21 Life Lessons From A 21 Year-Old
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21 Life Lessons From A 21 Year-Old

From existing 21 years on Earth, this is what I have discovered!

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21 Life Lessons From A 21 Year-Old
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On November 19, 2019, I turned 21 years old. This is an absolute milestone. For most, this is the birthday where everyone celebrates being able to drink alcohol legally. You're officially an adult, according to the United States. Although this is true, I have taken the time to reflect on how much I've learned while going through this crazy thing called life. Here are 21 of those lessons and experiences.

1. You make an impact, whether you realize it or not. 

Although there are 7 billion people on this planet, we all seem to think that our actions don't matter. We tend to feel insignificant. We feel invisible to those around us. This is completely untrue. You make an impact on this existence, regardless if you are aware of this notion or not. Whether that impact is negative or positive, it is up to you to decide. You may be the reason that someone is happy today. You mean so much to those who love you most. Make the most of your impact.

2. You cannot control how people act, but you can control how you react to situations.

For example, say there is someone that you come across in your day-to-day life that is difficult to deal with. I am using the term "difficult" as an umbrella term. He/she could be a bully, toxic, condescending, etc. If someone decides to attempt to make your life difficult too, that is not your problem. It is their choice to spread that unhappiness. It is up to you how you perceive this altercation. If you can, choose to make the decision that will benefit you.

3. Coffee is as addicting as experts say it is.

When one starts consuming coffee, it is hard to believe that you can get hooked on it. It starts slowly; it creeps up on you. Before you know it, you're drinking half your body-weight in caffeine. Excess caffeine can cause restlessness, irritability, insomnia, heart palpitations, shaking, as well as increased levels of anxiety. Trust me, I know this. The best advice my doctor ever gave me was to not consume caffeine after 12 pm daily.

4. Having a normalized sleep schedule is essential.

In college, it can be easy to not get enough sleep. Sometimes you have to stay up to cram before a midterm, or finish that assignment that you procrastinated on. Your body and mind will thank you for getting six to eight hours of sleep a night. If it comes between pulling an all-nighter or sleeping, even if it is for less than a normal amount, choose sleep.

5. Being in a relationship won't make you happy.

Being in a relationship should not be the sole reason why you are happy. There is so much more to life than having a romantic relationship. Relationships with family and friends are significant to your well-being, and can be as fulfilling, if not more fulfilling than a romantic one. You must be secure in yourself before being with someone else. It is not fair to expect another person to deal with every problem you come across. Also, just because you are in a relationship, it does not mean it is a healthy one.

6. You are who you surround yourself with.

This quote is cliche, but true. Every person you associate yourself with is somewhat similar to you. Although this is subconscious most of the time, your environment can be a tremendous influence on your behavior. If you want to learn, grow, and become more positive, surround yourself with people who inspire you. Surround yourself with those who have kind hearts, and have your best interest in mind.

7. When you get the chance, be present.

Nowadays with technology and the hustle and bustle of the current era, it is easy to be caught up in the past or the future. Worrying too much about either is exhausting. When you get a chance, put your phone down, and look up. Simply take in what is around you. Use all of your senses. You may uncover something that you never saw before.

8. Actions speak louder than words.

A tale as old as time. Don't listen to what others say: what matters is if they follow through. Actions speak volumes compared to words. Words are temporary, but actions are permanent. Nobody will ever remember what one said, only how they made someone feel. People that only whisper sweet-nothings and are never consistent in their actions need to be cut off immediately.

9. Take some time to appreciate what you have.

If you have access to clean water, an education, a stable source of food, have a job, and a roof over your head, you are lucky. Millions, if not billions, live on less than $2 a day. If you have at least one person that you can count on, you are rich in company. Not to minimize anyone's pain, but what I have come to comprehend is I am surrounded by abundance and opportunity.

10. Learn your limits, and stick to them.

I'm not just talking about how much alcohol you can consume before it becomes dangerous. I am talking about setting boundaries. Know your worth. Do not let anyone make you feel unworthy of love, respect, and dignity. It may involve standing up for yourself, which can be a scary task. It is daunting, but stand your ground.

11. You don't have to explain yourself.

You never owe anyone an explanation for what you do. You have the right as a human to autonomy. Nobody can control you, and you do not have to justify your actions. If one feels you owe them that, it is most likely that you do not. Do what makes you feel alive. Do what makes you the best version of yourself that you can be. In the same coin, if your actions are potentially harmful to another, do not engage in that.

12. Time is nothing but a concept.

Time truly does fly. Days go by slowly, but months and years move full speed ahead. With that being said, take a step back, and appreciate the moment. Appreciate those you love most.

13. Everything will be okay.

Whenever your universe is in a million pieces, and you're left trying to pick yourself up, remember this: everything will work out. It may not be okay in the moment, but distressing times are temporary. You are not given a task or situation that you cannot handle. Take a deep breath. It can only go up from here.

14. It is a small world after all.

This world is small for having 7 billion people on it. What goes around, comes around. Every interaction you have with another person says a lot about you and your character. This includes how you present yourself on social media. Everyone knows everyone; we're all connected.

15. Doing things on your own is good.

It is important to be able to be independent. Relying on others for everything you do is going to leave you disappointed. Become at peace with your own company. Take yourself to your favorite restaurant or coffee shop. Workout alone. Go to a movie by yourself. The more you get to know yourself, the better. It's intimidating at first, but it is so much fun once you realize that nobody is noticing.

16. When in doubt, be kind.

Everyone has their own demons. Everyone has their own struggles. We don't know it because we only experience life through our own realities. Because of this, being kind makes the world a better place. You don't know what people are going through until you walk a mile in their shoes.

17. Being a people-pleaser isn't going to get you very far.

The minute you stop worrying about what others think, is the minute you are free. You will in fact lose yourself trying to appease another. If you want to continue to be disappointed, then being a people-pleaser is for you. If not, stop setting yourself ablaze to warm others.

18. Life is too short to hate yourself.

As far as we know, we don't get to be able to alter ourselves. Sure, there's plastic surgery, but it won't hide the negativity inside. You have one soul, one body, and one mind. Be as loving to yourself as you are to others. You're going to miss out on a lot if you're too wrapped up in how much weight you need to lose, how you're not smart enough, or rich enough.

19. You are worthy.

You are enough. You are worthy of happiness, love, and solace. Never let anyone, even yourself, question your worth. You are priceless; timeless. You deserve the world and more. People will attempt to tear you down, time and time again, but don't let them.

20. No matter how hard it gets, don't give up.

When the going gets rough, it can be easy to throw in the towel. When you're down, you feel as if taking the easy way out is the best choice. Don't. Persist. Never give up. You may be exhausted, wary, and irritable, but keep going. You're so close to achieving your goals, dreams, and aspirations. Keep holding on. There is a light at the end of the tunnel.

21. All you need to be is yourself.

It's that simple. No more; no less. You are unique, and that is your super power. That is your advantage over others. Understand and comprehend how much you truly contribute to this existence. There's no need to try for those who don't accept you for you.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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