23 Lessons My Students Taught A 23-Year-Old Me

1. Cry as hard and for as long as you want to, but when you’re done, never cry about that same thing again. Life is too short and recess is even shorter. Don’t waste the good times.

2. Stand up for what you believe in, despite how it makes others feel about you. Whether it is your religion or a bad call in a friendly game of kickball, when you believe in something, don’t back down and don’t feel sorry.

3. Don’t sweat the little things. I may give a student a conduct cut and they may spend the next five minutes hating me for it, but later, that same student will give me a hug goodbye at the end of the day.

4. Be the light you want to see in the world. The way you make others feel, big or small, directly affects how you feel about yourself. A small compliment can make a world of difference.

5. Sometimes what you get is better than what you wanted. You may not get a special Valentine from Billy, but when the even cuter Johnny stuffs three cards into your handmade box, Billy becomes ancient history.

6. Say you are sorry and mean it. Never ever, ever, ever… say that five-letter word unless it is completely sincere, otherwise… it will forever more be completely meaningless.

7. Laugh until it hurts. It’s okay to cry when it is preceded by laughter. Laugh until that chocolate milk comes out of your nose at the lunch table. Who cares right?

8. Enjoy the little things. Hugs, smiles, handwritten notes, opened doors, sunny days, and a few extra minutes on the playground should never be taken for granted.

9. Be kind to everyone, even people who are unkind to you. Others take notice.

10. Friends come and go, let them. Others change. We change. Friendships change alongside.

11. Calories aren’t always what is most important. A 50 cent ice cream at lunch does make the day a little sweeter.

12. Girls can play with the boys. Girls can win in a kickball tournament (I’ve seen it), they can kick butt in the spelling B (Seen that too.), and they can be just as strong and confident as the boys (Sometimes stronger).

13. Children’s movies teach the most valuable lessons. “Just keep swimming, just keep swimming.”

14. Keep your promises. People remember your words and your actions define you.

15. Just because you miss someone doesn’t mean you need them back in your life. One day, when I was sad about a relationship of my own coming to an end, a fifth grade girl walked up to me in the hall and gave me a note, it said, “You are the best person I know. You make me more confident than anyone ever has. I wear black and brown together now, even though my mom tells me not too. And, even though you are a teacher, you are like a best friend to me. Anyone who makes someone feel that special should never be sad. I love you Miss B and I hope this makes you smile. P.S. Your boyfriend looked like he was 42 anyway.” Now that… made me smile.

16. Growing old is inevitable but growing up is optional. A soul never need age. Live your days “Young, wild, & free.”

17. They may forget what you said, but they will never forget how you made them feel. Never forget the golden rule. People always associate a person with the best time and the worst. Make the best times great and the bad times small.

18. Be wise. Be Brave. Be tricky. Sarcasm and wit go a long way.

19. It’s better to ask for forgiveness than for permission. How else would anything be accomplished?

20. The people who loved you and raised you should always be your number one. There’s no place like home.

21. Give without receiving. It lights the soul on fire.

22. Be humble. It’s the greatest personality trait.

23. In life you are going to be left out, teased, talked about, lied to, and used, but you have to decide who is worth your tears and who isn’t. Thought Catalog Logo Mark

image – Flickr / mamnaimie

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