22 Things I've Learned By 22
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22 Things I've Learned By 22

Change is good. Change is necessary. Change will happen. Embrace it.

22 Things I've Learned By 22

Although I still feel about seventeen years old, this past weekend I turned 22. It sounds even older when I spell it out in front of me. I can't be the only one who gets hit with nostalgia as their birthday passes, thinking about how old your getting and how quickly time seems to be flying by. As I went through my birthday I started to reflect on what I've experience over the course of my life. Through the ups and the downs, I've learned so many things and changed my perspective on life as each year passed. Who I was at sixteen was not who I was at nineteen, and who I was at nineteen is nowhere near who I am at twenty two. Although I know I have an immense amount more to learn about life and I probably haven't experience half of what I need to know exactly who I am, I do feel I've learned some key lessons over the years. These are 22 things I've learned in the past 22 years.

1. Friendships are relationships. If you don't work at them, they will end.

2. Despite how hard you want to fight it, your mom is almost always right.There's no other explanation, it's just true and I have no idea why.

3. Stop searching for validation in other people. Looking for approval from others will do nothing but completely destroy you. The only opinion of you that matters is yours. Defining your self worth on your own terms is all that matters, no one else has the right to that for you.

4. High school goes by fast and college goes by 20 times faster. Don't wish it away and enjoy every minute of it while you still can. You'll learn more about yourself in those years than you ever thought you would.

5. Cutting people out of your life that aren't contributing anything positive is not only liberating, but sometimes necessary. You're too old to have people in your life that don't make you happy.

6. Continue to try and continue to fail. The more you put yourself out there and the more you fall completely on your face, the more you're going to learn about life and yourself.

7. Stop buying books from your school bookstore. They're ripping you off 99% of the time.

8. Stop buying books at all. You'll rarely ever actually need them.

9. 22 isn't for settling. If your significant other is not fulfilling what you deserve, leave them. You should never feel obligated to continue a relationship, especially when you're this young and have nothing to lose.

10. Mixing vodka and tequila in one night is never a good idea. Just trust me.

11. Stop masking your problems and acting like you're okay all the time. Hiding your issues will just force them to come out later on, but 10 times stronger. Face them head on and try to work through the mess as best you can.

12. Invest in well-made makeup. Stop trying to convince yourself that drugstore makeup is saving you money. It's barely cheaper and 1000 times worse.

13. Take your makeup off every single night. Your skin will thank you.

14. Despite all the pressure you feel from the people around you, it's okay to not know what the hell you're doing right now. You're barely in your 20's, you're not 50. Having it all figured out is nearly impossible at this age.

15. Speak with confidence, always. You aren't 10 years older anymore, don't ever feel the need to silence yourself because an adult tells you to. Don't give others the right to walk all over you. Stand your ground and speak your mind.

16. But, do not feel entitled. You still have so much more to learn. Not everyone will agree with you and you're not always right. Be open to other peoples opinions and different ways of thinking.

17. Your 21st birthday was probably the last one you'll be excited about. After that you'll just start getting over dramatic about how old you're getting.

18. Never underestimate the power of a good cry. Don't be afraid to let that ugly crying face out after 5 vodka cranberry's or that song that hits you right in the feels every time. You'll almost always feel better after you let it all out.

19. Travel every chance you get. If you aren't out experiencing what the world has to offer you, what are you doing? Go everywhere.

20. Holding grudges only hurts yourself. There's no point in hating people who have wronged you in the past. Leave them there and move forward with a clear mind.

21. You will lose people you love. It's unexpected, unavoidable, and it's horrible. The only thing you can do is try not to lose yourself in the process.

22. Never stop searching for yourself. It's corny, but it's true. You're always growing and to say you know exactly who you are at 22 is a bit unrealistic. Most people would say they don't. How could you? I thought I knew who I was, until I realized I didn't. Until I realized I'm too young to not keep changing and to not keep growing. Always be constantly looking for experiences and keep room in yourself to grow. Adapt to the milestones in your life and keep your mind and heart open to every new opportunity that's ahead of you. Change is good. Change is necessary. Change will happen. Embrace it.

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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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