It’s the year we have all been waiting for since we were old enough to count that high… the big 21! Now that you’re here, I bet it’s not as exciting as you thought it was going to be. Although, that is definitely not taking away from the joy of the nice perks we now have, such as the fact that you can now order yourself a drink! The big 21 also means though that you are that much closer to graduating college and moving onto the “real world.” Turning 21 is a huge milestone in your life, and it’s okay to feel like you have been around the world and back in your time so far. As I turned 21 in February, there are a few things that I wish I knew before, and here they are:
1. Mental health is more important than you think, so take care of yourself first.
2. School is not a race, get it done when you can and do it right.
3. Appreciate the time you have with people while you have them in your life.
4. There is always enough time to change your life: travel the world, make new friends, answer that text, try new food…
5. If you have the opportunity to try something new, say yes.
6. Love does not hurt. Learn this as soon as you can.
7. Value human creativity, and be open to listening to different views.
8. Figure out the best way to handle your stress as early as you can, because it gets worse.
9. Make people feel good by spreading as much love and positivity as you possibly can.
10. It is only normal to grow out of friends and change who you are. It is okay to leave people behind if they don’t belong in your future.
11. Have as much fun as you can when you can. You only have so much time without the many responsibilities that are coming your way.
12. Be as involved in school activities as you can: build up your experience and your resume.
13. There is more beauty than pain in the world, you just need to look a little harder – it will be worth it.
14. Leverage what you have, even if it might not be ideal. Work with what situation you are given.
15. It will all be okay in the end. If it’s not okay, it’s not the end. Everything will work out the way it should.
16. Effort is a key in any relationship, but don’t overdo it and drain your own existence.
17. Stay aware of your surroundings, as there is a time and place for certain things.
18. Learn to love change. It is going to happen with or without you – learn to be okay with it.
19. Follow your arrow. You’re darned if you do and you’re darned if you don’t, so find what makes you happy and do it.
20. Invest in yourself. At the end of the day, you are the only one who has your back, so do everything you can to help yourself grow.
21. It’s okay to be 21 and not have the world figured out yet. You are so young that it would be abnormal to know what and who you want to be for the rest of your life. Your 20’s are meant for exploration and figuring yourself out. Use it to your advantage to be where you want to be in the next 10 years. Or 20 years. Or 30. It’s all up to you.