21 Things I Learned in 21 Years

Insight/Lifestyle: Approximate time reading this post: 2 minutes

After turning 21 years old this past week, I started to feel a little nostalgic about how I have come to be me. This list of lessons will not consist of warnings like “don’t drink the mysterious blue alcohol at your first high school party” just because I did not have those crazy experiences when I was younger. Which this I am completely OK with. So I compiled a list recognizing many knowledgeable and defining memories in my short life to explain what I have learned until today.

  1. Write more thank you cards. It’s just as important to show gratitude than to receive it.

  2. Your friends in elementary school will not define the rest of your life.

  3. Take care of yourself when you are sick: Your mom will find all of your hidden pills behind the family room couch.

  4. You can change your mind without a reason or excuse but accept the confused backlash.

  5. Make friends with those who accept your busy schedule and be sure to accept theirs too.

  6. No one knows what they are doing in middle school, it’s not just you.

  7. Spend your free time as a teenager wisely: travel, save money, take online classes, read, learn about the world. You will wish you had done more of this as you grow older and time grows shorter.

  8. Try something new every day: This list doesn’t have to mount to skydiving or eating unrecognizable foods but it’s important to grow culturally too.

  9. Do as much as you can to be successful, but if you are unhappy because of this—do less.

  10. Reach out to your friends when you need them. They may have needed you even more in that moment.

  11. Networking can help you far more than what you would have accomplished by yourself.

  12. Join the high school marching band: it will exceed your expectations in comparison to any other route you could have taken during those four years.

  13. Passive aggression will get you nowhere.

  14. Stop chasing him.

  15. You will learn how to make $20 stretch for a week or more. The “broke college student” stigma is not a joke.

  16. Get interested in politics: You don’t have to live and breathe it. But understand your rights and country well enough to cast your opinion and vote.

  17. Treat yourself but learn the difference between that and procrastination.

  18. Look at both sides of the argument and practice neutrality, you will make a better journalist.

  19. Invest in clothes that fit well and last awhile.

  20. Don’t wait until you are 20 years old to get your driver’s license. Just don’t.

  21. Your comfort zone will always be there. With this 50/50 chance of satisfaction, build the strength to venture outside every once in awhile.

  22.  And one more for good luck! Move on from mediocrity, life is too short.

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As always, thank you for taking the time to read my many lists and for being a part of this 21 year-long learning process. I hope to add even more to these thoughts, good and bad, as I continue growing (hopefully in height *fingers crossed*) and mind for many more years to come. Happy Monday friends!