23 Things I Learned By 23

23 Things I Learned By 23

Wisdom is the best gift.

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Every year, I feel a little wiser. My friends and family have taught me so much about life, and my experiences have given me some extra insight.

With my birthday coming up, I've done a lot of reflecting on what I've learned over the past 23 years.

Not Everyone Will Like You.

That's okay. There are other people who will; spend your time on them.

Eat Dessert Whenever You Can.

Life's too short to pretend you don't need it. You do.

Take Photos Often.

They're a good reminder of what you love.

Think of Your Feelings First.

Then think of others. They can wait.

Spending Money is Easier Than Saving It.

Or earning it, for that matter. SAVE YOUR MONEY!

Stop Caring What People Think.

Not everyone will like you or want you to succeed. Their opinions shouldn't influence your behavior or decisions, so don't let them get you down.

Apologize for Your Mistakes.

Take responsibility and apologize when you mess up. It shows maturity.

Read As Often As Possible.

When you think you've read enough, read some more.

Take Care of Your Body.

Work out, eat well, take the stairs instead of the elevator. It's easier to create good habits while you're young.

People Change.

It's normal, and it's okay. You'll change, too.

Never Stop Learning.

Take a class, read a book, or watch a YouTube tutorial. Keep expanding your mind, even after school.

Your Parents Are Your Best Friends.

They really are, even if you don't see it till you move out. They want what's best for you and will always support you.

Get Rid of Toxic People.

Even if it's hard to do, get rid of people who bring negativity to your life. You'll feel better without them in your life.

Cut Down Your Screen Time.

Live in the moment, instead of through a screen. Experience the concert instead of livestreaming it, enjoy your meal instead of posting it, and spend time with people you love instead of taking selfies.

Listen to Music Often.

There's a song for every mood.

Failure is Inevitable.

It's okay to fail. You'll do it a lot, which can be discouraging, but what matters is that you get back on your feet and try again.

Stop Comparing Yourself to Others.

Don't waste your time wishing you were someone else. Live the life you have and let others live theirs. Life is too short for jealousy.

Follow Through...

...on EVERYTHING! Follow through on your plans, your goals, and your commitments. It's harder than bailing, but will be worth it in the end.

Do What Makes You Happy.

Instead of settling for something in your life, do what you want.

Going Out Isn't More Important Than Everything Else.

Don't prioritize going out over taking care of other things. Do your homework, call your mom, and save money. Food and drinks are expensive.

It's Okay to Have a Small Circle.

As long as you surround yourself with people who support you and love you, you don't need anything else. Having a few close friends is better than having lots of acquaintances.

Forgiveness Is Good for the Soul.

Not everyone deserves forgiveness, but it's important to forgive when you can. You shouldn't carry all that negativity with you.

You Deserve to Be Happy.

You do.

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It's Time To Thank Your First Roommate

Not the horror story kind of roommate, but the one that was truly awesome.
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Nostalgic feelings have recently caused me to reflect back on my freshman year of college. No other year of my life has been filled with more ups and downs, and highs and lows, than freshman year. Throughout all of the madness, one factor remained constant: my roommate. It is time to thank her for everything. These are only a few of the many reasons to do so, and this goes for roommates everywhere.

You have been through all the college "firsts" together.

If you think about it, your roommate was there through all of your first college experiences. The first day of orientation, wishing you luck on the first days of classes, the first night out, etc. That is something that can never be changed. You will always look back and think, "I remember my first day of college with ____."

You were even each other's first real college friend.

You were even each other's first real college friend.

Months before move-in day, you were already planning out what freshman year would be like. Whether you previously knew each other, met on Facebook, or arranged to meet in person before making any decisions, you made your first real college friend during that process.

SEE ALSO: 18 Signs You're A Little Too Comfortable With Your Best Friends

The transition from high school to college is not easy, but somehow you made it out on the other side.

It is no secret that transitioning from high school to college is difficult. No matter how excited you were to get away from home, reality hit at some point. Although some people are better at adjusting than others, at the times when you were not, your roommate was there to listen. You helped each other out, and made it through together.

Late night talks were never more real.

Remember the first week when we stayed up talking until 2:00 a.m. every night? Late night talks will never be more real than they were freshman year. There was so much to plan for, figure out, and hope for. Your roommate talked, listened, laughed, and cried right there with you until one of you stopped responding because sleep took over.

You saw each other at your absolute lowest.

It was difficult being away from home. It hurt watching relationships end and losing touch with your hometown friends. It was stressful trying to get in the swing of college level classes. Despite all of the above, your roommate saw, listened, and strengthened you.

...but you also saw each other during your highest highs.

After seeing each other during the lows, seeing each other during the highs was such a great feeling. Getting involved on campus, making new friends, and succeeding in classes are only a few of the many ways you have watched each other grow.

There was so much time to bond before the stresses of college would later take over.

Freshman year was not "easy," but looking back on it, it was more manageable than you thought at the time. College only gets busier the more the years go on, which means less free time. Freshman year you went to lunch, dinner, the gym, class, events, and everything else possible together. You had the chance to be each other's go-to before it got tough.

No matter what, you always bounced back to being inseparable.

Phases of not talking or seeing each other because of business and stress would come and go. Even though you physically grew apart, you did not grow apart as friends. When one of you was in a funk, as soon as it was over, you bounced right back. You and your freshman roommate were inseparable.

The "remember that one time, freshman year..." stories never end.

Looking back on freshman year together is one of my favorite times. There are so many stories you have made, which at the time seemed so small, that bring the biggest laughs today. You will always have those stories to share together.

SEE ALSO: 15 Things You Say To Your Roommates Before Going Out

The unspoken rule that no matter how far apart you grow, you are always there for each other.

It is sad to look back and realize everything that has changed since your freshman year days. You started college with a clean slate, and all you really had was each other. Even though you went separate ways, there is an unspoken rule that you are still always there for each other.

Your old dorm room is now filled with two freshmen trying to make it through their first year. They will never know all the memories that you made in that room, and how it used to be your home. You can only hope that they will have the relationship you had together to reflect on in the years to come.


Cover Image Credit: Katie Ward

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Friendship Is Key To Having A  Fulfilling Life

Life can be a perilous journey full of an abundance of ups and downs, but friends get you through it with a smile.

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There are moments in life where you feel like you're on the verge of losing your mind. You don't feel like anyone can relate, and you feel like life is knocking you down. During difficult times you need a support system and with strong foundations in friendship, there are always people cheering you on and who you can return the favor.

Only when I left home for the first time when starting college did I truly start looking at the friendships in my life and appreciating them for their quality. I am lucky to say most of my friendships continue to overcome the test of time and remain guiding lights in my life.

In regards to my oldest friendships, as we pursue our individualized dreams, we still manage to find time to share new chapters of our lives with each other. I recently visited a friend of ten years at law school, and it's amazing to see friends succeed in making their career goals a reality.

Some of my other friends I've had since junior high school have landed in the medical field and education, and I can't help but feel extremely proud. Social media, in particular, allows friends to remain more connected than ever when in different locations. In modern times friends show their love and support through social media.

My friends and I continue to keep in contact daily and tend to be fans of comical memes and Snaps. I can't thank them enough for everything they have helped me with over the years. Friends are the family you choose and if you choose correctly you're never really alone.

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