In less than two weeks, I’ll be turning 21. I know that most people can’t wait. You’re looked at differently, you can legally drink, you’ll get your new driver’s license, you’re suddenly “more adult” and you can legally drink. Oh, I think I said that already.

But for me, I could wait. I’m excited but scared at the same time. When I was younger my parents always told me not to rush things. To not sit around wishing you were this or that. Because before you know it another five or ten years will have gone by. Before I turned 16 I was nervous about getting my license–I was scared to drive. It was just another piece to the puzzle of growing up but I knew that I would be 21 before I knew it, and on February 16th I will be.

Turning 21 brings a lot along with it. Sure I’ve been in my twenties for a year now but something about 21 as compared to 20 is different. I’m going to be finishing college soon and I’ll have to start thinking about what I want to do for the rest of my life. I have all of these ideas in my head about what I want to do for a career, where I want to live, how many kids I want, you know things like that but they sound a lot better in my head.

I have a couple weeks left but there are some things I want to tell myself before my birthday and hopefully carry it with me throughout my twenties because these years ahead are supposed to be the best times of our lives.

  1. It’s okay if you’re not 100 percent sure what you want to do for a career. You’ll find your niche I promise.
  2. Do your best in school now. Work hard because it’ll be worth it in the end, even though the loads of homework now suck.
  3. You might think you need to have your significant other already, but when the time is right it’ll happen.
  4. Not everyone is going to treat you right. Not everyone is as genuine and kindhearted as you think. It’s sad, but you can’t trust everyone.
  5. Not everyday is going to be a good day. Somedays you’ll be running late, forget you had an assignment due, spill your coffee all over your new shirt but it’s okay just tell yourself you’ve had worse days.
  6. Money is going to be tight for awhile, but work your ass off and someday it won’t be.
  7. Stay motivated, don’t lose your ambition even when everything else around you seems like it’s falling apart. Run that extra mile, do the extra squat, and then you can eat your pizza with a smile on your face.
  8. Put more effort into the people who really care about you and are there for you, and stop worrying about the ones who don’t. Don’t put effort into someone who isn’t putting in the effort for you, trust me, I know it’s easier said than done.

I’m excited for what lies ahead, even though I’m not 100 percent ready to keep growing up, we all have to. That’s just part of life.