1. You need to follow your heart. I know this is some sort of a cliché bullshit we hear all the time: when we’re making a tough decision, when we’re choosing the perfect outfit for a night out, even when we’re ordering a meal at McDonald’s ~ follow your heart. But it’s true. You need to follow your heart, because you are the only person who can tell if something makes you happy or not. At this age, how you feel about certain things is more important than how people would feel about them.
2. Love is worth taking a risk for. I know you think love is overrated and all that stuff. But listen up: Love is a beautiful thing. You may have had your heart broken a few times over the years, but please, never get tired of falling in love. It’s always worth taking a risk for. But what if you get hurt again? Well, that’s pretty much better than not having to love at all.
3. You only need a few real friends in your life. And I’m not saying you ditch all your friends and just choose favorites. It’s not like that at all. The thing is, as we grow older, we realize that the quality of a relationship is more important than having a bajillion friends on Facebook who do not even care about you.
4. Do not self-diagnose. I know, I know. Google has most of the answers we often look for. There are times when, instead of seek actual help from a professional, we find answers through Google. And then, we freak out. For all you know, you’re worrying about nothing. So, chill the F up and go to the doctor. Which brings us to…
5. Take care of your health. Like, really. You are almost done with your 20s. You cannot keep on eating trash like you used to when you were 18. Things are different now. You need to learn how to take care of yourself, because in the long run, it’s you who will benefit from all of it.
6. Be patient. Life is not going to happen to you overnight. You need to work hard for something that you really want. Remember: everything that is difficult is always worth having.
7. Be optimistic, but not too much. Optimism is, most of the time, the key to succeeding. Because when you are positive about something, there is a big chance that you will succeed. Be positive, but do not be overconfident. Sometimes, when things we are too optimistic about do not happen, we just get hurt and get discouraged.
8. Humility is key. Always be humble in every aspect of your life. Sure, it feels good to brag to your friends about your new car, or to never lose an argument with anyone because you’re so proud and just cannot take being humble for once. But what is in it for you, really? You do not get prettier or richer just by winning an argument. Always remember that relationships are more important than any material things you have.
9. You should not depend your happiness on anything or anyone. You are beautiful, and you are in this world for a reason. You do not need validation from anyone, nor should you feel more important only if you have a car or some fancy jewelry. You should know that you are beautiful even without anyone having to say it.
10. You get treated how you teach others to treat you. Just as the saying goes: Do not do unto others what you do not want others to do unto you. Always be kind to the people around you. Learn how to spread love and kindness, so the world gives it back to you.
11. Learn how to forgive. This is applicable not only for other people, but for yourself as well. You need to learn how to forgive yourself, so you can move forward with your life. Do not go so long with so much hatred in your heart, because it will only weigh you down, and it will be so difficult to face a new day everyday thinking that you still have resentment bottled up within you. Live and let live.
12. Accept the things you cannot change. In life, sometimes, there are certain things that will make us go kind of crazy, but we cannot change. There are a lot of things you will encounter that you cannot control. What you can do is you just have to get over it eventually. It could be difficult most of the time, but we need to accept that certain things are best left as they are. We just need to have faith and trust that things will fall into place at the right time.
13. Learn how to express your gratitude. I have realized that when you learn how to express your gratitude, you will be able to convey how you really feel about certain things. Think about the things that you are grateful about and express your appreciation by doing good things. This way, you will be able to give back even if you don’t have to.
14. Courage is not the absence of fear. Fear will always be with you. All you must do is learn how to see past that fear and do what you must do, even when it’s scary.
15. Love yourself enough to let go. If you are in a toxic relationship, for example, you need to know your worth so that you will be able to let this person go. You deserve to be with someone who cares for you and loves you the way you are worth loving. You deserve to be with someone who will make you genuinely happy and who knows your worth. This is also applicable to other things, you know, like material things. You need to realize that life is not about letting these things complete you. Let go of the things that you do not need in your life. Learn how to be contented.
16. You cannot fix people. This will only frustrate you. Do not put that load onto yourself that you need to be fixing people up like you can fix your hair or your clothes. People are people. They will make mistakes no matter what you do, and you will make some mistakes along the way, too. The people around you will disappoint you, they will hurt you, they will break your heart into tiny bajillion pieces, and you will have to deal with all of this. People will change for the better if they realize that it is for the better. What you can only do is to inspire, influence and remind them to do what is good and what is right.
17. Drink more water. Wear sunscreen. Use moisturizer. Take care of your skin and your body. You are not getting any younger. If you’re not doing this now, then you need to start as soon as possible.
18. Stop complaining. There are billions of people all over the world who have it worse than you do. Some people do not have food to eat, or comfortable beds to sleep on. Some children are out there, without anyone or anything, scared and lonely. Some people are dying. You may have bad days at times, and it could seem like the worst to you. But take a step back and find some things you should be grateful about today and every day. When we keep on complaining, we forget how blessed we are with so many things that some people could only dream of and will never have in their entire existence. You are reading this now, you have access to the internet, you can see, you can hear, you can feel, you’re alive. What’s there to complain about?
19. Find time to praise the people around you. We cannot tell what people are going through. You cannot say for sure that a person who is smiling is actually happy. Learn how to praise people, even for the little things that they do or accomplish. Be kind to everyone around you. They need it, everybody needs it.
20. Listen. Please, stop talking so much and just learn how to listen to other people. Hear what they’ve got to say. Sometimes, we tend to overdo it, and we keep on trying to express ourselves so much that we forget how to listen to others. Learn from other people, be humble enough and have an open mind and an open heart. You’ll never know how much you’ll grow and learn just by listening to the people around you.
21. Social media? Use it only for the good. People nowadays have gotten hooked to the social media culture, and it’s crazy how even the younger ones have been gripped by all of it. There are so many issues all over the world that we have to think about before posting that rant about a donut store, or before uploading those photos of our new swimsuits. Think before you click. Or type. Whatevs.
22. Never stop dreaming. Always have a goal of some sort, so that you will be inspired to do things every single day. Dream big, and tell yourself that one day, you will make it. It won’t be that easy, but whatever happens, do what you can do to succeed.
23. Learn how to take risks. You will understand life only when you allow the unexpected to happen. I know it sounds scary, but you will not learn so much if you stay in your happy place, in your comfort zone. Step out of it, into the real world, and take a risk or two. It’s not always going to be happy and nice, you will make mistakes along the way, and decisions will give you really bad consequences. But this how you learn. And this is how you will grow as a person.
24. The world is not always a happy place. Sure, we often think of the world as a beautiful place with beautiful people everywhere. That is good. But do not expect too much, or else, you will only be disappointed. Sometimes, the world could be a bit cruel. We do not have to be discouraged because of this, but instead, we need to use this as an inspiration to do good, even in our own little way.
25. Do what makes you happy. As you grow older (and hopefully, wiser), you need to know how to invest your time wisely. If your job is making you miserable, then you have to rethink things and know when to move forward. Life is too short for us to be doing things that do not make our hearts genuinely happy.
26. Constantly let the people you love know that you love them. Again, life is too short. Do not take people for granted. Maybe your girlfriend is too annoying, or your best friend is starting to piss you off with their annoying habits. But they are in your life for a reason, and you are in theirs for a reason, too. Be grateful for every single day that they exist. Always let them know that you are beyond grateful for having them in your life (and show it). Let them know how much you love them, and let them know their worth.
27. Stop thinking that you have figured all your shit out, because you’re wrong. I’m sorry to burst your bubble but it’s true. You have not figured all of it out. Well, not just yet. Perhaps, you are still a long way from figuring it all out. But you’ll be okay. Every once in a while, we will go through certain downs in life, and that’s very normal. That is actually how we learn things. Embrace all of it, and move along.
28. Pray. Believe that God has plans for you, and that He will never leave you, no matter what life brings. It could be difficult at times, especially as you grow older. But always go back to God, seek for guidance and, even at times when you feel so low and miserable, know that God loves you and He always will.