1. You begin to see yourself as not the center of the universe, but instead one participant in a colossal existence.
2. You now understand money, its value, and just how valuable everything is.
3. You’ve moved beyond judgmental first “impressions” and now overlook no one.
4. That being said, you now see people for who they really are.
5. You’ve move from the static mental nature of youth, in which every day is treated like the next, and are now constantly thinking of what’s in store for the future.
6. You begin to feel the unsettling internal discomfort that comes with not knowing what tomorrow will be like.
7. Robert Frost’s The Road Less Travelled is now not a nonconformist manifesto, but instead a chilling dose of existential reality.
*If you haven’t read it, do so now.
8. You’ve (most likely) been in college for over a year now, and with the realization of your disillusionment about going out *every* night, nights you do go out become more memorable and exciting.
9. You see your parents not as antagonists in your life but instead as (hopefully) role models for a life you hope to have.
10. With that, the home you grew up in is no longer constantly put in comparison to those of your friends and schoolmates, but instead regarded as valuable and hard-earned.
11. You’ve established at least one deeply complex friendship that proves to you that someone out there knows how you feel.
12. You realize that everyone walking this earth has an inner voice just like yours, and that they’re not merely objects of your own mind. They too have independent thoughts outside of yours, and they will surprise you.
13. Looking back a few years now, you look upon a younger, adult version of yourself, not the naive child your 16-year-old self saw.
14. Because of that, you’re able to put every experience you have into a well-rounded perspective, based upon your past and the lessons you’ve learned.
15. High school is over. Really over. Now when you come home you see only the people you want to see. And it is liberating.
16. You understand the true meaning of holidays. Now it’s not sitting at the kids’ table wondering why the adults could possibly be laughing so hard. Now, you know why. It’s because they’re hammered. And so are you.
17. So, now, holidays are truly a time of gathering, and not about the long awaited acquisition of material possessions.
18. You understand yourself and your ways, and how you affect those around you, and because of this, you’re able to better rationalize people’s actions and understand why people do certain things.
19. You understand that every day you are constantly molding and shaping into the ultimate form of your adult existence, and that your time as a 19-year-old has matured you far beyond any birthday you’ve had before.