I turned nineteen on the eighteenth of December this year. My eighteenth year was probably the most trying period I have faced while simultaneously doubling as a period of great surprises and tear-causing laughter. I stood, I fell, I got up again, I bloomed and today, to commensurate my day, I will be sharing nineteen things I’ve learnt in nineteen years:
- People change and that is okay . What you owe yourself is simply to be true to the person that you are.
- It is okay to cut people that threaten your peace and happiness out of your life. You owe yourself that much.
- Family is everything. Remember this.
- Friends are important but they shouldn’t be the bases on which your life should rest lest you sink if they are pulled out from under you.
- If you have a good heart, don’t let the world change it. Wear it on a sleeve and do good things for you and not for them.
- Give freely. It is more blessed to give than to receive.
- Laugh a lot. Learn to speak and appreciate the language of sarcasm.
- Bread and Akara at seven am before morning lectures goes a long way.
- You should not need any one to make you feel loved.
- You can’t get anywhere without God. Don’t kid yourself. He’s the root; You’re the branch. He is your source. If you cut yourself off, best believe you’re going to die, Fam.
- We all can’t play sports or engage in any form of exercise and there is nothing to feel guilty about. If the only form of exercise you engage in is climbing the stairs that lead up to the gallery at church every Sunday, then you deserve a medal. You are putting in as much work as befits the level of grace you have and you should be proud.
- You are capable of doing more than you think. Do not belittle your abilities.
- Listen to Ed Sheeran. He is your emotional support.
- You don’t have to conform to society’s expectations. If you are different, please stand out so the rest of us weirdos can find you.
- The narrow road or the road less taken usually makes all the difference. Tread it.
- It’s okay to start afresh or change your plans. You can pack up and change your course of study or the color of your room’s paint. If it scares you and excites you at the same time, you are probably on the right path.
- Ask for help when you need it.
- Be strong, for yourself and those you need to be strong for.
- It’s alright to cry – even my dad does sometimes.
-People’s problems aren’t always written on their faces. Respect that people are fighting internal battles of their own and facing demons you can’t see. Be accommodating, be considerate, be kind, take a little of your love and pass it on.
Until next time,