1. Eat breakfast. Always. I can guarantee your day will be better
2. Don’t slouch. No matter what walls you put up, a person can always tell how you feel about yourself by how you carry yourself.
3. Remember how valuable money is. Don’t throw it around, and don’t expect other people to throw it around on your behalf. If someone spends his money on you, that is a big deal that you shouldn’t take lightly.
4. Nothing done well is done rushed. Nothing worthwhile in this world will come to you easily. Work hard, and take your time.
5. Observation is a powerful tool in understanding the world around you. Take the time to observe a situation to your best ability before making a judgment.
6. Second chances and forgiveness can be incredibly difficult to offer another person, but all people are capable of good. Sometimes it just takes a caring and understanding heart. And one day, when you need the forgiveness of another person, they will be more inclined to give it.
7. That being said, never let other people walk all over you. Never settle for poor treatment by another person. There are plenty of people in the world that will treat you the way you deserve to be treated.
8. It is always better to be honest with someone about how you’re feeling. Your feelings are real—you shouldn’t have to harbor them away. People can’t read minds. If the truth is given, there is no room for assumption.
9. I know all of the cool bra and underwear patterns are tempting, but always make sure you have a solid set of nudes in your arsenal. Nothing is more embarrassing than zebra print showing right through your white shorts.
10. Self-deprecation may seem funny at the time, but eventually it builds up and it’s only a matter of time before those little jokes you make about yourself begin to be your true beliefs about who you are. Never put yourself down for the sake of getting a few laughs.
11. Listen to your body. It knows what it wants.
12. Doubt is the mechanism that allows for progress. Never be afraid to question what your teachers, parents, or friends tell you, even if they believe it to be the truth. The greatest breakthroughs in this world come from people who aren’t satisfied with what other people tell them and choose to seek new answers.
13. Always listen to other people. Every day is a new learning experience, and you’ll be surprised how much others have to offer you.
14. Be optimistic. Pessimism accomplishes nothing.
15. Blaming your circumstance for your problems is a coward’s excuse. No matter what difficult obstacles you encounter in your life, you are ultimately in control of finding a solution. Never accept the option of sitting back and being a victim.
16. A firm handshake goes a long way. When you meet someone new, no matter how old you are or how old the other person is, look him in the eye and shake his hand. People appreciate that sort of thing.
17. Take a lot of pictures. And let me take pictures of you. No matter how embarrassed you are about it now, you’ll thank yourself (and me) later.
18. Sports will teach you a lot. Stick with them. Teamwork, discipline, will power, fighting for something that means a lot to you…and many more lessons will come out of your experience.
19. You don’t have to prove anything to anyone, as long as you know it to be true. Unless you’re writing a persuasive essay.
20. Always treat other people with respect. Never talk down to anyone…trust me, you don’t know it all so don’t act like it.
21. A lot of old things are good, but it’s also important to know when it’s time to let go. Holding onto something because it’s comfortable or because it’s how it’s always been will only create problems for you.
22. Your strength is in your base. So bend your knees.
23. Wake up early.
24. Help others when they ask for it. But the most meaningful kind of help is that which is not asked of you, but you take the initiative to reach out anyway.
25. “Fashionably late” is less cool than it sounds. It’s actually just annoying and puts everyone behind schedule.
26. If you’ve improved the life of just one other person, you’ve succeeded.
27. Don’t get a tattoo. They seem artsy and cool for about two seconds until you gain weight or get pregnant or turn 90. Then it’s just sad.
28. Never reach a point where you can’t feel good about how you look unless you’re wearing makeup.
29. Everyone goes through phases where they stop exercising and start eating everything in reach. It happens. Don’t beat yourself up about it.
30. Don’t be that girl on karaoke night trying really hard. That’s not fun for anyone, especially if you’re terrible. You can be terrible and still get up there and have a good time, but don’t pretend like you don’t know.
31. There will always be someone prettier, smarter, faster, skinnier, than you. That doesn’t make what you have any less valuable.
32. Read a book. Not on a kindle. A real book that comes from a bookshelf.
33. Sometimes you just feel like crying. You don’t need to know exactly why.
34. Don’t use social media as a form of passively aggressively communicating with someone. It creates many more problems than it solves.
35. Don’t wait around for someone who doesn’t want you. There is someone who appreciates who you are, now. Don’t wait for someone to realize how wonderful you are. They should already know.
36. I don’t care about the circumstance, or who he is. There is absolutely no excuse for cheating. You will never put up with someone who cheats on you, and you will never cheat.
37. There is nothing attractive about smoking. Lung cancer isn’t as hot as everyone makes it out to be.
38. A good sandcastle is never finished.
39. You can be a tomboy if you want, but that does not mean I won’t still make you a Barbie cake for one of your birthdays. You know, the kind where the cake is her dress. And you’re gonna love it.
40. Inform yourself about what’s going on in politics. You don’t have to agree with it, but you can’t have an opinion unless you’re keeping up with what’s happening.
41. When entrusted with a secret, keep it.
42. Don’t get married before you can legally drink.
43. Living with someone is very, very different from being friends. Even your best friend in the world may not be the wisest choice for a roommate.
44. When carpooling, always pitch in for gas.
45. Compliments should always be passed on. When you hear something nice being said about someone else while they’re not there, approach her (or him) and repeat to the person what was said. Even just a small comment can make someone’s day. In addition, never hold back from complimenting the person you’re with. If you think of it on the spot, say it out loud.
46. If the enemy is in range, so are you.
47. Always keep a travel toiletries kit handy. Having to get all of the stuff together for that when rushing to pack is a hassle.
48. Forget the present. Write a letter. Hearing what someone you care about has to say about you is more meaningful than any gift.
49. Don’t sing the guitar solo.
50. Don’t touch anything in a public bathroom, or on any form of public transportation if you don’t have to.
51. Hold others to as high of a standard as you hold for yourself.
52. A suntan is earned, never bought.
53. You’re going to lie to me, and to your friends…that’s inevitable. But don’t lie to your doctor.
54. Always treat a gun as if it were loaded.
55. Don’t tell someone he has a sunburn. He knows.
56. When someone compliments you, don’t brush it off or disagree. It’s just awkward for everyone involved. They’re trying to be nice. All you have to do is say “thank you!” and move on.
57. Tell Santa what you want for Christmas. He’s not a mind reader.
58. Boutonnières are impossible. Let your mom help you.
59. The internet does not replace real life experiences. I don’t care what Emily Dickinson says, you can’t sit in your house alone and claim to know the world.
60. In a sports environment, never start the wave. But don’t let it die.
61. If you feel passionate about something or someone, throw yourself into it. The worst that happens is that it doesn’t work out. There will be other opportunities. The feeling of disappointment is so much better than the agony of wondering what could have been if you had followed your heart.
62. Don’t let a wishbone grow where a backbone should be.
63. If you want to know what kind of person someone is, look at his actions, not his words.
64. Fake it ‘til you make it. Placebo effect—pretending to be confident and in control can foster true feelings and attitudes.
65. If you aren’t hungry enough to eat an apple, you’re not hungry.
66. You can do your homework after you finish playing outside.
67. Never get a haircut right before something really important. That includes middle school dances.
68. When you’re with new friends, don’t just talk about old friends.
69. Eat lunch with the new kid.
70. If you need to get something out of your system, write it down.
71. Never go to bed angry.
72. If you trip in public, don’t blame the sidewalk. Pick yourself up and pretend nothing happened.
73. If you need music on the beach, you’re missing the point.
74. No selfies, kissy faces, duck faces, peace signs, or poses with alcohol.
75. It’s good to be humble. The road is the exception. When you have the right of way, GO.
76. You don’t get to choose your own nickname.
77. Don’t shove someone into the pool unless you’re sure he doesn’t have anything valuable in his pockets.
78. The one time hotdogs are actually good is at the ballpark. Indulge.
79. Learn to bake, or cook. The best way to a person is through his stomach.
80. Never request a joke or impression. They’re never as good on command.
81. Middle school is a hell hole. If you make it out with one friend, you’ve succeeded.
82. Keep a quote book.
83. Take responsibility for your actions. Admit when you’re wrong, or when you need help.
84. Be thankful every day for everything you have. Everyone is fighting a difficult battle, and there are probably thousands of people who would do anything for your life. Be open and giving, never spoiled.
85. Don’t gloat. A good friend or parent will do that for you.
86. Invest in great luggage. You never know where you’ll end up.
87. Reach out. If you want to get in touch with someone, don’t wait for him to make the first move.
88. If it’s too cold in your room to be comfortable without a jacket, it’s perfect sleeping weather.
89. Always hold onto your change.
90. Stand up to bullies. You’ll only have to do it once.
91. If you’ve made your point, stop talking.
92. Worry about your own grades. How well other people are doing in the class has no effect on your success.
93. Don’t even think about touching your phone during meals.
94. You’re going to screw up every now and then. Pick yourself up and move on.
95. Reach out to younger kids. They look up to you more than you know…there is no better feeling than knowing you’re someone’s role model.
96. Never underestimate the power of absolute, perfect silence. We live in a society where silence is uncomfortable, but in my opinion, being able to share silence with someone is the ultimate sign of feeling at peace.
97. Never half-ass it on Halloween.
99. Become comfortable with writing in script. It’s one of those seemingly useless skills that you’ll be glad you know
100. Size is just a number. Weight is just a number. Pick clothes based on what feels right, not by the number on the label. Remember, no one else has any idea.
101. Always root for the home team. No one likes someone who switches alliances based on who’s hot at the time.
102. Sit in the front of the classroom.
103. Don’t get involved unless you absolutely have to. If you don’t believe me, then take a look at some of the choices the U.S. has made. We have yet to learn this lesson.
104. Never criticize a book, play, or film, unless you’ve seen it yourself. Art is full of surprises.
105. Remember that all boys know exactly what girls want to hear. Don’t think you’re special because he opens up to you about his sister’s health problems.
106. Remember that charity is often short-term solutions to long-term problems designed for people who want to feel better about themselves because they help ship food to Africa. If you want to make a real difference, get involved in something that supports long-term change. Go there yourself. Build houses. Till farmland. Open up jobs in an area. Give people the tools to help themselves, don’t propagate a relationship based on dependence on the giver.
107. Collect things.
108. Get involved in your school. Your experience is what you make of it.
109. Draw what you see, not what you assume is there.
110. Remember that pizza is always an option. A good, home-cooked meal is not.
111. Even though road rage runs in your family, try to keep your cool when driving. It’s in everyone’s best interest.
112. Learn to tie a tie and braid hair. Ask your mom to teach you.
113. Avoid gossip and drama. Never write a bad word about someone, it’ll always come back to haunt you. If you need to vent, vent to your mom. Not the person you’re venting about’s best friend.