1. You finally feel like a legal adult.
Like I mentioned before, being 19 means being able to drink legally (in Canada anyway). You can finally go out to bars with your friends and experience the infamous night life you’ve heard about through your older friends or TV shows. It’s fun, it’s sweaty, and it’s kind of expensive, so save your pennies for drunk cabs and pizza…tons of drunk pizza.
2. You’ll make new friends.
Maybe you’ve started a new job, or have different classes than your friends from last year, or maybe you went on an exchange. Whatever the case, you’ve probably made some new friends you’re really excited about, which is awesome! It’s always good to meet new people to diversify your outlook on life. Whether you talk to them in a McDonald’s until three in the morning or for five minutes in the hallway, allow new people into your life because you never know what they will add to your experience.
3. You’ll experience and almost overwhelming amount of change.
So much change. One second you’ll be going about your daily routine and then BAM everything is different. You might be walking to class and suddenly realize you’re almost 20 and want the sidewalk to swallow you up because 20?! (That can’t be right. I swear I was 13 five minutes ago!) Change is terrifying, and if I knew how to handle it I promise I would share it with you.
4. You will experience loss.
Whether it’s person, a dream, or childhood home, you will likely lose something when you are 19. Even if you don’t lose something concrete, you will feel like you’ve lost something- your childhood. What’s difficult to grasp is that the past never comes back. The memories, the feelings of home, comfort and innocence, all of it that we can remember stays in a bank in our minds that becomes more painful to visit the farther away we travel from it. How we all wish we could have a time machine to go back to when our parents made us lunch after a long morning of playing outside on a warm summer day. Or the times when you would curl up to them when there was a thunderstorm. As much as it hurts to know we can never go back, it’s important to remember in a way that we can. We can always access those memories when we want to, but right here and right now is the time to make new ones.
5. Things will seem impossibly challenging for a while.
Everything just seems hard. School gets harder, keeping in touch with long distance friends gets harder, and I don’t know about you, but even finding a pair of damn matching socks seems nearly impossible. Things are going to get tougher. You will probably feel like someone has stolen the light shining inside of you, and then came back and robbed all your metaphorical spare matches you normally use when the lights go out. Things are going to suck beyond belief sometimes, but it will pass. There will be glimmers of hope here and there, so hang onto them and remember the good things you have going for you- there’s more than you think!
6. It’s going to feel like your life is in crisis.
You will probably feel like your life is flashing before your eyes. So before you freak out like you’re 99, don’t. Age is but a number and the possibilities are always endless. Don’t impose unnecessary limits on yourself. Take a breath and stay grounded in the moment you are in right now. Right now.
7. You will be more curious than ever.
You will probably start to question everything. your beliefs, your thought process, why are dogs are called dogs and not cucumbers? Society is nothing but a construct, am I right? Even though wandering thoughts steal all of your sleep, they are kind of a good thing. Being curious about the world we live in means the electrical signals in your brain are working (possibly too hard). It means you are alive and passionate and caring about your surroundings. Keep asking the important questions- they could shape a future with answers.
8. Life is going to be a bit of a mess.
You will make mistakes. you will do things you aren’t proud of. You will muck up relationships you thought could never break. you will fall down a thousand times- just make sure you get back up. Own up to your faults. Apologize. Be honest, because people appreciate that. Everyone is human, and in the wise words of the writers of High School Musical, “we’re all in this together”.
9. You’ll have a stronger appreciation for everything.
Maybe this will come with your 19, or maybe it won’t, but it should. When tough times arise, they test our strength and teach invaluable lessons to take with us through the rest of our journey. So appreciate the good, the bad, the ugly, the failures, the successes, and the downright weirdness of life because that’s really all we can do. No one knows why exactly we are here, and people are going blue in the face trying to figure it out, so in the meantime, just enjoy each second you have! Sure, not every experience is fun, but it’s something, and that’s more than a lot of people get.