Well this is ridiculous, you may think. There are a million things I learned before turning 21. But what about the small things? The daily things that happen that you don't really pay too much attention to? This is a list I have started somewhere at the age of 18 and continued to accumulate things to until some time in my 20 years old year. Now in my year of 21, I've experienced and learned many things from life. I understand things better and, more importantly, I understand myself better.

From 21 on, my list of realizations will probably get more 'adult-y', so here are the things I realized before turning 21:

  1. The bed is always better with clean sheets on it.
  2. Telling someone you love/care about them isn’t embarrassing.
  3. School is going to get a lot more difficult with years, so improve your study habits.
  4. Your first boyfriend doesn’t have to be your greatest/only love.
  5. Heartbreak hurts but there IS someone better for you out there.
  6. If you can’t laugh during sex, you’re having sex with the wrong person.
  7. Talk to your family every day. As you grow up, you’ll see how important that is.
  8. Holding hands can be so much better than kissing.
  9. Always have your house neat and clean. A tidy house makes a tidy mind.
  10. Asking for help doesn’t make you weak. It’ll actually make you stronger.
  11. Never shout to be heard.
  12. Don’t sacrifice sleep for those extra hours of studying.
  13. Your mental health is just as important as your physical health.
  14. Being a grown up means being honest about what you feel and what you want.
  15. Don’t let your emotions rule over you. It can be quite damaging.
  16. Sometimes it can be more fun staying at home than going out.
  17. Learn your body, know what makes you feel good.
  18. Go outside for at least an hour every day.
  19. Don’t settle for bad coffee.
  20. People you love will sometimes annoy you. And that’s okay.
  21. Dress for confidence, comfort and your own happiness.
  22. You don’t have to make decisions by yourself, even when you grow up.
  23. It will seem like everyone around is having babies or getting married. It’s okay that you are doing neither.
  24. Try to start the day with a positive smile and a positive attitude. It helps more than you think.
  25. Treat yourself every now and then, you’ll see that life will be sweeter that way.
  26. Worrying sucks and doesn’t help. Try not to.
  27. The kind of change that comes with growing up is an adventure.
  28. If you think/feel that your friends are toxic to you, leave them.
  29. Search and search until you find what you want to do for the rest of your life.
  30. If you want time alone, don’t be afraid to ask for it.
  31. Not everyone will understand you. Sometimes you just have to stop trying to explain and move on.

Not every day has be a life lesson. Not every week has to contain an experience. At times, you won't have anything to add to your list of things you realized, and that's alright. But it's important to keep in mind the little things, the small details of life that keep you going every day and evolving every year. You don't need to feel different on your birthday to know that something is.

“At times the world may seem an unfriendly and sinister place, but believe us when we say that there is much more good in it than bad. All you have to do is look hard enough. And what might seem to be a series of unfortunate events may, in fact, be the first steps of a journey."