19 Things I’ve learned by 19

Here I am at midnight on my 19th birthday, sitting in my dimly lit dorm room contemplating the past 19 years of my life. It’s funny to think that just a year ago on my 18th birthday I thought I had it all figured out. I didn’t. I hope I can say on my 20th birthday that 19 year old Kim had a lot to learn too, because nobody really has it all figured out. That being said, at the risk of sounding like every other “Odessy” article written by an under qualified college student, I thought I would compile a list of 19 things I’ve learned about myself and the world by 19.

  1. You’re not a failure if you don’t go to an Ivy League

One year ago you were sitting in class listening to all your over-acheving friends talk about their acceptance letters into Vanderbilt, Duke, and Stanford. I know you felt like a little bit of an underachiever for going to FSU, but now that you’re here you wouldn’t change it for the world. It’s all about the opportunities you make for yourself and taking advantage of all that your university has to offer.

2. You’ll never be satisfied if you compare yourself to others

I’m cool. She’s cool. He’s cool. But we’re all different kinds of cool, so don’t try to make your cool talents like hers or his. Just be you.

3. GPA is forever, but so are friendships

Getting good grades is only half of college. There are so many opportunities to meet new people every day, take them.

4. But school is still really important 

You have a tendency to find self worth in building relationships rather than in your GPA or bank account, which is great! It makes you a good friend! But seriously, sometimes you need to cancel that coffee date or skip “family” dinner, sit down with a textbook, and study.

5. Good people can make bad decisions 

Took me a long time to figure this one out, but you’ll meet some really great people who do some really stupid things. Drugs, alcohol, etc. don’t make a person “bad” or any less worthy of love and grace. Sometimes those people need it the most.

6You’re destined to be the mom in every friend group

This one is more specific to me than the general population, but somehow you always end up being mom, and you’re totally ok with it. You don’t mind tucking your friends into bed, or walking them home after a long night out. You always carry extra snacks, water, and a solid stash of OTC drugs at all times. You were just made to take care of people.

7. It’s okay if you don’t have an over packed schedule

It’s pretty easy to feel like you’re not maximizing your potential if you’re not constantly running from one thing to the next, especially since that’s all you did fall semester. It’s ok to have some free time though. Go watch some netflix, spend time in prayer, or take a nap, you deserve it.

8. It’s normal to weigh more than 120 pounds

You were REALLY skinny in high school. It ok that you gained 10 pounds. You’re still healthy and slaying the game.

9. Scheduling doctors appointments sucks 

Avoid them at all costs.

10. You assume the best in people 

This can also be a really great quality. You’re an optimist who just wants everyone to live to their full potential! But try to remember that everyone is still human, and don’t get too bummed out when people don’t live up to your expectation of them.


Self explanatory.

12. It’s really easy to be really selfish, but try to fight it

College culture is centered around self indulgence. It’s so easy to focus on yourself and throw volunteering, tithing, and giving to the wayside. Just remember the world doesn’t revolve around you and your education. You know better than that.

13. Manners can get you far

Always say “sir” or “ma’am.” Smile at strangers. Let others walk in front of you, and always hold the door. Say “excuse me” and be quick to apologize. It can make someone’s day, and it will make you feel better too. Don’t date people who don’t value this.

14. You won’t agree with everything the church taught you as a kid, but you still value the life lessons and friendships you made there. 

Suddenly you leave your small homogenous town of Jensen Beach, FL and you’ll realize not everything you believed about God makes sense in the context of the rest of the world. But that’s ok, that means you’re growing as a person.

15. But you’ll figure out what you do believe, and you should pursue that with your whole heart.

You still are thankful for the foundation your home church laid for you, but now its time to build on what you believe. Don’t let uncertainty get in the way of pursuing your relationship with Christ.

16. You love the noles more than your average girl

Yes Kim, you are a little crazy for sometimes crying when you look at your campus. It’s ok though. If you don’t obsessively talk about everything FSU, and try to get all the football players to tweet you back, who will?

17. FOMO is real

You have a serious case of Fear Of Missing Out. Any time you hear your friends invite you out, it’s almost impossible to say no. It’s ok to stay in though. You aren’t always missing that much, and remember number four on this list?

18. Getting outside is important 

Chances are it’s a beautiful day out. Stop watching netflix and go take a walk around campus. If it’s the weekend go on a hike or have a picnic in the park. Or at least watch netflix in your hammock. You’ll thank yourself later.

19. Don’t take life too seriously

Roll with the punches. Laugh a lot. Be a total werido around your best friends. You’re still a kid. You still are only responsible for keeping yourself and your GPA alive. Have fun while you’re young, and remember if things don’t go your way God’s got a plan for this life.


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