I am officially 22 years young! Yes, I am that annoying person that announces their birthday. It might be the day after my birthday when I post this. Anyway, I have seen a lot of posts about “things I have learned in…” insert number of years. Adulting is one giant teachable moment. Most of my learning experiences have come from the past few years. Without further ado, here are 22 things I’ve learned in 22 years.
- It’s not the end of the world. It might seem like a big deal, but it’s probably not. Life goes on and you will overcome it.
- Follow your passions. Life is too short and you shouldn’t be in a job you hate or in a school you hate. I’m not saying to quit a job if you are struggling with money, but live passionately. Have hobbies and hang out with your friends. Have fun while you can!
- Some friendships won’t last forever. People will come and go throughout your life and this is normal. I believe that people will teach you lessons regardless of how long they will be in your life. Don’t stay in a friendship or a relationship if the person is only a taker.
- Family is everything. Family is there for you when no one else is. If you don’t have a good family life, find a new family. A family doesn’t have to be your biological relatives. You can find a family in a friend group or an organization.
- Comparing yourself to others only hurts you. I used to think that comparing myself served as a motivator. It doesn’t and it will only leave you discouraged.
- Treasure the moment. Life is full of small and beautiful moments. Enjoy these and try not to focus on the past or the future.
- Don’t grow up too fast. I definitely enjoyed my childhood, but as an adolescent I just wanted to grow up. At times, I was very serious. I don’t regret this, but I would’ve let loose more.
- Some people are terrible, but most people are good. I used to say all the time, “people suck”. This only attracted crappy people into my life. Of course there are some people who are terrible, but I find that most people are decent.
- Give up on dieting. Stop worrying about your size. Restricting calories does NOT work. Eating no fat and no processed foods will make you miserable. The goal should be a healthy lifestyle, not a two-week cleanse.
- Mental health is important. Having anxiety or depression isn’t glamorous. Take self-care days or even an hour for yourself. Go talk to a counselor and be honest with people. Let your friends know when you are going through a tough time.
- You don’t have to justify yourself to other people. You don’t have to explain why you are single. You don’t need to tell people why you are not religious. Or why you didn’t go to that party. The only time you need to justify yourself, is if you have been convicted of a crime or something really serious.
- Feminism really is the way to go. Sexual assault, violence against women, pay gaps, sexism, lack of legal representation, and so many other issues have become super important in my life. I now support other women, instead of dragging them down. I check the language I use and I make sure that I am projecting the best version of myself when discussing these issues.
- Acknowledging that I am privileged. I used to hesitate when the topic of privilege came up. I thought that if I admitted to being privileged, then all of my hard work would go down the drain. That is not the case. I am still a hard worker regardless of my background. However, now I realize I have access to more opportunities because of my white and middle-class backgrounds.
- Balance is key. No one expects you to be perfect. I try not to bounce between one extreme and another. This has been hard for me because of my personality type, but I still try.
- Have a personal style. First impressions can be important and how you dress can tell someone a lot about you. You don’t have to dress up constantly, but having a unique style makes you more interesting.
- Life isn’t fair. Somethings just won’t go your way. It’s unfortunate, but no one has an easy life. You should be positive, but still contain some sense of realism.
- There are always going to be people who don’t like you. It’s impossible to please everyone. Some people just aren’t going to like you and it is not your fault.
- Spend time in nature. Fresh air is so good for you. I also feel like you can learn a lot from spending time in nature. It’s just a peaceful experience.
- People matter. Avoid playing games with people. You might be too caught up in your emotions to understand that others are also fighting their own battles. Intentionally hurting people says a lot about you and none of it is positive. *This isn’t referencing black lives matter or all lives matter.
- Just because your friends are doing it, doesn’t mean you have to do it. I’m not necessarily talking about drugs or alcohol. You are an individual and you don’t have to do things just because your “clique” does it.
- Social media is a tool. People complain a lot about social media. When it’s used correctly, it can really be an asset.
- Be honest with yourself. Know your strengths and accept your weaknesses. Don’t lie to yourself and always be genuine.
I hope you enjoyed this very long post! I’m sure I could write many more things, but I will keep it to 22 things. Let me know in the comments an important lesson you have learned. Thanks for reading!
~ Featured photo taken by me and edited with Canva.
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