Be Yourself... Always - Pretending to be something your not is a waste of time and energy. First of all, it's tough to keep up the act, trust me. Secondly, the people you are trying to impress need to love you for who you are, or you probably don't want them around in the first place.
Be Nice to Everyone - Even the people that are mean to you, and I promise that people will be mean. You never know what people are going through, so give everyone the benefit of the doubt. Be the bigger person and stand up for others. The world is an unapologetic place, we have to be the ones making it better. Kindness is contagious, you will see.
It's Okay to Cry - Cry hard and cry often. Crying is therapy. Everyone goes through hardships and to keep it all bottled up is unhealthy and unfair. People will tell you that crying is a sign of weakness, but in fact, it is a sign of strength. Being vulnerable to your feelings is strength, I know you are strong.
Being Mad is Okay - It's how you react to this feeling that matters. Anger is a feeling and it is an important one. You are not bad for being mad. You are human. Take that emotion, recognize it and use it for good. Make something amazing out of something terrible. It's an art form and takes practice, but you will be better for it.
Don't Rely on Anyone - This world can be cruel place and many people have ulterior motives. People will leave you when you need them most. They won't be there. Learn how to rely on yourself (and your mama & dad of course). Know that people come and go and that's okay. Don't put all your eggs in one basket and you will be fine.
Finish What You Start - Even if you finish something and you finish it terribly, at least you finished. Quitting is a habit. It doesn't discriminate. Did you know that Walt Disney failed to get financed 302 times before he got financing for Disney World? Don't give up on anything. Finish what you start and finish strong.
Dance to the Beat of Your Own Drum - After all, your the only one who knows the rhythm. Originality is cool. I promise. If you can wrap your head around that, you are already steps ahead of the rest. People will play follow the leader all your life, I suggest that you be the leader or start a different game.
Reading is Important - Read as much as you can and as often as you can. And I don't mean from a tablet or eReader, I mean an actual book. Smell the pages and carry it around with you. It does so much for your soul. They say readers are more sympathetic and empathetic than non-readers. It opens your mind. It is relaxing. It opens doors to your imagination. Your great-grandpa once told me that when you read you can imagine everything in your own head. Imagine away little girl. Escape into the amazing world of books.
Pay Attention to How People Treat Animals & Tip - I don't trust anyone that your 4 legged siblings don't trust. You can really tell a lot about a person by how they treat animals and how they tip. Trust me on this one. No further explanation needed.
Never say HATE - Its a bad word, it isn't classy and there are many alternatives to this nasty word. Instead say 'dislike' or even 'greatly dislike' but hate is a no no. Don't hate anything.
Nobody is Perfect - Contrary to what you might see and hear, nobody is perfect. When God doles out physical and emotional characteristics, he doles them out evenly, I promise. Everyone has their thing. Don't for one second thing anyone else is perfect and please, honey, don't ever try to be perfect. Just be the best you can be. I promise that your best is good enough.
Don't Compare Yourself to Anyone - I am so guilty of this, sweet girl. Please learn from my mistake. Everyone is always at a different stage in their life. Not worse and not better, just different. Go at your own pace, do you own thing, discover your own self and be content with where you are in that moment.
Travel - Obvious to many, but when I say travel, I mean off the beaten path. Yes, Europe is lovely and the beach is beautiful, but travel to the unexpected. Not only travel, but make a difference everywhere you go. Help those less fortunate and bring awareness to the injustices around the world.
Choose Your Friends Wisely - Your grandpa always says "Guilty by association" and your Abuelita always says "You are who you hang out with." It might be tempting to be the most popular, with all the friends, but I promise you (and I learned this the hard way) that quality over quantity couldn't be any more important than when it comes to your friends and yes, your boyfriends too.
The Only Thing Permanent is Change - This one is HUGE baby girl. Take it from me, I despise change. But, change is how we learn to grow. Change can be beautiful depending on how we decide to see it. Even in relationships, everything is constantly changing. So embrace it. Smile about it. Be glad that it happened, and move on with grace and newfound wisdom.