16 Things I’ve Learned At 16

Today happens to be my sixteenth birthday! It was one of the best birthdays I’ve ever had, all because of the friends I’ve made and the lessons I’ve learned over the past year. Since I’m so greatly appreciative of them, I figured I’d share them with all of you and keep them as a reminder for myself, for when I (often) forget.

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Me not knowing how to pose for pictures people take of me.
  1. Forgive but don’t completely forget.

People are going to hurt you and you are going to hurt them. Intentional or not, a deep cut or just a scratch, wounds hurt well and forgetting the pain is easy, but losing the scabs and scars isn’t. Don’t pick at the scabs and don’t stare too long at the scars, but remember that both are there and give them their proper awareness.

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Me, Natalie, Olivia, Valerie, and Brisa on our way to homecoming

2. Make good friends. Keep good friends.

This past year, good friends have been quite the fluctuation. But, in recent months, I’ve made some of the most amazing friends in the world, all of whom make me smile and feel loved for who I am every single day. Everyone needs a smile and everyone needs a hand, and getting both from good people is one of the best things you could ever have.

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Me at Universal Studios Hollywood Horror Nights

3. Belt some songs while you’re at it.

The past few weeks have left me some trouble with friends and some inner conflict with myself. Sometimes being a teenager is just the stereotypical, overdramatized suffering that it’s always made out to be. Sometimes it’s a summer movie filled with outings with friends and blissful days in the sun. Sometimes it’s both in the same day. Just belt some musical theatre, cry, laugh, and move on. You’ve got goals to see through.

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a selfie i took to commemorate hoco

4. Take lots of selfies all of the time.

Or just pictures in general. Bask in the technology that our generation has been gifted with and take so many pictures all of the time. Enjoy the time you’re given in whatever you’re doing, but take a few seconds to create a tangible memory, a frame and a photo that you can look back on and smile at.

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Me, Cynthia, and Naleiah at Universal Studios Hollywood Horror Nights

5. Find reasons to smile and do it often.

Finding happy things can be hard sometimes, but helping someone find their smile or helping yourself find your own can be incredibly rewarding. A funny video, a good joke, or something cute that makes you grin is enough to get you through the day and that’s all that matters.

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Isaac, Em, and Me looking cute

5. Dress up or dress down for no reason at all

Wear whatever you want to wear whenever you want to wear it. Whether it be a victorian gown or just a really cute top and jeans outfit, wear it with pride. You should be allowed to express yourself in whatever ways you want, as long as you’re not hurting yourself. Why not start with cute clothes, comfortable clothes, whatever that means for you.

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Cynthia and I, incredibly tired and wanting to go home

6. Take things one day at a time.

As someone who gets overwhelmed very easily, this was a hard one to learn. Stress about the future has always been something that has come easily to me, and I tend to bring it upon myself in the form of heavy workloads all of the time. Taking things step by step helps take the pressure off, and leaves you happier and makes things easier to enjoy in the long run. Give yourself that time to breathe. 

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Norm’s Bathroom, 1am, post homecoming

7. Don’t rush the good things

Zooming past the bad and heading straight for the good is something we all want to do. Who WANTS to suffer through the bad? But rushing past and cutting corners in search of the good things, whatever it may be for you, can be a destructive tendency. Waiting for the universe to do its thing and set it right is a better option unless the universe takes far too long. Know when to take it into your own hands (something I’m still learning.

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Friday Night Lights

8. Enjoy the little things.

Screaming at football games. Harmonizing in the streets of Manhattan with a dozen theatre kids. Launching into a full-on sword fight with castmates. Running around with little cousins and sisters. Jumping up and down at a hockey game. Bask in the little moments. They make up the simplest and best type of joy.

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My siblings, cousin Liv, and I at the pumpkin patch

9. Family is the best thing in the world.

Through thick and thin, ugly and beautiful, family is there. Whether it be blood relatives or tight-knit friends, a family is a family and incredibly valuable to the individual well being. No one should have to be alone, so don’t isolate yourself. Grab the reaching hands and offer your own.

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The Fall Play

10. Dive into your passions.

Whatever you can grab onto, anything that piques your interest. Go after it. Your life is yours, and it doesn’t last long. Whatever time you’re allotted, use it to the best of your ability. Do what you love and do it unapologetically and every chance you get. You can do it. I believe in you.

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My Sisters, cousin, and I on The Fastest Moving Kiddie Train

11. Take as many risks as you possibly can.

Things are scary, but if you let that stop you, you’ll never get anything done. Go after that dream job, ask out that boy, learn more about your passion. Take risks whenever, wherever, and don’t let yourself get stuck in the what-ifs. You never know what could come from what you make.

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dumb Kate taking too long to write this

12. Expect the unexpected all of the time

Nothing works out as we want it to or think it will. Be prepared to get the no or the yes, be prepared to be completely overjoyed and completely devastated. Whatever happens, there’s a reason behind it and the universe has got a plan. Keep chugging along with random gifts and curses shooting by.

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Natural History Museum Part 2

13. Seize every opportunity and make the best of it.

Take the job that could help you learn more and earn more in your field, take that trip that could teach you something valuable, and go out with a friend just because. Things are what you make of it and if you try to make the best of it, it just might be. Don’t miss out on a good chance.

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Me and the loveliest friends in the world

14. Love limitlessly.

A bright smile and a warm hug could be all it takes to make someone’s day. A few kind words and a small gesture doesn’t take much, so why not share them? Share them as often as possible.

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me stressing bc the psat is tomorrow and i have to study but IM STILL WRITING THIS BLOG POST. WHAT IS TAKING SO LONG, KATE?!!!!

15. Be yourself, to the fullest extent.

Don’t filter yourself for a soul. Find out who you want yourself to be and begin the transformation. Make every breathing moment newly dedicated to being that person. Somedays, you’ll slip back into old habits and routines. It doesn’t mean you’ve lost, it just means the battle continues. Fighting to grow is winning.

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The best people you’ll ever meet

16. The world is wide. Go explore it.

Little glimpses of the outside world give you a desire for more. Burst your bubble and explore. It will be the best decision you’ve ever made, so what are you waiting for?

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Hi guys! Thanks so much for reading my blog post!

It’s been a long while since I’ve posted, and I’ll explain it all very soon. For now, here’s what I’ve learned over the past sixteen years, especially over the past year alone. These lessons are written more for me to remind myself of things I often forget, but I hope they help or inspire some of you too!

As usual, like and comment if you please, I’d love to learn about you and your thoughts on my writing or my blog so far! If you have any thoughts on this post or have any suggestions for what you’d like to see from me in the future, please let me know! I’d love to hear from you all!

Alright, I’m off to study for the psat (which is tomorrow, universe help me). I’ll write you as soon as I can!

Until then!

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