6 Things Every 19 Year Old Needs to Hear

So you’re 19? If I had to guess you’re either in college, working, or neither… but either way being 19 isn’t easy! After surviving 19 years of life I’ve learned some valuable points that I’d like to share with others my age.

1. Most 19 year olds aren’t rich.

Don’t feel bad if you only have $13.00 in your checking account – we’ve all been there. Getting a college education isn’t cheap, rent isn’t free, and gas prices are always ridiculous. You have to remember that it won’t be like this forever. College degrees mean more money in the future!

2. Don’t fret if you haven’t found your true love.

I think most of us are guilty of getting caught up in finding a significant other. Keep in mind that finding a potential husband/wife is not your purpose in life. Use these next few years to focus on yourself – your mental health, physical health, education, and faith. Chances are you will not be “forever alone.” Swiping for hours on Tinder is not going to speed up the love process. Be patient and the right one will come along when you’re least expecting it.

3. It’s okay that you gained 15 pounds.

You’re approaching your twenties which means you can’t eat a whole bag of Doritos and a liter of Mountain Dew like you did in high school. If you’re a college student living on campus then hear me out – it’s totally normal to gain weight. Cafeteria food is not even close to what our mothers cooked for us back at home. If you eat in moderation and exercise on a regular basis you will be just fine. Exercise isn’t your thing? Try yoga or just simply go on walks! Any exercise is better than nothing.

4. Weed out the toxic people in your life.

If you have friends in your life that act like a real version of Regina George then you need to do some serious weeding. There are 4 types of people that I stay away from.

  1. The takers: “Can you do me a favor?” “Can I copy yesterdays lab report?” “Can you give me a ride to _____?” I think you get the point I’m trying to make. It’s not fair to give and give without being appreciated or given back to.
  2. The partiers: If you have friends that only text you on a Friday or Saturday night to see what you’re doing then that’s a red flag. The average successful adult doesn’t party every weekend like it’s their job. It was cool to do that in high school, now leave it for the high schoolers because you’re an adult.
  3. The negative nancies: Everyone complains, yes. But to complain about everything, no. I can’t bear to listen to people complain about things that they could change (unloyal boyfriend, being overweight, crappy job, etc.) They should stop hating their life and make some positive changes. Steer clear of these kinds of people because they never stop.
  4. The competitors: If your friend loves to brag about her new Michael Kors watch her boyfriend got her for Christmas and then asks what your boyfriend got you then she needs to get a life and you need to get a new friend. Trying to one-up someone all the time sounds exhausting.

5. Make time for the people you love (and people who love you, too!).

If I’ve learned one thing in life it’s that life goes by fast. Your grandparents are not always going to be here. Yes, even your parents will eventually leave this earth. Have a sewing day with your grandma, take your dad out to a movie, or play a game of tag with your pesky little brother. I vowed that I never wanted to have regrets of not spending enough time with my grandparents before they passed away. Old people love company!  A couple hours out of your week can make a huge difference in someones life. Give up an hour of watching TV and go be with someone you love.

6. Stop wishing life to fast forward.

Being 19 is such a lame age, I know. It feels like life would be so much better if I was 17 again or better yet – if I was 25 and all settled in my career. If you’re constantly hoping for a different situation you can’t appreciate the one you’re in. Take each day one day at a time. Stop your crazy life once and awhile and think of all the things you’re grateful for. Someday you’re going to be fourty-something and wishing you were 19 again.

Stay calm, you can only be 19 for 365 days. Let the countdown begin to 20. 😉

– J


“Sh*t! Did I really forget that?”

Tomorrow will finally be May which means the warm weather is here to stay! (Woot woot!) Us Minnesotans don’t mess around when it comes to decent warm weather, but do you blame us? We have sub zero temperatures over half the year! Not only does May bring warm weather but it also means classes are coming to an end. Can we get another woot woot!? Any student who’s a science major can feel me on that one.

This past year I moved two hours north of my hometown to attend a college in Duluth, MN. It’s a beautiful city surrounded by the deep blue Lake Superior.

Uniquely Minnesota

Unfortunately as I’m considered a new student, I had to stay in the dorms. Reflecting on this past year brings back a lot of emotions and memories. I was petrified at how dirty communal bathrooms are (girls, not boys!) and disgusted when I realized what cafeteria food actually tasted like. But like anything new, you eventually get used to it and it finally began to feel like home.

Although my roommate was my best friend from high school, it was not all perfect like I had pictured in my head. The littlest things that she did would make me want to rip my hair out. I also failed to mention that we took almost all of the same classes together. The sounds of her messy eating, blow drier at 6am, and fighting over whose turn it was to drive are the things I will not miss. But you can’t possibly expect a friendship to stay the same when you’re constantly in a 10×15 room together.

My entire point of my blabbing is to list the things I wish I had known to bring with me to college. Sure, I looked online and read other blogs about “What to Bring” lists but from my experience a few things are missing from those lists. I also included things that I thought were brilliant that helped me get through this past year.

  • Garbage bags (most rooms comes with a garbage can but hello where are the bags??)
  • Windex/Multi-purpose cleaner (Clorox wipes were a Godsend!)
  • Shower wraps (you can find these at Target; I used mine until it literally began to unravel)

shower wrap

  • Throw blankets for the futon
  • Floor lamp (the lighting in my room was not very bright)
  • Personal coffee maker (I had this same coffee maker, mostly used it for hot water though as I’m a tea drinker.) You can find this bad boy at http://www.target.com/p/bella-single-brew-coffee-maker-various-colors/-/A-15046234#prodSlot=medium_1_25&term=bella and did I mention it’s only $20?!


  • Self tanner (The school year in Minnesota is basically winter and who wants to spend $50/month on tanning? I use Fake Bake and St. Tropez)
  • 3M adhesive strips for hanging canvas/pictures frames/whiteboard
  • Full length body mirror

I’m sure there are a lot more things that I’m forgetting but those are most of them! I hope I can alleviate at least one persons stress when it comes to moving into a dorm. And as for me, I’m back to studying because next week is finals week.

– J

Drinks, Beaches, & Fireworks

How was everyone’s July 4th? I had another fantastic holiday spent with my family and friends at a pool party. I don’t have any cousins my age so I’m generally always on the search for the newest baby in the family to play with the entire time. My sister has a year old daughter and believe it or not another one on the way! This is good news because now I’ll have another baby to entertain me next year 🙂

I spent the evening/night with friends on the pontoon watching fireworks over the lake. It was incredibly fun, relaxing, and beautiful!

We may or may not have had too much to drink 🙂

Being the best Auntie ever, I brought my nieces to the beach with my other sister and her kids. We all had a blast and I even got a tan line. (Score!!)



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Moving on, my new favorite beer is Leinenkugel’s Summer Shandy. What combination could seriously be better than beer and lemonade? I’m generally a Bud Light Strawberita kind of girl but this beer is officially on the top of my list.


What’s your new favorite summer drink?

– J

Yoga Shmoga… What’s the big deal?

I’m sure you’ve heard lots of different thoughts about yoga. “Can you actually lose weight from it?” “Do people really make weird meditating noises (huummm….)?” “Yoga connects me with my inner self.”  Well guess what? I’m going to tell you why I love yoga and what’s so great about it.


I started practicing heat yoga about a month ago and currently go once or twice a week. I had absolutely no idea what I was getting myself into but my sister insisted that we try it and see if we like it. She gave me her old yoga mat which let me tell you isn’t the most beautiful mat known to mankind. It has a velcro strap around it for crying out loud!! But hey, I needed a mat and something was better than nothing.

Showing up to class for the first time I was wearing basketball shorts and a baggy t-shirt. I felt pretty humiliated after seeing these tiny little women with their tight pants and tops showing off their perfectly carved figures. I probably looked like a homeless boy to them. At the time I wasn’t familiar with Lululemon and Athleta.

Image Image

I also forgot to mention that this was a hot yoga class meaning 105 degrees plus humidity. Walking into the room it literally felt like a burning hell but I just shook it off and told myself to get over it. After trying to keep up with the instructor and looking like a total idiot, the class was over with. I looked like a sad wet dog who had just been crying (the sweat is unbelievable).

On my way home from yoga that night I couldn’t stop thinking about how good it actually felt to stretch my muscles and make myself work harder than I ever wanted or planned to. Yes it is challenging but, no pain no gain right?

I went to yoga several times after that and I can honestly say that I love yoga. I realized that yoga isn’t about wearing expensive workout clothes, competing with the person next to you, or trying to look sexy while doing it (trust me on this one). It’s all about yourself, your breathing, controlling what you’re thinking about, and just letting go and giving your body and mind a break.

Tonight my instructor Pete shared a great quote with the class by someone named Pema Chodron,

“We think that the point is to pass the test or overcome the problem, but the truth is that things don’t really get solved. They come together and they fall apart. Then they come together again and fall apart again. It’s just like that. The healing comes from letting there be room for all of this to happen: room for grief, for relief, for misery, for joy. (10)”

Seriously how amazing is this quote? Being human we naturally want to find the answer, cross the finish line, and pass the test. But this never really happens, there will always be something wrong or in the way. We have to learn to leave room for our mistakes and be accepting of them when they happen because this is simply the only way we can grow as a person. I know that I need to be much more forgiving of myself. What about yourself could you use some work on?


– J

Losing My Blogging Virginity

Hello, Hola, or Bonjour to whoever may be reading this. I’ve heard that writing (or typing in this case) your thoughts down is a good exercise for those who suffer from stress and/or anxiety so I decided that I would give it a try. Suffer is such an ugly word and I’m sure I could have thought of a different one but yes I have anxiety. Not public speaking, big crowds, or germaphobic anxiety. It’s the anxiety that produces stomach aches and shaking where I am faced to actually go on a date with a boy or have to drive in stormy/snowy (thanks to MN) weather. My mom calls this “social anxiety” and I call it “stupid.”

Jaci by Jaci? You guessed it, Jaci is my name. Jacqueline if you prefer a more proper name. My mom’s fiancé started calling me “Jaci by Jaci” because I’m into fashion and it fits me well. Who wouldn’t mind a clothing line named after them, right? I’m going to take his name calling as a compliment and use it as a tacky blog title.

Typing my name a ridiculous amount of times reminded me of how I rudely didn’t introduce myself. I’m 18 years old, and live in a suburb of Minneapolis, MN. I’ve lived in MN my whole life and can’t wait for the day to move out of state. Sorry Minnesota, I just don’t like having winter 3/4 of the year. But don’t get me wrong, the summers are beautiful and the city life is always jiving.



I’m a college student studying to become a pediatric dental hygienist. I am fascinated with how the human body functions but the sight of blood gives me the heebie-jeebies. (yuck!) That definitely crossed surgeon and RN off my list of possible careers. I can deal with a poke of a gum just not an open heart surgery.


I work as a part-time nanny for a family. I care for two little girls (2 and 3) and a 12 year old boy. So I guess you could say I have my hands full but I wouldn’t trade my job for anything.

Wow I actually did it! I made a blog post for the very first time. It certainly wasn’t as painful and awkward as having sex for the first time. Ha-ha.

Can’t wait to share more of my exciting happenings in life with you!

– J