Being a young adult can be tricky. At seventeen, you’re meant to know exactly what you want to do with the rest of your life despite having only lived barely a fifth of it. There’s a lot happening inside a teenager’s head at any given time. From crushes to prom dates, navigating your way through pre-adulthood can be a challenge. With that said, I’ve compiled a list of a few lessons I learned along the way:
1. Cut your hair. Go in for a trim and come out with a bob cut because you can. Have the mindset that if you cut 8 inches off, might as well make it 12 while you’re at it. Hold your ponytail in your hand, feel its weight. Realize that change can lighten you immensely and hair can always grow back.
2. Paint your nails. Make them as perfect as you can. Try doing a Pinterest design on them and appreciate your hard work. When it gets ruined barely five minutes later, don’t freak out. Look at what you can accomplish when you’re patient and how fast it can be ruined. Understand that nothing’s permanent and you can always try again.
3. Write letters. Write them to friends, family, ex-lovers. Everyone. Use blank paper without any lines so that when you write it’s not straight. Don’t use whiteout either. Scribble through spelling errors with your pen instead of covering them up so that black blobs adorn your pages. Look at it when you’re done and take it in. See that you’re not perfect and make mistakes. Know that everyone does.
4. Sit under the stars on a clear night. Lay in the grass or on the roof of your garage. Stare at the stars we named after Greek Gods and try to count them all until you forget the number you were at. Realize that the universe as we see it now didn’t always look this way. Nothing happens over night.
5. Blast your favorite song. Listen to it when you’re home alone, in the shower, in front of a mirror. Memorize the words and then stop listening to it for months. Find it the next summer and fall in love with all over again. Recognize that distance makes us grow fonder. Sometimes missing something makes us like it more than we did before.
6. Go to a Museum and look at the history of your country. Rummage around your mind to try to recall what you were taught in school. Realize that you can’t remember everything. It’s okay to not know the answer sometimes.
7. Redecorate your room. Rearrange the furniture or reorganize your closet one Saturday. Find things you forgot about and throw away a garbage bag full of stuff you don’t like anymore. No one said you had to keep it anyway. Understand that what you liked yesterday might not be what you like today. It’s okay to change your mind.
8. Turn off all the lights in your bedroom but leave the curtains open. Lie upside down on the edge of your bed and watch the shadows the night makes on your walls. Fall in love with the light of the moon instead of being afraid of the darkness night brings for a change. Switching your perspective is pivotal for growth.
9. Open your windows and listen to the world outside your comfort zone. Count the seconds between lightning and the thunder that shakes the house. Hear drunken boys coming home at 4 in the morning from the bar as they belt out the lyrics to the latest pop song. Understand that listening is half the battle. The story is only as good as those who are there to hear it.
10. Go on a walk and leave your cellphone behind. Intend to go around the block but continue until you don’t know what time is or how far you’ve gone. Let your friends miss you for a day. It’s okay to take time for yourself without giving anyone an explanation.
© 2015 Reef Magazine