21 Things

I’m turning 21 this month, which is super exciting and also a little scary. Everyone puts so much hype around 21, but there are things that I’m sure I’m not going to enjoy. Sure, I can buy alcohol and go to bars and clubs and that, but I’m also going to have to start acting like a ‘real’ adult. And real adulthood, that’s scary. But instead of scaring myself with turning 21, I wanted to find 21 things I’ve learned over the last 21 years (almost) that have helped me get to where I am today. This obviously isn’t everything I’ve learned, but these are the 21 most important things I’ve learned.

  1. Listen to your parents. I know it’s cheesy, but they actually know what they’re talking about.
  2. Appreciate your siblings. No matter how many you have, they will always be there for you and will help pick you up when you’re down.
  3. Keep your friends close. This isn’t one of those ‘keep your friends close, your enemies closer,’ but there will be times when you need your friends and you’ll want them to be there for you. They can’t be there for you if you’ve pushed them away.
  4. Don’t hold grudges. They just lead to a lot of stress and pain later on, even if it seems like a good idea at the time.
  5. It’s okay to let people into your life. Be open and honest. You don’t have to tell them about all the little details of your life, but you do need to realize that people want to help you when they can, and the only way to do that is by letting them in.
  6. Stress and anxiety aren’t the end of the world. Yes, they will make it seem like your world is caving in. Yes, there will be days where you feel like you aren’t going to make it. But you will. I promise.
  7. Take time for yourself. You don’t always need to be around people. You can just sit by yourself in your room and watch Netflix. That’s okay.
  8. Boys, while cute, can also be stupid. Don’t wait around for someone who isn’t going to treat you the way you deserve to be treated- which is with respect and kindness and love. And don’t settle for someone just because you think they’re “the one.” God will show you who that person is in HIS time.
  9. Be kind to people. Not everyone is the same, and that’s okay. But what’s not okay is ignoring someone or hating them just because they’re different from you. You may hate their actions, but you may not hate the person. Hate is not okay.
  10. Everyone has a purpose, even if they can’t always see it. Some people may find their purpose and may do everything they can to live it out. Other’s will ignore their purpose and do whatever they please. But everyone has a purpose, and that makes everyone worth something.
  11. Your self-worth is NOT determined by what others think of you. It is determined by who you are and whose you are. And that’s pretty great.
  12. Meet new people. It may seem scary, but it’s one of the best ways to branch out and learn new things. You don’t have to be their best friend, but having a wider network of people will make life easier in the long run.
  13. Feelings are okay. Feelings are what differentiate you (a human) from a robot.
  14. It’s okay to be introverted. It’s okay to be¬†extroverted. It’s okay to be ambiverted. Just be you and don’t try to force yourself to be something you’re not (i.e. don’t be an extrovert if you’re an introvert).
  15. You’re not going to love every job you have. Whether it’s a part time job or a career after college, it may not be something you love. And that’s okay. Find a job you do love and pursue it. You’ll get there.
  16. Do your homework. Whether it’s for a class or a club or work or church, whatever, just do it. Procrastinating and putting it off gets you nowhere, and will cause you more stress later on.
  17. Save your resources. Whether it’s time, money, food, etc., make sure you’re setting some aside (okay, maybe not food, but at least be responsible for it). It’s never too early to start saving, and it’s good to have something there in case you need it.
  18. Learn how to change a tire. Someday you’re going to be stranded on the side of the road with a flat and there isn’t going to be a superhero there to save you. Trust me, it’s a good skill to have.
  19. Pray. It’s pretty self-explanatory, but God knows what he’s doing and is always there to listen.
  20. Social media isn’t an outlet for your whole life. Keep some things private. Not everyone needs to know everything about you, and that’s okay.
  21. Finally, be unabashedly you. Watch Disney movies if you want to, listen to the music you enjoy (Christmas music in July is perfectly acceptable), wear mismatched socks, whatever. Don’t lose sight of who you are because of the people and the environment around you. Stick to your guns. You’re pretty great just as you are.