Today, I was inspired by a series of events to put together a list of fifteen things I’ve learned in my fifteen years of life.  I know that most of my audience at the moment is probably quite a bit older and more experienced than I, but I encourage you to humor me and read this list with an open mind.  Maybe you’ll learn something new, or maybe you’ll just sigh, shake your head, and mumble something about “kids these days”.  By all means, go right ahead and do just that - in fact, I’ll join you.  You’re right, we can hardly even tell up from down.  However, we are learning in ways you never could have imagined.  Without further ado, here are fifteen things I’ve learned in fifteen years:


  1. Stay away from the boys who only listen to classic rock and the Beastie Boys - they’re nothing but trouble.

  2. Make stupid decisions - the smart kind, that is.  The kind where you learn a valuable lesson you wouldn’t have learned otherwise.

  3. New beginnings can happen any time you want them to.

  4. Listen to sad music when you’re upset or angry.  Cry it out.  Then, have an epic dance party in your bedroom.

  5. Watch films and read books you’d normally turn away from.  There’s a good chance you’ll be pleasantly surprised.

  6. It’s never too early - or too late - to pursue your ambitions.

  7. Don’t expect other people to change - in fact, don’t expect much from anyone at all.  Expectations cause you to sit around waiting for someone to fit into a preset mold you imagined for them instead of either embracing the ways they don’t quite fit it or finding the person who does fit perfectly.

  8. Keep a planner, or a journal, or something that will make you write something down every day, even if all you’re writing down is a reminder for your 2:00 dentist appointment.  It will help to clear your head and make you feel so much more organized and productive, even if it’s all just meaningless nonsense.

  9. Indulge in special things for yourself (and others, too!) every once in awhile.  A spritz of fancy perfume can do wonders for your confidence, and it’ll feel amazing to see your best friend’s eyes light up when you buy her that bracelet she’s been talking about for weeks.

  10. Take every opportunity you can to learn or try something new.  Fill your life with experiences and lessons before it’s too late.

  11. Don’t be afraid to speak your mind and make decisions based on what you want or need.  It’s more than okay to say “no”, and your opinion is always valid.

  12. Surround yourself with positive people who genuinely care and try to understand you.  Anyone who doesn’t is simply a waste of time.

  13. Embrace your insecurities.  Make something of them.  Turn a scar into a tattoo or even just a story to tell.  Adorn the hips you don’t like with clothes that make you feel amazing.  Your insecurities can also be your greatest strengths.

  14. You do not have to feel obliged to tell anyone anything that you don’t want to.  They are your words, and you can choose what to do with them and who to share them with.

  15. Accept everything you feel, and consider no feelings “right” or “wrong”, or “good” or “bad”.  Sad or happy, your feelings are valid and open to contemplation.

I could go on for ages, but, considering this is a list of fifteen things I’ve learned in fifteen years, I must bring it to a close.  I encourage you to make your own list of the things you’ve learned throughout your life.  How does it differ from mine?  Feel free to leave a comment, or simply read what others have to say and ponder your own thoughts in solitude.

Published by Jasmine Uitto