10 Life Lessons We've All Learned but Need to Start Living Out


No matter who you are and where you're from, you've surely heard tons of life tips from adults, may it be parents, aunts and uncles, teachers, or strangers you met five minutes ago on the subway. We're all familiar with their words, but often, we forget to actually live them out.

While they may seem clichéd, many really do possess some value. Without further ado, here are ten pieces of life advice most of us have heard, as well as how to incorporate them into our daily lives!

1. Grades don’t define you, but education is still important

“Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.”

As the famous quote makes evident, everybody works and learns in different ways. There is no single measure of intelligence that accurately represents a person, whether it be IQ, SATs, or others. A person’s intellect should not be determined by how well they can memorize facts, remember them for twenty-four hours, write them down on a blank sheet of paper, and subsequently forget almost the entirety of the content. A bad grade does not lower your value as a member of society, and you shouldn’t let it define who you are.

However, statistics make it undeniable that an education is important. Studies show that “a child whose mother can read is 50 percent more likely to survive past the age of 5,” “equitable access to quality education can help a country raise its gross domestic product per capita by 23 percent” over the course of 40 years, and that, “if all women had a primary education, there would be 1.7 million fewer malnourished children.”

In other words, if you’re given the privilege to safely receive a quality education year after year, don’t waste it.

2. You’re never going to excel at everything

We’ve all experienced it before: wishing that we were perfect people who were able to do everything flawlessly. It’s been proven that striving for perfection often leads to a variety of mental health issues. We push ourselves to do the impossible, then end up disappointed and burnt out when we come to terms with the futility of our goals.

Instead of seeing imperfection as a fault, see it as an opportunity. The fact that we only enjoy and are skilled at some things gives us passion and concrete goals. So, don’t focus on what you’re not able to do. Spend every day focusing on appreciating and developing your talents.

3. You have to learn how to shrug things off and get back up

Life is unpredictable. One day may be the best day of our lives, whereas the next may be the worst. The world will never stop for you, so you have to learn how to recover when bad days inevitably come. If not, you’ll find that you’ll miss out on a lot of the good life has to offer.

4. Sometimes, you just need to stop overthinking and take the risk

“What if…?”

“Maybe instead, I could..."

“When the time's right..."

Stop. There’s a difference between being cautious and plain overthinking. Everybody experiences worry and apprehension, but we should learn to realise when these are holding us back. Sometimes, we need to be a little spontaneous, because these moments often lead to great things you never saw coming.

5. Stop dwelling on what you could have done and instead focus on living a life you won’t regret

“Regret for the things we did can be tempered by time; it is regret for the things we did not do that is inconsolable.” - Sydney J. Harris

Spending our present stuck in the past, dwelling on what could’ve been and what we should’ve done, will keep us from striving towards what still could be. You can’t change the past, and regret will keep us from seeing all that the present has to offer. Focus on making a change now that will lead to a better future later on!

6. Don’t focus so much on standing out from the crowd that you forget to be yourself

We’ve heard it all: “Be unique!” “Don’t blend in!” “Stand out!”

While it’s amazing to do something unprecedented and uncommon, people may often focus on doing so that they pursue goals that are “extraordinary” rather than chasing their true dreams. There is nothing wrong with being perfectly normal. Don’t let anyone invalidate and degrade your passions.

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7. Learn to dance in the rain

The real world? Once in a while, it’s going to suck. Instead of finding some hole to burrow into when times get tough, remind yourself that this is what it means to be alive and embrace it!

8. Not everybody is going to like you.

Ah, yes: the most dreaded statement. While it’s great to have lots of people who genuinely like you and enjoy your company, you have to face the fact that not all will.

Take the unwarranted hate we see on celebrities and influencers as an example: no matter how much we enjoy someone’s content and see them as a good role model, there’s always going to be that one pesky negative comment floating in a sea of thousands of positive ones.

Trying to get everyone to like you will only lead to personal stress and suffering when you can’t figure out a way to do so, and focusing on that one person who doesn’t will prevent you from enjoying your time with those who do. People’s opinions of you will not invalidate who you really are, so you shouldn’t spend your life thinking they do.

9. Taking time off to be happy and enjoy yourself is not “unproductive"

Stress and burnout have continued to plague society for centuries, and, despite various inventions and advances, only seem to have gotten worse as time wore on. People need to work to survive, and no matter how much you love what you do, sometimes things could get a little too much.

We all need some time for peace and freedom from worries and responsibilities, and, while not studying or working may be viewed as unproductive, the various benefits of doing so say otherwise.

To have the most amazing and effective break, check out these ten self-care ideas for when you’ve had a stressful week.

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10. Choose love, always

Very simply, in a world so full of hatred and judgment and cynicism, when you don’t know what to do, choose to be kind.

In Conclusion...

While it would be great to live by these tips, no matter how many curveballs life throws and how many times you hear people tell you what to do, ultimately, it is you who chooses your path. You only live once, so do your best to fill your days with positivity and live them out to the fullest!

Meg P.
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Meg is a high school student who loves anything to do with journalism, medicine, and ecology. In the free time she doesn't spend rewatching or rereading comfort works instead of starting new ones, she enjoys daydreaming about the future and ordering takeout.