18 things I’ve learned in 18 years

Allow me to introduce myself.

IMG_1122.JPGMy name is Christelle Anani
I am a second-year at the University of Georgia, majoring in marketing and minoring in Chinese. And on Nov. 6, I was blessed to turn 18.

Here are 18 things I’ve heard, learned, and loved over the years that have helped me to grow. These reflect my opinions & a mixture of information. I hope you can use them. 

  1.  Stop Comparing Yourself – Everybody is on their own path. The social clock should not be what you compare yourself to. As long as you are doing your absolute best, there is no reason to be upset or afraid. Comparison is the thief of joy because it promotes self-destructive behavior and feelings of inadequacy. You should be your own competition. Stop looking for validation in other people and the achievement of your goals, instead look inwardly and try to be your best self. You’re a hidden treasure and your time will come.
  2. It’s okay to not be okay – Life is hard. Life will knock you down repeatedly, but it’s important to remember that your current situation is not your final destination, It’s easy to try to put up a facade and mask because of the clout that comes with being the strong friend, but in reality everyone is going through something. You are never alone. It is okay to cry. It is okay to feel down, but you have to pick yourself back up again.
  3. Time Heals – There was probably a point in your life where you felt like you weren’t going to make it. Now you’re reading this article and you’re alive. You pushed through. You made it. Time will heal. God will restore. You just have to believe that tomorrow will be better than today. Nothing will be the same, but you will learn to cope with whatever is hurting you. You will learn to be as okay as you can be. You will learn to get up again.
  4. Love God, Love Yourself, Love Others – A lot of problems can be resolved with love. God is love & God loves you. When you are feeling down and looking for your purpose in life, remember that Jesus thinks you’re to die for. When you start to compare yourself to your friends, remember that self-love is the best love and that if you invest in yourself the blessings will come. When someone lashes out at you and you are tempted to keep that same energy, kill them with kindness. You never know what someone is going through, so try your best to simply love.
  5. Trust the Process – Nothing in this life will come easy. You have to be willing to believe without seeing immediate results. From applying for that job you want, to trying to lose some weight, there will be a process that is often uncertain. You will sometimes feel unsure that you are progressing, or that you have a chance at success. This is where the trust comes in. You have to believe that what is for you will be for you. Remember that same God who moves mountains is on your side. Do your part, trust the process, and the rest will fall into place.
  6. Life is Short – You can be here today and be gone tomorrow. Live life to the fullest, but don’t waste it away with reckless decisions. Cherish your friends. Pray for those you interact with. Try to find a balance, a happy medium, and enjoy yourself.
  7. Mind over Matter – You can do anything you put your mind to. Train your brain and you will never be the same. A lot of problems are blown out of proportion because our brains have not been trained for success. You literally have to speak over yourself and convince your brain that you will succeed. The mind is a very powerful tool and if you’re reading this, you’ve been blessed to have a functional brain, so start using it to your advantage.
  8. Friends Come and Go – You will lose friends and gain best friends. If someone wants to be in your life they will act like it, so if you detect any funny business, trust your instincts. You were fine before you met them, and you will be fine after. Stop begging people to stay in your life. Pray for clarity in your friend group and watch the way things shift. There are also seasonal friends. Remember to be thankful for those who were fruitful in their season, but move on, grow, and look forward to the blessings and lessons of the next season.
  9. IMG_0004You cannot heal in the same environment that got you sick – Toxicity is at an all-time high. If you are feeling negative energy, remove yourself from it. Toxic people and environments have a way of physically, mentally, and even spiritually affecting you. If you are trying to better yourself but you are stuck in a toxic environment, no progress will be made. It is okay to fall back and reevaluate. It is okay to prioritize yourself. There is healing available to you, you just have to be willing to make the necessary changes.
  10. Your time is coming – I know that sometimes it can feel like everybody is passing you by. Maybe everyone is in a relationship, has clear skin, has good grades, is physically attractive, and you feel like you’re behind or being slept on. It is fine to feel that way, but learn to value the time you are given. You will miss not being in the spotlight, so grind while everybody is sleeping on you, and then when everyone is finally woke the come up will have fully arrived.
  11. Enjoy your childhood because most of your life will be spent in adulthood –  I would love for nap time and animal crackers to make a comeback. I remember thinking the worst thing that could happen was for me to get a red “x” on my name instead of a gold star. Now my grades, happiness, and health can all be tarnished in such a small amount of time. I was dying to grow up and now that I’m legally an adult I miss being a child.
  12. Know Yourself – Like Drake says, We need to know ourselves and our worth. You have to be willing to learn about yourself: the good, the bad, and the ugly. If you know yourself, no one can try to come for you or tell you about yourself. Knowing yourself will allow you to reach newer heights and to grow.
  13. Life begins at the end of your comfort zone – Try one new thing a month. Challenge your brain. Step outside of your element and watch how your character develops. There are so many different things to try and you never know what you like and are good at until you try them!
  14. The bounceback > The setback – In this life, many setbacks will occur, but you have to remember that for every setback there is a greater comeback. When something falls through or an awkward/avoidable situation occurs try to refrain from going straight to pessimistic thoughts. Instead recognize that something greater is in store and that when a door closes, a mansion might be on its way to be opened.
  15. Just keep pushing – Stagnancy is very dangerous. When you’re down you can easily get lost in your thoughts. Likewise, when you’re feeling defeated it is easy to want to give up. The moment that determines if you succeed is the moment where you decide to keep it pushing. Do not repress your emotions, but learn to effectively keep pushing through. Just hold on.
  16. Your glass is actually half full – Look at life on the bright side. There may be a lot of people with significantly better GPAs than you, but at least you are pursuing an education. Don’t forget to count your blessings. There are so many reasons to give God praise and to be happy. Don’t forget about them!
  17. Your L’s are lessons, not losses -You have to start recognizing Ls as lessons and not losses. When you really think about it, there has never been an L that hasn’t taught you something. If you have a falling out with a friend, you will most likely learn something about the way you handle conflict. If you take an L on an assignment, hopefully, you learn to time-manage better. Flip the way you think about L’s. If you refocus on the lesson learned and not the actual loss being taken, you will be able to grow and adjust accordingly.
  18. There will never be another you…so be unapologetic – There is only one me. There is only one you. You might have a twin or a doppelganger, but there will never be a replacement for you. Be unapologetic and about action. Try to walk the walk like you talk the talk. Don’t be afraid to fall because as long you stand up again you will be fine. One day, someone will enter your life and love the little things you can’t quite agree with about yourself. You are amazing.  You are fearfully and wonderfully made. You will achieve your goals. You can do anything you put your mind to.

I’m blessed to have grown to be 18 years of age. These 18 things were full of cliche phrases and personal opinions, but I hope you were able to take at least one thing from the list. Thank you for reading & Happy Scorpio Season.


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