously.  You get to choose how long it takes you to get over something and you have every right to be upset about what others do or say to you.  Don’t forget that.
  10. Money spent on a concert or trip is never money wasted. – Over the past couple of years I have realized that I will eventually get bored of almost every material item.  I will wear out (and grow out of) my clothes, I will eventually want a new phone, and I will lose plenty of other things over time.  Some things I don’t tire of are the memories of a concert I went to as my birthday present last year, going on my school’s trip to New York City as my only Christmas present in eighth grade, and attending Music Midtown after working off my ticket.  I love these types of experiences and I have yet to regret spending money on a trip or concert.
  11. It’s more important to be happy than it is to be right. – I can think of so many petty arguments I’ve taken part in that didn’t even need to take place.  Think about how much your accuracy will matter ten days from now, or even ten minutes from now. If its only effect will be your friend being irritated with you, it’s probably best to just let them be right.
  12. You have time for whatever you make time for. – No, “I don’t have time” is not a good excuse for not reading the Bible, reading in general, doing your homework, or calling your grandmother.  Something that I’ve learned over the past year or so is that you most definitely have time for whatever you choose to make time for.  Since this time last year, I’ve chosen to make reading the Bible and my Book of Common Prayer a priority of mine, I’ve chosen to be sure I write at least one blog post every week, and I’ve chosen to call my Grandma at least one Sunday every month.
  13. God will always love you more than anyone else ever will. – Seriously, God loves you more than that boy could, more than your best friend could, more than even your parents could.  That being said, don’t let a breakup or fight with a friend rule your life, you are always going to be loved more by someone much greater.
  14. Good things are worth waiting for. – This proves true for an infinite number of instances.  True love.  Splurging on a super nice bag.  Watching a raved about PG-13 movie when you’re finally old enough.  A senior trip.  Heaven.  “Good things come to those who wait” is annoyingly true.
  15. Pictures are great, but don’t forget to live in the moment too. – Almost a year ago, I was given my first DSLR camera.  I love my camera.  I take it everywhere, from high school football games to music festivals to the Bahamas.  I love taking pictures and remembering those moments, but I’ve realized that actually living that moment is far more important.  One of the instances that comes to mind when writing this one is Music Midtown.  My friend, Scout, and I had made our way to front row for G-Eazy’s set.  I had my camera on and was ecstatically taking pictures throughout the set, but then there was a time that G-Eazy was literally right in front of me on stage.  I finally put my camera down and just had a “Wow.  I’m here and G-Eazy’s right in front of me” moment.  While I don’t have a ton of pictures of him as close as he was at that moment, I have vivid memories of eye contact and screaming the lyrics with him.  That’s something I’m glad I didn’t miss.
  16. Never let someone that you love think that you don’t love them. – Nope, I don’t care how mad at them you are or how big of a point you’re trying to make.  How much would you hate if they got in their car, got into an accident and died?  What if they had an unexpected stroke while at work or school?  I’ve seen and heard of these kinds of things happening everywhere; at my school, on television, from family members.  I would be devastated if I found out a loved one had died and I thought our last conversation left them feeling unloved.  Always say I love you.

Thanks for reading!  I hope this post made you think through some things, realize some things, or even gave you some kind of good advice.  Have a great day!

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8 thoughts on “Sixteen Things I’ve Learned by 16

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