21 Things I Learned By The Age Of 21
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Health and Wellness

21 Things I Learned By The Age Of 21

The age of 21 is so adventurous, terrifying, and crazy all at the same time.

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21 Things I Learned By The Age Of 21
Olivia Higdon

1) Fake friends go, real friends stay

In reality, we don't want to actually say that some of our "friends" really aren't there for us. We give second chances, we succumb to peer pressure, and we sort of lose ourselves in people who have no real energy for us. Your real friends will always love and support you, and be there for you when you fall. If you have to give more energy into a friendship than the other person, it's not healthy.

2) Patience is a virtue

As someone who seems to get irritable the more time passes, patience is super important to have as you grow. I've learned to let little things go, but also discovered when to not be walked on. I can focus on small and large tasks without become frustrated easily, and I can also work on bettering myself as time passes.

3) Asking for help is important

I've let so many things slip out of my grasp because I was too afraid to reach out and grab someone's hand. From missing an assignment in class, to letting my depression get the better hand, I've finally learned that asking for help is healthy. Asking for help does NOT make you weak, or helpless. Trust that those who love you will really be there.

4) Trust your gut

Over the years, I learned that my gut is usually right about many things. Whether it's telling you to eat, or dump somebody, trust that your gut is telling you what's right for you. Trust in yourself that you are capable of making hard decisions and ending out on top.

5) Take care of your body

Eat regularly and healthily, and drink plenty of water. I understand that coffee and other fancy drinks may be more tasteful, but when you eventually become dehydrated and starving, your body begins to age quicker and stop responding to signals. Shower. Clean your hair. The more you take care of yourself FOR YOU, the easier it becomes to love and want to take care of yourself.

6) Take care of your mental health

If you need a break, take one. If you need to do something that helps you, do it. Understand that your mental health is just as important as your physical health. Coming from someone who self-harmed, it's important to engage in positive and healthy activities to help your mental health. HURTING YOURSELF ISN'T THE ANSWER, I PROMISE.

7) Actually do what you say you're going to

Don't make empty promises. You will lose valuable people in your life over a hollow phrase. If you're going to do your homework by a certain time, do it. If you're going to take better care of yourself, do it. Don't tell yourself or other people you'll do something if you have no real intent on doing it.

8) Practice what you preach

I know this is so overheard, but it's true. Being a hypocrite is not a fair way to live. Stand up for what you believe in, and don't let anyone stop you from doing what you want to do. Give people advice you'd give yourself, and take that advice.

9) Cut negative people OUT

It's so hard, but once you do it, it's so relieving. Don't let anyone tear you down, and make sure you have no room or time in your life for people who don't see the best in you. Humbly understand that you are the most important person in your life, and that negative people will take that away from you.

10) Pay attention in school

Actually listen to your professors and supervisors. The less you pay attention or go to class, the more you fall behind. You're wasting your time and money by not listening or caring enough to be there. If school isn't for you, make a change and do what's best for you. You're here to learn and grow, so don't hinder your chances of that.

11) Listen to advice

Whether the advice seems stupid or really credible, listen to what people have to say. Taking the advice is another thing. Most people share stories and advice with you because they want you to succeed without making similar mistakes they've made. Granted we all make mistakes, but hear people out.

12) Step outside of your comfort zone

Some days it's great to stay comfortable, but stepping outside of comfort can be super healthy and beneficial. You begin to push your own personal ideas of yourself with how much you conquer by straying from comfort. Understandably it isn't always a good idea to leave your comfort zone, but don't knock it until you try it.

13) Embrace your strengths

You know yourself better than anyone else. Use your strengths to your advantage, and take pride in yourself for having these strengths. Use your strengths for personal goals, rather than harming others or putting others down. Utilize your gifts and make them stronger.

14) Understand your weaknesses

While you have great strengths, your weaknesses as also crucial to notice and accept. Just like your strengths, however, your weaknesses DO NOT define you or your capabilities as you grow. By knowing your weaknesses, you can start to gradually change and overcome them.

15) Strive for happiness

Do not, I repeat, DO NOT let anyone stand in the way of your own happiness. Put yourself first. Realize that life isn't perfect, or near perfect. Grow in the fact that no one can make or break your happiness besides you. You have the power to be happy. Let yourself be happy.

16) Do your best

Doing the best you can do is really all you can do. Putting in all of your effort and devoting time to doing your best pays off. Even if doing your best falls short, you still tried your best. Don't let yourself fall short of achieving things because you weren't trying.

17) Treat yourself

No, I don't mean spend all of your money at once. If you see something you want in the store, buy it. If you want to spend a little extra on a special drink at your coffee shop, do it. It's totally normal to spoil yourself with whatever you want- just be warned. I've spent all of my money at once on treating myself, and while it was nice in the moment, I didn't have money for essentials.

18) Rough times will come along

Honestly, you will experience rough times your entire life. By accepting this, you can work towards taking these times and using them to grow. Yeah, it sucks losing a friend or falling short in classes, but know that this isn't the end and it will get better. You have survived 100% of your worst days so far.

19) Don't hinder your own growth

Please don't stop yourself from changing if you want to change. Change is hard, and sometimes change is terrifying, but you have the ability to grow with change. Don't stop yourself from doing something you want to do. Want to chop your hair off? Lose weight? Eat healthier? Study more? Whatever it is, don't be afraid to do it.

20) Appreciate and respect the world around you

We are inhabiting the world, and frankly, we don't respect it. Appreciate the beauty that surrounds you. Don't litter, don't vandalize, don't harm the nature and animals within it. You may think it's funny now, but the world is crumbling and will only crumble quicker from our actions.

21) Love every part of who you are

You are uniquely you. No one else can be exactly who you are. Embrace, understand, love who you are. We are all who we are for reasons beyond us, and by accepting yourself, certain parts of life become easier. Love your stretch marks, love your scars, love the wrinkles on your face from all the emotions you've experienced. Understand you are human, you will make mistakes, and you'll have downfalls. Find it within yourself to love everything about yourself. Even the parts you hate the most.

In 21 years of living, I never thought I would be who I am today. You may have a completely different view, but sharing personal experiences can potentially reach others. I'm thankful for everything that has happened and will happen, because I know the greatness I can achieve.

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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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