According to my birth certificate, I turned 19 last week. I’m still dealing with it because sometimes I feel like I’m 30, and sometimes 8. I’ll soon be 21 and while people say twenties are the finest years of life, I dread it sometimes. Until then, I guess I’m qualified enough to give you 19 pieces of my best advice. Here’s 19 things I’ve learned at 19 years of age.

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1. Your parents will always be the best people in your life:

If there’s anything I have REALLY learned in 19 years,

it is respect for parents. This might not hold true for everyone out there, but 90% of the time, our mom and dad are people we can run to, anytime we want. It’s important to love and respect them like they’re the most prized possession you own in this entire world.

2. Stay humble and kind even when you clearly know you’re the best:

We’re all better that everyone else in our own eyes (and that’s good) but don’t let that feeling overpower your ability to be kind and love others. Stay humble.

3. If you have the capability to achieve something, push yourself:

We’re often enough to be cool at anything we like, but if we laze around and don’t push our limits, all our talents could be wasted. Hence, keep pushing and experimenting.

You can never fully know what you’re capable of until you get in there and try yourself. I didn’t know I was so good at writing until I entered an essay competition. I didn’t know I loved speaking on a stage until I overcame my fear of it.

You’ve got it in you, baby. You just have to push through and break open that shell.

You’ve got it in you, baby. You just have to push through and break open that shell Click To Tweet

4. Praying everyday can work miracles in your life:

I regret not being devoted to praying every day. I wish I had realized sooner in life the goodness of having a relationship with Jesus. Imagine 19 years of a perfect relationship with Jesus- BLISS! But the chance is never taken away from us. We can still start today.

5. Keep the balance in life:

I’ve learned in 19 years that balance is key. I face feelings of overwhelm every now and then because I struggle. The struggle comes when many different things are thrown at me at the same time. I just stop functioning. Drawing that fine line of balance as you juggle through duties is something I have learned the hard way.

6. Try to see the good in others:

I think I’ve spent a lot of time criticizing people and spoiling my peace because of their stupidity. This also made me a harsher critic towards myself. I became cynical, negative and it was hard reconstructing myself to be enthusiastic and cheerful. It doesn’t hurt to look for the good in people. Suddenly, you’ll learn to accept everyone and also yourself.

It doesn’t hurt to look for the good in people. Suddenly, you'll learn to accept everyone and also yourself. Click To Tweet

7. Pray and forgive those who hurt you:

A lot of people have hurt me. I also made the mistake of holding grudges and crying over it for years. Looking back, it would be amazing if I were able to forgive them. It would feel peaceful in my heart and I could have won many of them back. It was a feeling I lacked for a long time. Be it siblings, relations in family, exes, teachers or friends. Forgive. Take this further ahead by praying for them. Thank me later.

Also read: ‘8 Ways to keep your peace’

8. Say yes:

I’m not big on scary adventures, so I’ve been me saying no to opportunities even before looking into it. Now that I’m mature, (am I?) I tend to say yes to things even if I don’t know how to figure it out yet, and then I figure it out. That way I learn new things constantly.

Say yes to family reunions, picnics, friend’s sleepovers and competitions. Don’t say no just because you’re scared. That would be dumb.

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Say yes to family reunions, picnics, friend’s sleepovers and competitions. Don't say no just because you're scared. That would be dumb. Click To Tweet

9. Life is better with laughs.

Do I really need to explain this one?

10. Food solves a lot of negative emotions:

If you’re feeling stressed out, angry or sad and you don’t know why, it might be good to go eat a treat. This has helped me because eating vada-pav is better than yelling at your mom. (Just a hack for always being in a good mood)

11. The flower that blooms in adversity is the rarest and most beautiful of all – Mulan:

I’ve questioned my abilities a lot of times because I didn’t come from a super-rich family or because I didn’t have the coolest friends. I also spent a lot of days seeing family conflicts, various problems other children my age didn’t normally experience, extremely dark days and super hurtful times.

But the truth is, you don’t be ashamed of that. Some flowers bloom in the mud and that’s beautiful. Your worth is not defined by your past, your surroundings or your family.

Also read:“How Oprah Conquered Her Biggest Failure (and How You Can Too)”

12. People are important in life.

I’m a dead poet and a melancholic writer. I tend to stay aloof to find inspiration and I don’t entertain people. I think it is a waste of time. But not anymore, because I have learned that people (the right kind of people) will not feel like a burden.

As we grow up, it is important to find the right kind of people. They won’t tolerate everything you do, they won’t say you’re right all the time, but they will lift you up and they will help you. Find these people. 

13. Being vulnerable is an attitude of the strong:

Don’t get me started on how many times I’ve cried in public in the last 19 years. Sometimes, people say I’m too emotional or that I’m not mentally strong. But, I know that I wear my heart on my sleeve. I feel everything deeply and that’s why we’re humans. I’ve learned that I don’t need to be afraid to be vulnerable. 

14. Time heals everything:

Many times in life, I feel like bad days never get better, and then they do. Time will heal everything. Give God time and he will heal you. 

15. Start talking:

I once spoke to a senior and I got the chance to go to a short film festival (I’ve told you this before). So I’ve learned in 19 years, that many BEAUTIFUL things you can get by just asking for them. Don’t be shy, ask, talk, socialize and increase your confidence. It’s high time for e stop calling ourselves ‘introverts’ and talk to real people.

16. Value art:

it wasn’t until the lockdown that I started Diving into songs, movies, documentaries, research and art. People are so amazing. They’ve all made such Amazing creations and you could marvel at how God put these ideas in their brains for hours. Value art and learn from it. There is endless potential inside Humans. Explore that and life will be interesting and fun. 

17. Be a servant at heart: 

A major part of my gap year has been me doing dirty chores at home. Sweeping, washing smelly clothes, doing the dishes times 10. But, God made me humble. Be open to humiliating experiences because God loves a servant-hearted woman.

18. Record things:

A lot of things happened in 19 years.

I wish I recorded them more…

I’ve been through so many amazing moments and I wish I had written about it. Or taken more photos. Sadly I haven’t. As you go through life, record the important moments that make life meaningful. In a diary, a video gallery or photographs. This magnificent moment won’t come again and you need to save it. 

19. Show up:

In 19 years, I have learned the importance of showing up.

Recently I got a LinkedIn account and suddenly, I can see that this world needs the talent I have. Somewhere in this wide world, some person is seeking exactly what I want to offer. I just don’t know it yet.

Somewhere in this wide world, some person is seeking exactly what you have to offer. Click To Tweet

So, showcase your talent. Shine out as the person God made you to be. You were put here for a reason and don’t say you’re not worth it just because no one’s appreciating you just yet. Someone out there is being helped by your little talent. So show up with whatever you have and God will use it.

Don’t forget: Jesus was able to feed 5000 men because of that one boy who decided to offered the little he had instead of questioning whether or not it would be enough.