21 Things I Learned In 21 Years Of Life

21 Things I Learned In 21 Years Of Life

Learn to laugh at yourself.
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I am two decades and one day wiser. I have learned, I have laughed and I have lost. Some may consider themselves an adult at 21, I still feel much like a child.

In lieu of my 21st birthday, here’s a list of a few things I have learned during my 21 years of life.

1. Always shop at Goodwill

2. Put your phone down when you're outside

3. Make time to watch the sunset, its good for the soul

4. Liquor over beer, always

5. It's only awkward if you make it awkward

6. Emergen-C saves lives

7. Take LOTS of pictures, don't feel embarrassed

8. Spend money on experiences- not things (unless at Goodwill)

9. Go pet that dog

10. Always eat before a long night out

11. Bring hot sauce to Spain !! and ranch !!

12. People will come in and out of your life, don't take it personally

13. Make time to stretch and meditate every night before bed

14. Make your bed every morning, you'll feel less stress and it promotes productivity throughout the day

15. You'll never be perfect, don't expect your parents to be either

16. Look after your siblings, they'll all you'll have left

17. Always forgive, grudges hurt you more than anyone else

18. Learn to laugh at yourself

19. Think before you speak, you never know the full story

20. It is okay to move on and away from comfortability, that is when you really get to live

21. Learn to love yourself, and love everyone and everything around you. The world needs more of it.

With greater age comes greater knowledge. The capacity of knowledge is boundless. We can never stop learning.

At this moment in time, I’m not exactly sure where life will take me, but I do know I’ll have the opportunity to learn so much along the way. In 21 more years, who know's where my lessons will take me.

Cover Image Credit: Chynna Chan

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Bailey Posted A Racist Tweet, But That Does NOT Mean She Deserves To Be Fat Shamed

As a certified racist, does she deserve to be fat shamed?
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This morning, I was scrolling though my phone, rotating between Instagram, Snapchat, YouTube and Snapchat again, ignoring everyone's snaps but going through all the Snapchat subscription stories before stumbling on a Daily Mail article that piqued my interest. The article was one about a teen, Bailey, who was bullied for her figure, as seen on the snap below and the text exchange between Bailey and her mother, in which she begged for a change of clothes because people were making fun of her and taking pictures.

Like all viral things, quickly after her text pictures and harassing snaps surfaced, people internet stalked her social media. But, after some digging, it was found that Bailey had tweeted some racist remark.

Now, some are saying that because Bailey was clearly racist, she is undeserving of empathy and deserves to be fat-shamed. But does she? All humans, no matter how we try, are prejudiced in one way or another. If you can honestly tell me that you treat everyone with an equal amount of respect after a brief first impression, regardless of the state of their physical hygiene or the words that come out of their mouth, either you're a liar, or you're actually God. Yes, she tweeted some racist stuff. But does that mean that all hate she receives in all aspects of her life are justified?

On the other hand, Bailey was racist. And what comes around goes around. There was one user on Twitter who pointed out that as a racist, Bailey was a bully herself. And, quite honestly, everyone loves the downfall of the bully. The moment the bullies' victims stop cowering from fear and discover that they, too, have claws is the moment when the onlookers turn the tables and start jeering the bully instead. This is the moment the bully completely and utterly breaks, feeling the pain of their victims for the first time, and for the victims, the bully's demise is satisfying to watch.

While we'd all like to believe that the ideal is somewhere in between, in a happy medium where her racism is penalized but she also gets sympathy for being fat shamed, the reality is that the ideal is to be entirely empathetic. Help her through her tough time, with no backlash.

Bullies bully to dominate and to feel powerful. If we tell her that she's undeserving of any good in life because she tweeted some racist stuff, she will feel stifled and insignificant and awful. Maybe she'll also want to make someone else to feel as awful as she did for some random physical characteristic she has. Maybe, we might dehumanize her to the point where we feel that she's undeserving of anything, and she might forget the preciousness of life. Either one of the outcomes is unpleasant and disturbing and will not promote healthy tendencies within a person.

Instead, we should make her feel supported. We all have bad traits about ourselves, but they shouldn't define us. Maybe, through this experience, she'll realize how it feels to be prejudiced against based off physical characteristics. After all, it is our lowest points, our most desperate points in life, that provide us with another perspective to use while evaluating the world and everyone in it.

Cover Image Credit: Twitter / Bailey

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I'm Choosing To Literally Spice Up My Life With Sriracha Hot Chili Sauce

College life just isn't as fulfilling without a drizzle of one of the most iconic hot sauce brands of all time.

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So, I've only been a college student for one semester. But if there's a single takeaway I have from my college experience thus far, it'd be that having a personal bottle of Sriracha Hot Chili sauce on me at all times has been integral to my wellbeing as a dietary supplement to my meals.

I'm describing this from personal experience, and so I'm sure not everyone enjoys—or needs—spice in their lives. But sometimes, the routine of college life requires a little pick-me-up, and for $2.99 per 17 oz., I'd vouch for the saying that money buys happiness...for my wallet and taste buds, that is.

During my first week at my college's Dining Hall, I noticed that while there was always a Sriracha bottle available, so many students would use it throughout the day that by the time I'd get to it, there'd only be a smidge of sauce left. It didn't help that the appearance of the bottle itself wasn't an enticing invitation for use, as the cap was always encrusted in dried bits of hot sauce, with also-dried dribbles going down along the bottle's exterior.

I was getting annoyed due to the constant lack of Sriracha. The kitchen leaves out only one bottle of each type of condiment at a time in order to avoid overconsumption by diners; the more Sriracha bottles the kitchen could make available, the more funding the university would have to spend, making it reasonable that the one-bottle-per-condiment limit was in place.

So, I took the initiative and made it my foremost priority to go to the nearest supermarket and buy the hot sauce that I so dearly desired.

I preferred purchasing the smaller-sized bottle as compared to its 28 oz. counterpart, which sells for around $4.50. With its sleek fit, it didn't occupy as much space in my mini fridge. Plus, whenever I carried my personal Sriracha bottle with me—which was most of the time, as I never knew when there'd be a dry- or bland-tasting meal emergency—its slim size was a perfect, snug fit into my water bottle holder on the outside of my backpack.

And sure, the easiest and most logical solution would've been to save a few cents, buy the larger bottle and pour some of the hot sauce into a travel-size container for everyday use. However, I truly don't mind promoting the Sriracha corporation—I'm writing a whole article about its product, after all. I admire the brand not only for being one of the most affordable and accessible hot sauce options on the market, but also for its humble beginnings of a 20th-century Vietnamese refugee who sold his hot sauce to Americans door-to-door as a means of moving past his hardships, and using that defiance to share his love for spice with the Western world.

For as depicted through the brand's logo of a rooster, the unassuming strength of this small, mostly flightless bird is indicative of that very same strength he found within himself to persevere in a country that wasn't his own, at a time when that country didn't treat their refugees much like their own.

And although I write that the Sriracha bottle I had was for personal use, I always made exceptions for anyone who asked for some. For no matter if that person was a friend or stranger, Sriracha's distinct taste and design always made for better-tasting food, and more fruitful conversation complete with an intriguing history lesson.

Because beyond being a low-cost food enhancer and an interesting conversation starter, Sriracha serves its purpose as a beacon of hope for those who meet adversity. It's a condiment designed for everyone's pleasure and consumption, no matter who they are or where they come from.

And that's what makes Sriracha Hot Chili sauce so personal, yet so universal.

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