22 Lessons I've Learned By My 22nd Birthday

Today is my 22nd birthday, so what more fitting article to write than some things I've learned along the way. Lately, I've been reflecting on the hidden blessings that come with lessons learned throughout my years living on Earth. Some of the roughest moments in my life has lead me to the most wonderful things and people.

The world is a funny place, but celebrating my birthday, I wanted to write about lessons which stuck out; some funny and some that have shaped me for success along the way.

1. Life is short

How ironic, right? I've lost friends who've had their life taken from that way, way too soon. Every year I'm so grateful

2. After turning 21, birthdays aren't as cool 

I didn't believe anyone till it happened to me. I think the highlight of this birth year is I can play Taylor Swift's "22" on repeat. All. Weekend. Long.

3. There's nothing more attractive than a SMILE 

Being happy is contagious! I love being the one beam of light in a dark room. By this I mean, in a world of negativity and hate, be the light. Positivity is beautiful, positivity is bright. It makes others around you happy. Take a deep breath, smile and try it!

4. When booking flights, double and TRIPLE check the departure times

Nothing worse than spending $400 on a flight to Vegas for the weekend, think you're going home by noon on Sunday and in reality, you leave at midnight. Just change the flight departure time, you said? That will be another $300. Just saying...

5. In a world with leggings and jean, always pick leggings

It makes life so much more comfy.

6. Don't be afraid of ending a relationship in fear of being alone

While we are here, also do not let other people's opinions guide what decisions you make. You are your own person, you make decisions on what makes you happy. If it isn't putting harm on anyone, other people's opinions shouldn't matter and shouldn't determine your decisions and happiness.

7. The only thing that can cure a broken heart is time

I know it hurts now, but time will cure the pain eventually.

8. Don't stress over what you can't control 

My dad continuously reminds me of this when I'm having a crisis. If you can't control it, do not waste your time and energy stressing over it. Everything always works out.

9. Cheez Itz are better than Gold Fish


10. Owning a puppy is similar to having a baby

Don't even get me started — just trust me. They poop and pee on the floors, are not potty trained, chew up your new shoes, get into things they shouldn't be and all around trouble-makers (but adorably cute!)

11. Being unemployed after graduation is perfectly normal

Yes, there are students who have already landed a job. Yes, there are hundreds and thousands of other students who aren't employed out of college. I'm sure we all share that same anxiety, stress, and pressure, but with time and patience, the right opportunity will appear.

12. Blood is thicker than water

This is something I've always heard growing up. Simply put, family is forever and will always be on your side. Friends, however, even the ones you thought would always be by your side, may not always be in the long run. Personally, I have gone through this and learned the hard way. I'm very grateful for my family.

13. The sheer feeling of accomplishment after fulfilling a pen's full life

Are you confused? Well, a ballpoint pen or any pen for that matter has a certain about of ink before it is useless. Using said pen till the ink runs out? Super satisfying.

14. Ice cream cake trumps regular cake

This rule only applies if my grandma's homemade cassata cake isn't involved in the competition. If that is the case, we must go back to the reevaluation stage. I'll try all three for good measures.

15. Owning a plant is super fun

I own an aloe plant, she is the best. I always have killed all plants I've own in the past, but my aloe has grown beautifully. It makes me feel like I have my life together, even if it's just a little bit. Especially watching it grow over time!

16. Money isn't everything, but it sure can help many things

No, you don't need money to be happy, find love or your purpose. Although, money will solve poverty, hunger, paying your bills on time, etc. I don't have all the money in the world and if I had more it would benefit me in different aspects of my life. Sometimes, though, it's important to look around and be grateful for the things and people in front of you.

17. Yes, your parents were right

Truly about everything... but if they ask I didn't admit it.

18. Mixing liquors will end you

I learned this a year ago from today. For my legal drinkers out there, just stick to one family (i.e. vodka, rum, whiskey, etc.) and stay with that for the night. Your stomach and head will thank you the next morning.

19. Picky eaters get better with time and confidence

Hi, my name is Jillian Monczynski, former most picky eater ever. I finally decided to man-up and try different foods and I love them! To my other fellow picky eaters, don't be afraid! You could be missing out on your favorite meals.

20. "Men are like busses, one leaves and the next one is around the corner"

In the wise words of my grandma Fran, men come and go all the time. If you got your heart broken recently or maybe feel like you'll be alone for forever — don't. The next one is on the way. (This goes for ladies as well!)

21. Don't wish away your college years

I have about a month and a half left. I never want to graduate or leave my pals. *Sobs profusely*

22. The cool kids wake up early, not go to bed super late

Obviously, there is some humor with this one, considering I haven't fully gotten the hang of this yet. Waking up early gives you so much time and maximum productivity. Wake up, grab your coffee and get things done!

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