Life Lessons

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Hello everyone,

Since I’m 22, I thought I would reflect upon things I’ve learned in the course of my life. But first a quote that I just loved, but I modified it slightly to reflect my own age.

“I’m on level 22, that’s what I like to say because I beat the underwater level and the pyramid level. Like went through all the tunnels. I’m just getting better and better at life… if you don’t ever reflect, then you just stay an idiot”

— Jenna Marbles

Which I loved because it was Jenna Marbles, Queen of YouTube/Internet, and because it’s a better way at looking at getting older while involving video games. Specifically Mario.

  • Do whatever makes you happy as long as it doesn’t hurt others or yourself. If that’s playing video games, play all the games you can. If that’s painting, paint the Mona Lisa of today. If that’s programming, create something insane with your code. The world is your oyster… ok this is getting rather cliché but you get the point.
  • Always find the bright side of things, even if it’s the most obscure or littlest thing in the moment. It will help make things feel better.
  • Say yes to new experiences because you never know what new weird obsession you’ll develop.
  • Always try your hardest at everything you do, including the things you don’t like doing because when you’re done you have a sense of accomplishment.
  • Keep mementos from special moments because they can bring back memories. I like to keep these in a memory box which is more a tote that has colorful duct tape on it that I once used for a Halloween Costume.
  • There is no excuse for not learning something if you have a computer. Take your education seriously and learn new things every day even if it’s random trivia tidbits. You will never regret your education if you took it seriously… you may regret the money but not the knowledge.
  • Don’t spend more than you make. It just causes stress and unnecessary struggle.
  • Also don’t get into credit card debt. If you open an account, pay it off as soon as possible because interest fees or hidden fees will get you in more trouble than you think.
  • It’s ok not to be ok. Just accept that there will be bad days and you need to recharge your battery however you see fit.
  • Treat everyone equal. Respect their culture even if you don’t agree with certain aspects of it. Whether that be ethnicity, wealth, or orientation. Because each of those have their own social climate.
  • Going along those same lines. Get to know someone first before making a judgement. That way it’s based off of their character not something you perceived them to be.
  • People change. But just because they changed one way, doesn’t mean you have to follow in the same direction. People come and go, but stay true to whoever you are.
  • The world is a scary place. Take a friend along. Pokémon taught me that one, and truer words were never spoken.
  • Learn from the mistakes of others. Even if that’s from movies, video games, or television shows. There’s lessons in everything if you look hard enough.
  • Always tell someone how you really feel because you never know when it’s going to be the last time you talk to them.
  • Be prepared for anything. Whether that be having survival or repair stuff in your car in case it breaks down, or knowing every backup plan under the sun in case something goes off course. You never know what’s going to happen, so preparing for the worst but expecting the best should help you out in the long run.
  • Don’t be afraid to explore. There are new things and places if you simply try to find them.
  • Make an adventure out of anything. Makes the experiences more memorable I have found.
  • You don’t have to follow the social norms, because they could be drastically wrong.
  • Never trust everything you hear on television or in person, or what you see online. People can bend the truth regardless of what platform they are sharing it on. Just accept that and you won’t look like a fool or be misguided as we so often are.
  • Just because you’ve grown older does not mean you have to stop liking things you used to. Growing old is mandatory, growing up is optional. Growing old just means you’re more responsive and in a situation where you used to look for an adult to do something or help out, that means you’re the adult and you have to do the thing you used to leave for someone older to do.
  • Generic brand is often just as good as name brand, because often times name brand companies are filling the generic brand products. This is not true for everything. Some of the things I would always stick to the name brand of are the following: liquid NyQuil, peanut butter, ketchup, spaghetti sauce and Chips-Ahoy chewy chocolate chip cookies.
  • At some point of your life, you will be broke. Learn to just accept it when you go to Walmart to get something under $20 only to find out you only have $2 in your bank account. Just apologize, put the item away and head home. Nothing to be embarrassed about, we’ve all been there.
  • Learn to accept failure. You’re not going to perfect at everything you do. Even if you were a 4.0 Honor Student in all AP classes then you get to college and fail out of a class. It will happen, just accept what’s done is done. Learn from it and move on. Or you’ll end up going off a deep end into insanity-ville.
  • Do your dishes and laundry often before they become an ecosystem of their own or grow legs. It’ll help reduce stress and you won’t be embarrassed to have people over.
  • It’s ok to ask others for help. If you’re at the point in your life where you’re tired of having mac and cheese or ramen every night for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, telling either your parents or grandparents often results in money and orders to have real food. Or a nice homemade dinner.
  • Always check what type of light bulb something needs. A 60 watt lightbulb is not interchangeable with a 40 watt lightbulb. You’re just asking for trouble.
  • In relations to food, the following will keep you good for a long time: rice, pasta, flour, sugar, cheese, eggs, milk, a pack of chicken, a pack of frozen vegetables, and a well-stocked spice cabinet. Rice can also be cooked on the stove, you don’t need a fancy rice cooker.
  • Keep a calendar of when your bills are due as well as when pay day is, so you can make sure there’s always enough money in the bank for those bills. As well as making sure you don’t miss any that aren’t automatically withdrawn from your account.  If they’re all at the same time, call the company to see if you can switch to another date. They just want your money so if you have to switch the date to make it so you can pay the bills, they will often work with you. Same goes for asking for an extension. This will help prevent services from being shut off or being sent to collections.
  • Mr. Clean Magic Eraser seriously works on everything. Generic brand also works for this.
  • Mixing cleaners is an extremely bad idea. If you’ve never taken a chemistry class, chemical reactions can result in deadly gasses. Always check to see what it will be if you absolutely have to mix cleaners.
  • Never wait until something completely breaks to get it fixed. If your car starts making a weird noise, or the hot water goes out, then get someone to look at it as soon as possible because it’ll be cheaper when you first notice it rather than when it’s completely broken.

What are some things you’ve learned in your time on Earth? Or things you’ve found most helpful when going through the day? These are just some of the things I’ve picked up on but I’m sure there more.

– Mae Polzine

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