I turned 21 today, and I feel like I’m having a midlife crisis at such a young age, even though my life is just starting. I will be a senior in college next year, finally figuring out my passion, being self-dependent ever since I was 18 years of age, and striving for the best me every day. I was even on the phone with my Mom a couple of weeks ago freaking out because I don’t have any milestones to look forward to after my 21st other than having a family and hoping for grandkids, but what I started to realize is it’s just the start. Growing up I couldn’t wait until I graduated college and moved to a big city, supporting myself entirely and having everything at my fingertips. That is exactly what I should be excited/looking forward to. Along the way, I have learned everything my Mother tried to warn me of through high school, but of course, I didn’t listen. Here are the big 21 lessons I learned at 21.
1. Treat everybody around you with respect
Nobody really knows what everybody has/is going through let alone who they may be, or even what impact they can have on you or the world.
2. Say what you want to say and do what you want to do
Life is to short to be worrying about what others are thinking/saying about you. Say and do what you want right out of the gate, it will get whatever point you are wanting right out in the open.
3. Don’t grow up too fast
I just turned 21 and I still can’t believe I am that old already. Growing up I always wanted to be older than I was no matter the numerical year I reached. That was one of the biggest mistakes I made.
4. Live in the moment
This goes hand in hand with the one above. I wasn’t living in the moment, I didn’t take in all the amazing moments and the people I met throughout my life so far and was absent during special, monumental moments of my life. Even the little ones, like playing with toys with my brother when I was 4 years old, or even graduating high school. I always had my sights on a different goal, making time fly by faster than I ever thought.
5. Get a dog
Oh my, the simplicity of life and love to my lil fur baby continues to grow every day, and I wouldn’t change it for the world.
6. ALWAYS, ALWAYS follow your passion
My passion has drastically changed ever since the day I was 4, it really changed throughout college because I had an open mind to various opportunities/projects presented to me. Starting out dreaming of being a beautician, then an accountant, financial analysts, and now I’m a junior in marketing. If you would have asked my 12-year-old self, or even my 18-year-old self if I would major in marketing, I would have told you “heck to the no.”
7. Be an introvert sometimes
Now, this wasn’t that hard for me considering I was born a major introvert, but I always felt the need to fill my time with friends and family going to social gatherings. Sometimes it’s really good to have time to yourself, to reflect on your life and know you are strong on your own.
8. People change like the weather
Everybody changes, some in good ways and some in bad. Don’t overly depend on someone, we are all evolving, as we should be. At the end of the day, you are the one that has your own back.
9. Screw the status
Everybody knows what I am talking about, even though some don’t like to truly admit they know what it means. In high school, there was a status, in the real world, in college, everywhere. I say screw it, be you, and don’t care about anything anyone says or thinks about you. Act confident and nobody will question you or your stupid status they like to put you in.
10. Have confidence
This is easier said than done, in high school everybody that knew me can admit that I was the quietest and shy human being, but in college, I have an entirely different representation because I didn’t care about what everyone thought about me. Needless to say, I have made friends and connections with people I wouldn’t have if I didn’t change my attitude and confidence when it came to social networking.
11. We are all human
We are all the same, treat each other that way, and think about it in that way when walking into an uncomfortable situation.
12. Exercising your knowledge is never-ending
The world is becoming so incredibly diverse, there is always something that can be learned. First of all, don’t act like a “know it all,” and be open to learning more and being put in hard situations that will teach you more. Second, knowledge is key. I find this challenging when it comes to my degree. As a business major, we are required to test the water in various electives that we all despise, but oddly enough, those rough 100 level biology classes have landed me outrageous opportunities that have made a huge impact on my life (in a good way).
13. Support everybody and anybody
Following random people on Instagram and speaking your mind on their work; telling them they are doing good when so, and hyping them up when they are willingly putting themselves out there for the world to see. Coming out with my own blog and YouTube channel was and still is nerve-racking. Supporting those that are following pursuing their passion is the sweetest thing anybody can do, in my mind.
14. Take yourself on a date
If I’m being honest here, on Valentine’s day my freshman year of college I took myself to a movie BY MYSELF, to go watch a love story mainly because I wanted to go and nobody could make time to go with me. From that point on I love taking myself off a date, who cares if you are sitting at a table eating dinner by yourself. Those are the times you reflect on my life, really clear your head, decide what your goals are, and thoroughly evaluate life and all set goals.
15. Know your self-worth
Know who you are, what you are able to do/provide individually. This changes your perspective on numerous levels; in relationships, careers, dreams, and simply connect with people through day-to-day activities. NEVER SETTLE!
16. Materials aren’t everything
Growing up I was accustom to the importance of materials in relation to my status at my high school. I cared more about what jeans and handbag I would be carrying rather than my grades. Some girls tried describing to me the “importance” of carrying a Starbucks coffee every morning because it was an “accessory” to their outfits. This is when I drew the line. During my high school graduation, my father wrote me a letter saying how proud he was of me and not letting society make me think materials mean more than family and self-worth. That sunk in more than anything anybody else said that day about pursuing my (hopefully) big-dollar degree.
17. Be strong on your own
You are the only thing you really have. You have family and friends, but in all reality, you are the only one that has your back. Treat yourself with respect and be strong in any given situation.
18. Step outside the box
Don’t be typical, don’t follow all the rules, be you and be happy with it. Wear that shirt you think is cute, but maybe a little “weird” to others. Trust me, those around you will end up following in your footsteps.
19. Your body is a temple
Everybody says this but doesn’t follow through with it. Your body is a temple and treat it like so. Life is so precious and most of us don’t let that sink in until it is too late. Listen to your body and treat it accordingly with food, exercise, relationships, and any other attribute that could cause mental or physical harm.
20. Be comfortable with being uncomfortable
This is my favorite lesson I learned, and ohhhh how it has shown. Growing up I hated getting up in front of the class and bringing attention to myself. Now I thrive off uncomfortably, even though my best friends would say I have freakouts every five seconds and call them 93487 times beforehand. That’s totally normal, but we must all admit, those situations are the most satisfying whether the result comes out at as success or failure.
21. Find your tribe
My tribe isn’t a huge posse, they are various BFF’s spread across the country. Strive to find that group of people that push you in all the right directions, have the same interests as you, and just want you to be the best person you can be. These friends of mine pick me up when I fall, tell me the truth even when it hurts, and pushing me in all the right directions, even when I hate them for it sometimes. We NEED those people, don’t get caught up in those that find self-satisfaction seeing you fail.
Until next time beauties,
xoxo – Kayla