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19 Things I Learnt By Age 19

As stated previously on this website, I am 19 years old. Let me just preface this right now, this is not me trying to claim I am the wisest person you will ever meet, because let's face it, there are a lot of people out there that could give you more helpful advice and direction in life than I probably could... yet. I think it is fair to say though that in my (realistically and comparatively) short time on this planet I have ticked up the miles on the knowledge train, and after its been attained, it can help anyone. In this article I will share some of that knowledge in hopes that it enriches your life as much as it has mine. I was originally inspired to write something like this after seeing Gavin McInnes of The Rebel Media, a conservative news company based in Canada, make a video detailing "16 Things I Didn't Figure Out Until I Was 45", which you can watch by clicking here if you wish to do so. In the video he lists 16 things that you don't completely realise until someone tells it to you, at which stage it seems obvious as all hell. So, without further ado, here is my list of "19 Things I Learnt By Age 19". Enjoy!

1. Music

The one thing that I have been told from friends and family, then noticed myself is that music can have a strong impact on your life. Music is many things to many people. Music is important. Music is medication and therapy, but also entertainment. Music can cater to your every need, your every whim and any mood. Music is versatile and malleable. Music is the friend that will always have your back. Using music as white noise in the background as you are completing a task however tedious or unpleasant can enhance the experience, essentially rendering the task a joy to fulfil. Trust me. I have recently gotten myself into a new habit of blasting music when I am showering, and doing so has turned the what was somewhat boring daily chore into a fun-filled shower karaoke session. The same goes for when I am taking the bus into the city for University, if it wasn't for the music then I would just be sitting there bored out of my mind like I used to be on the bus.

2. Negative People

There is a variety of personality types in every society. Often, in attempt to assure things go smoothly, personalities will have to fit like an iron fist in a velvet glove, other times they will match like an arsonists backpack. In my experiences, I have had to deal with both of these scenarios and it can sure be frustrating, but you just need to exercise your patience muscle. In Australia, there is an abundance of people whose default emotion is being either happy, sad, angry or sceptical. In particular, negative people will find their way into your life. They will jump through hoops and hurdles just to make you miserable, especially if you let them into your life, then it will inevitably happen. If you are unfamiliar with the concept of projection, it is when people who are deeply insecure direct their inner disapproval with themselves onto others. You need to be aware of this as it can be tricky to identify when it is happening. If you stumble across someone who does this, you need to abandon them. Leave them in the dust, they are human trash. You do not deserve to feel like shit for doing nothing. Find yourself supporting and empowering friends.

3. Emotions

I am going to keep this one somewhat short, but, this one is somewhat more well-known - emotions are contagious. They can spread like an STD and be received as swiftly as a text message. If you have ever been around your parents, grandparents or best friends while they are crying, then odds are that you started crying as well because of just how saddening and heartbreaking of an experience it can be. Displaying your emotions and being an emotional person is normal and common. I am willing to admit that at times I can be susceptible to being emotional in response to others being emotional too, for example when someone I deeply care about starts crying, I tend to do the same.

4. Neo-Liberalism

In the past few years, the world has been reluctantly greeted by a wave of neo-liberals. In particular, third wave feminists and social justice warriors. It is fairly well known that these people are not the type of people that you would want to befriend. They think that their objective is a positive change for society but in reality they do more harm than good. It has gotten to the point where I had to recently research what classical liberalism actually is because neo-liberalism is so far off the mark. Attempting to converse with leftists and neo-liberals is never an enlightening experience, all they bring to the table is irrational arguments fueled by emotion and fiction. Especially whenever you try to debate controversial topics with them, you are bound to be labelled with at least five viral buzzwords designed to defame and slander your name, even after citing various statistics from credible sources. They are never ready to accept any opinion that does not coincide within their own bubble of thought, yet they use the word "bigot" extremely liberally (get it? liberally... anyways), most of the time without any concrete evidence. In recent times, there have been hit pieces against conservative public figures, namely Milo Yiannopoulos, of which neo-liberals have attempted to make meticulous and calculated news stories designed to, yet again, defame his name and do anything to try to derail and destroy his career and livelihood, just because he has differing opinions and can be controversial.

5. Appearance

I read a Louder With Crowder article a few weeks ago that pertained to this African-American Buzzfeed writer who was conducting a social experiment aiming to prove that racism is real via discrimination against young African-American men. In particular, discrimination caused from what he chose to wear for a day. On the first day he went out and did as he usually would, wearing what he describes as "laid-back/something I can skate in”, translated to a black hoodie and black sweatpants. The next day, a fairly stylish and snazzy black suit jacket with beige pants and a white top. Whether or not he experienced racism is not pertinent to this article because it is irrelevant to my point (hint: the experiment backfired). Although, what I will detail is that he said that he received compliments from his co-workers on the day that he came in dressed in a suit. So, what he discovered is that if you dress better you will be complimented, people will treat you better and it will make you feel better. He also began to wake up earlier to iron his shirt and slacks. I can corroborate this sentiment because the same occurs whenever I dress in a suit or smart casual wear; I also feel more confident and attractive than usual.

6. Post-Concert Depression

I have attended numerous concerts during my life, just like any other young adult. Most of the bands that I have seen are metal bands; Metallica, Parkway Drive and I Exalt being the latest headliners. There is always something new for you to learn after any concert experience. One thing remains constant, and it is that post-concert depression is NOT real. You hear it all the time from people who just came home from a concert and are sad. This myth is the kind of drivel that you would expect to hear from websites such as Buzzfeed or Tumblr. I cannot help but point out the one glaring fact that many neglect to acknowledge, which is the fact that depression is NOT feeling down in the dumps or being suddenly overcome with sorrow. In fact, Beyond Blue defines depression as, and I paraphrase: "feeling intensely sad, moody or low for long periods of time (weeks, months or even years) and sometimes without any apparent reason. Depression is more than just a low mood – it is a serious condition that affects your physical and mental health." As someone who has suffered from depression during my lifetime, mainly induced by my Crohn's Disease, this is a real slap in the face for me. Yet, when you go to debate this topic with anyone who believes post-concert depression is real, they turn into petulant children that do not want to accept reality. As stated previously, depression is more than just a low mood, which is true, if you claim to have post-concert depression you are either being melodramatic or you are depressed beforehand. Stop conflating sadness and depression, the difference here is a contrast so vastly separable from one another. The two hold little common ground.

7. Vocabulary

Not only is having an ever expansive vocabulary handy for University and personal use, but you can easily intimidate or aggravate anyone during argument with it, and cause them to turn into an angry ape instead of refuting your points. Likewise, when it comes to messing with people online, your greatest weapon is having an extensive vocabulary and knowing what you are talking about. I have a lot of fun messing around with and proving this point as I spend a lot of time online every day. Using a variety of fancy words will inevitably make someone feel like an idiot, because let's face it, if they do not know the word, they are. Plus, it gives you a reason to think you are better than someone else, if that is what you are looking to accomplish.

8. Political Discourse

My interest in politics sparked when I turned 18 and was granted the ability to vote in Australian federal elections. Over such time I have learnt an abundance of lessons. The first is that you are not going to agree with everyone when it comes to politics. In particular, controversial policies such as immigration or abortion. Other topics that provoke strong attention during political discourse include political correctness, rape culture, the wage gap and white privilege. These are all open to individual interpretation. Secondly, there are plenty of people out there that handle arguments poorly, the best way to circumvent this is to have verified and authentic statistics at the ready. Additionally, exude confidence when you deliver your statistics and opinions, doing so will make the people you are talking with doubt themselves and believe maybe you are right and they are wrong.

9. Insecurity

Contrary to popular belief, everyone feels insecure or vulnerable at times, even the most confident and self-assured people you know. It is a flaw that is anchored with being human. I am sure even Kim Kardashian has moments of insecurity and vulnerability, it is just a part of the human condition. Although, it is a common occurrence for insecure people to project their insecurities onto you and make you feel awful in return, often for no reason at all. It is definitely best for you to avoid anyone who does this, as they will not omit any opportunity for projection.

10. Liars

Everyone lies, in fact, lying is very common. This is why honesty is a virtue, because it is so highly sought after wherever you go. Lying causes you to form trust issues, which can then effects your psyche. If I cannot trust you then we will not get along. I have told my fair share of white lies in my time but recently I have reformed my ways, making significant efforts to be more honest to everyone around me. One night I was self-reflecting as I usually do, and started thinking, what is the point in lying? You are going to be found out eventually, so why bother? It is also common for people to lie in debates or under oath just to prove you wrong. The epitome of dishonesty to me, in recent times anyways, is the myth of the wage gap, as this is a provable myth with statistics to bolster such claims. I was going to say climate change but the jury is still out on that one, as there is data that support both sides of the argument. There have been claims that climate change scientists have fabricated data in order to fit the narrative that is maintained so heavily by the general populace. I think it is just safer that I not dip my toe too deep into the pool on this one.

11. Opinions

There are two kinds of people in this world, the first is the person who always replies to someone's opinion in a really sassy and bitchy way with "who asked you?". This is shorthand for "I do not agree with your opinion, and I wish to censor you because of it". These people are likely to be a leftist or an easily offended millennial. These people are not believers in freedom of speech and are poor at debating. To them it is you either conform and agree with me, or you shut up. Secondly are those who value the right to express opinions and speak freely, as it is their God given right to do so. If you are a millennial, disavow those who silence, censor and disregard other people's opinions and their right to speak freely. You do not have to agree with the opinions of your pupil but you should not silence them. Also, you are bound to run into people who have an opinion on everything and will not hesitate to let you know. I do not disagree with this because I am a strong advocate for freedom of speech, but I do agree that it can grow annoying after a while.

12. Passion

Practice makes perfect, everyone is familiar with this adage, it has stuck with me for as long as I can remember. Throughout the duration that I was undertaking tennis practice when I was a young and enthusiastic seven year old, my father uttered these words to me over and over again because I was dedicated to constant improvement within my tennis game. It has stuck with me and the rest of society is because it is true. You are never going to become a world class tennis player if you practice a maximum of once a week. On many occasions I would find myself practicing my rallying skills out the front of my old house, hitting the ball against this somewhat small area of brick because that was all I had to work with, short of forcing my dad to come with me to the tennis club and play with me. Well, that is if the club was open during that time. Ideally, if you have a passion you should be practicing it every day just like I did. Unfortunately, my journey to being #1 worldwide tennis athlete was disrupted by me falling prey to Crohn's Disease when I was nine, around the time that I started to really gain some momentum and see real improvement in how I played the game. Passion gives you a reason to wake up in the morning. Passion creates drive, and drive creates success. Passion is important, I believe everyone should find something to be passionate about and keep at it until they master it. At the moment I am trying to make writing my main focus and although recently I have not been writing everyday, that will change starting from now onward, even if it is just a paragraph. My main goal will be to immigrate as many fancy words as I can into my writing, and to make myself stand out from all the other writers out there.

13. Common Struggles

There are 7.8 billion people on planet Earth. That's a lot of people, right? So it would only make sense for what I am about to elaborate on next to also make sense. With all my time spent at school and University, I have learnt a life lesson that never fails to prevail as truth. If you are feeling someway or struggling with something, it is probable that there are other people that are in the same boat as you. I often find myself struggling with assignments which prove to be way too difficult, so I ask other people in my class if they feel the same or if they have finished it. A lot of the time the others will be in the same boat as you and will offer to help. This is due to humans being sympathetic and caring beings; we like to help other people and live by their happiness instead of their misery. It makes us feel good when we make other people feel good. Likewise, if you are feeling depressed or down all the time, other people are likely to feel that way as well. There are arguments for which month is the most depressing month of the year, which are between January and November. January because people are coming down from their holidays and New Years resolutions, and November because nothing exciting typically happens during that month. In 2016, January was deemed the most depressing month of the year. In particular, Blue Monday - which falls on the third Monday of the month. As stated previously, the reason for this was that people are starting to come down from their holidays, and the realisation that they might not accomplish their New Years resolutions.

14. Greed

Humans are naturally greedy - if you give a man an inch, he will take a mile. If you let someone walk all over you then they will. If you loan someone $20 they will try their luck and ask for $25 the next time. Soon enough you will be miles away from your original place and you will wonder how you got there, it was because you let them take a few too many inches. You have to be strong and really stand up for yourself when you need to, especially if you are the proverbial water surrounded by rocks.

15. Ruts

Ruts are bound to happen, no one goes through life without going through a rut. The way that you overcome ruts and the fettered doom and gloom that never seems to dissipate because of it is through opening up about what you are going through. People want to help you, we have already covered this. Open up to your friends and family and allow them to help. Let me just reiterate that, you have to allow people to help you or nothing will happen - you will not progress if you do nothing about it. Feeling miserable is not a fun thing either, you feel like you have this weight on your shoulders that can only be alleviated by talking about how you feel. Pass this knowledge onto your friends. Be there for them, even if they do not talk to you about it first and you know they are struggling, sometimes you have to open the dialogue up between the two of you.

16. Resilience

Humans are naturally resilient, we can bounce back from just about anything besides death, because y'know, that kills us. This is evident a multitude of times in human history, for example The Great Depression. Personally, I have underwent surgery twice and recovered back to almost perfect health - well, as perfect as someone's health can be when they have Crohn's Disease. The first was due to my right testicle twisting after I exited my Dad's car awkwardly, I was rushed to hospital and had the torsion corrected. The second was not too far around the corner, although the actual dates for the surgeries elude me, I know for sure that it was around the end of 2013 and start of 2014. I had the second surgery performed because my Crohn's Disease had reached a point where my standard of living had become so poor that I could not eat regular servings of food. In fact, the Christmas before the operation, I was only able to stomach a mouthful of a plate of food - I was that sick. The beginning of my Ileum had narrowed to a point where food was unable to pass through, and had to be removed along side the ascending colon and a portion of the transverse colon. In case you are not aware, Crohn's Disease is the reason why I am so pale and skinny; I need to stay out of the sun because my medication makes me more susceptible to sun cancer, and I am unable to gain regular amounts of weight after eating - I burn it off too quickly.

17. Conversation

When it comes to conversation, there are people that are terrible at talking with others and there are those who possess the gift of the gab. At first, when you run into the former, it may seem like they hate you but they are just poor conversationalists. Not everyone like long conversations though, but it varies from person to person. If you are one of those, it is okay. You can learn and change. In fact, I have learnt to improve my conversation skills just by talking to those who can easily keep a conversation alive through taking mental notes about how they did it. I view this ability as a virtue. The trick is to ask questions which cannot be answered with simple replies. For example, when you first meet someone and ask them what their name is and all that jazz, follow that up with open ended questions about what they do for a living, what their hobbies are and if they enjoy it. It will surprise you just how many people hate their job. Oversharing is also common, just like how some people do not like long conversations, there are those who love to tell you everything about their life. These people can make for really interesting conversation, depending on the topic and are generally more easy going.

18. Severed Ties

I have found this one out the hard way many times before, mostly from oversensitive, bitchy girls on Twitter. If someone severs ties with you over something stupid, they have wanted to do that for a while and had just found a reason for it. It can be kind of pathetic depending on why they did it. For example, I was once blocked on Twitter by a multiple coloured hair and facially pierced (no offence if that is your thing, it is just a lot of people that fit this description are extremely annoying), obnoxious and petulant social justice warrior just for saying "lisps are so fucking annoying" after watching a League of Legends tournament where one of the announcers had a heavy lisp. Although it is true in my opinion that lisps can get aggravating to listen to after a while, I am confident she had it out for me for a while beforehand. In typical leftist style, she did not argue why or why not lisps can be annoying, no, she mentioned how her friend had a lisp and then started using emotion by calling me names for "shaming her friend" who supposedly had a lisp, despite the fact that I never mentioned her friend (let alone know who she was actually talking about), as well as further contributing to her already probable victim-hood complex. I am not going to praise or accept someone's speaking ability if the way they speak is aggravating and abnormal. It makes about as much sense as telling fat people that the are beautiful at any size, lisps are not normal and neither is obesity, and should not be congratulated. Lying to these people also will not help them, be honest. Why celebrate inability and disability when it can be fixed?

19. Mortality

The mainstream media in Australia is nothing more than an exhibit of constant tragedy. It is a saddening and sobering affair that never seems to cease. There is a painting that is perpetually painted on the canvas that is the mainstream media which is nothing lasts forever. Life is fleeting and precious. Life is a flame that deserves to be kindled and preserved. It sounds kinda cliché but it is true, life is short. It is always heartbreaking to hear that another kid or young adult has been taken way too early on the news in either a car crash or drug overdose, it is probably why people my age hate watching the news as well as they do not need this constant reminder. The news is like a bird that sits atop a pirates shoulder and constantly squawks "Hey, you're gonna die soon!" This argument can be applied to various other aspects of life like friendships. I often find myself with friends and wondering in the moment if what I am doing with my mates will last. Will I still be doing this with you in a year? Maybe more? Do you plan on getting a significant other and forgetting that I exist? I cannot stand it when good mates get in relationships and then never spend time with me. I guess you just have to appreciate what you have while it lasts.


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