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17 Things I've Learned by 17

1. Being a kind, honest and genuine person gets you farther. Not all people will return your kindness, but you will find that some do.

2. Surround yourself with good and positive people and you too will be positive. But, if you surround yourself with those who are far to pessimistic and you too will be pessimistic. That is a given.

3. Not everyone is going to listen to what you have to say because "you're just a kid who hasn't the slightest clue". So, Make! Them! Listen! Be heard. Speak up. Stand up for what you believe in and remember it is more than okay to disagree with others.

4. Your life is like a book. Every day is a new experience, and chapter in your book. There is more to life than you know. Take advantage of new opportunities that may arise, have fun, learn new things and inspire others. Take risks, and just enjoy every step of the way. Make your book an interesting one so that in the end you can say you did it all.

5. You're too young to be constantly focusing on your future. (Linked with #4) Your life should not be about work, of course that is important but not as important as your happiness. Become a well rounded person.

6. Not everyone will stay. That is a given. People will leave and it will be hard. There ARE going to be people who will stay with you and there will come a time when you will see that so make sure you appreciate them.

7. Change is nothing to be afraid of. Sure, change is inevitable and sometimes that can be scary, but it can sure as hell bring out the best in you.

8. (Linked with #2) If there is someone in your life who is bringing you down, making you feel bad about yourself or unsupportive, it is more than okay to cut them out. Make sure the relationships you have with others are healthy, and are good for either side of the parties.

9. You're going to screw up, and to be honest that is OKAY. It does NOT define you!

10. Do what makes YOU happy, because in the end it is your life and you deserve to be happy.

11. Respect others. No explanation needed.

12. Don't hate something you have never tried. Stay optimistic and open minded. Trying new things is fun and keeps things interesting.

13. People lie ALL the time. Whether it's big or small, people lie. Be aware of that, just nod and forget.

14. If you want something done, do it yourself.

15. You are worth more than you know. Again, no explanation necessary.

16. Everybody has a story. Never forget that.

17. Talk to people. Ask questions. Show your interest. You'll be glad you did!

Until next time, be you and keep smiling.

- T .x



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