Turning 21 is the ultimate plot twist of life. It’s the awkward age between transitioning from teen-hood to adulthood. And while it’s officially unacceptable to act like a 16 year old, you’re also too young to be taken seriously as a functioning member of society. But despite all the confusion, being 21 also offers a lot of learning experiences that can, in turn, help us become the types of people that we aspire to be. You know, the types that actually separate whites from blacks when they do their laundry. #goals
So as I leave behind my 21-year-old-status, here are some of the things I personally learned this past year – while riding the roller coaster of young adulthood.
1. You’re your first priority.
Your life is about you. So never let anything or anyone take a step before you. Your health, your happiness, and above all, you and everything about you is the most important. Be selfish.
2. You can’t have everything in life
Fight as hard as you can for it. Then fight a little bit harder. If you still can’t acquire it, do yourself a favour and let it go. Because sometimes, as hard as it may be to understand, it just wasn’t meant to be.
3. Be Humble
Once you forget the source of where all your blessings come from, life has a way of humbling you, in the most unexpected way possible. So, simmer down.
4. Sometimes you fall…hard
I’m still in the process of learning ‘how to want him without needing him,’ but falling in love at 21 with the wrong person has been the worst thing that has happened to me. And I wouldn’t have it any other way.
5. Take risks
Warning: taking risks may result in high doses of fear, followed by a chance of failure. To avoid injuries of the mind and soul, read lesson #6.
6. Lose all expectations.
From your family, friends, partners, life – even your dog. Your heart will be happier.
7. Lose control
However much you try, some things will slip out of the very fingers you are holding it with. And that’s okay. It will be scary, but you will be fine. I promise you.
8. Write about things that you are most afraid to write
Often times, the best content is produced at your most vulnerable state. The results are raw, they’re genuine – and they’re the utter truth.
9. Let others see weaknesses
Showcasing yourself as a strong, independent young woman has its upsides, but after more than a few vulnerable moments, I’ve learned that letting others see you make mistakes- big and small – reminds them you’re human.
10. You will have bad days
You will have trouble getting up from bed. You will have trouble communicating. But despite struggling to come to terms with it, sharing my story on how I dealt with my depression and anxiety earlier this year has helped me grow substantially as a person.
11. Roommates are a blessing in disguise
The right one will make you see the beauty in living on your own.
12. Let your guard down
You never know what may come out of it. When you feel that level of comfort with a person, let your guard down. Share your emotions, share your thoughts, let them see who you really are.
13. It’s never TMI with your best friends
If you’ve never sent a snapchat to your best friends while you were pooping, you’re not friendshipping right. These are the people you tell everything to. Even the shady stuff. They’ll provide you with some good insight – sans judgement.
14. Arguments help relationships grow
Lash it out. Even if it’s over the last slice of pizza. And although it will be uncomfortable , what comes out of these seemingly pointless arguments is a stronger, more resilient bonding of two – or more – people.
15. Always ask people if they’re okay.
If you see someone hurting, it always helps to just ask them what is wrong. Yes, they may not open up or they may lie and say nothing is wrong, but they at least know that someone is there for them, regardless. We’re all going through stuff – let’s do it together.
16. Spend time with your parents and grandparents
Despite what they try and convince you, they’re getting old! So cherish the moments you spend together, and make them last. Because they won’t be here forever.
17. Say no.
This one’s especially difficult for those of you who have an uncontrollable need to please people. However, it goes hand in hand with lesson #1. Repeat it when they don’t hear you.
18. Apologize; even when you don’t have to
Many argue against this statement, given that over using the word sorry can give people a leeway to take advantage of your apologetic tendencies. However, sometimes apologizing is the only way to be at peace with yourself – and others.
I’m known to disappear with my thoughts by the lakeside near my house when life gets a little too complicated, but sometimes going away to places just a little bit further is much more effective.
20. Laugh- at everything
Yourself, your friends — your dad’s jokes (because no one else does). It makes life more fun, in addition to making you feel 12 years old again.
21. Confidence is key
Put that pretty smile on your face and own what you’re doing – even if you don’t know exactly what that is. I won’t tell if you won’t!
It’s been fun, 21. Hello, 22!
What life lessons did you learn at 21? Let us know in the comments below!