I Don't Know About You, But I'm Feeling 22 And Learned These 22 Things
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I Don't Know About You, But I'm Feeling 22 And Learned These 22 Things

In addition to all the lyrics of Taylor Swift's "22," of course.

I Don't Know About You, But I'm Feeling 22 And Learned These 22 Things
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This past week, I had my Taylor Swift birthday.

As I went back-and-forth between singing "22" in a very off-key tone and panicking because I'm officially getting old (cue more tears), I started to think about all that I have been through so far, all that I have done. Even just as a 22-year-old college kid, I have admittedly learned a lot--and it only took life smacking me upside the head a million and one times.

1. Love can take many forms.

Some of the strongest, most love-filled relationships I've had have not been romantic--they've been with my family and friends, with reading and with writing (OK, coffee, too).

2. You have to learn to say no sometimes.

It's perfectly fine to say no if you really don't want to do something or if you can't take on another task. You want to stay in and watch Netflix in your PJs instead of going out to the bars on Saturday night? Say so. Plus, if you are already having daily mental breakdowns because of all that you are trying to juggle, it's probably not the best idea to say yes when someone asks you to add just one more thing to your plate.

3. Being imperfect does not equal being of lesser value.

Being perfect--or even the best at everything--is just not the way life works, plain and simple. That doesn't mean you are any less, though. Those "flaws" are what make you unique, what make you human.

4. Being vulnerable is a sign of strength.

Being vulnerable is one of the hardest things to do. It takes a lot more strength to be real, to open yourself up to the possibility of being hurt or rejected, than it does to wall yourself off.

5. It’s okay to love just a little too much.

I'm a sap, OK? But seriously, loving "too much" is better than missing out on all the rollercoaster of adventures that loving someone or something entails.

6. Having someone you can just sit and talk to about life is just as important as having someone to go out with on a Friday night.

Sure, some people are your friends solely for going out and having fun, but what are you going to do when you really need someone? Who do you actually share life with, the good and the bad?

7. You need to give yourself time and space to grow.

Growing up is hard. Figuring out who you are, what you want to do, where you want to be— it takes time. You have to learn to be patient with yourself, to allow yourself to take the time and space you need. You can't set specific parameters on exactly what progress should look like or how long it should take.

8. Life is too short to waste time trying to give up coffee.

Plus, I'd rather keep my sanity, thanks.

9. Men can be amazing and complicated and fun and stressful, all within the same five minutes.

You know it's true.

10. It’s OK to live your life the way you want to—even if it doesn’t match what your parents necessarily want.

This can be really difficult sometimes, can feel like you are doing something wrong or disrespectful. But choosing your own path, deciding who you are, is part of growing up and becoming independent. It's not wrong to disagree with your parents or to want different things— yes, you can take them into consideration (just like you would anyone you care about), but you have to be your own person with your own thoughts and opinions, too.

11. The “you’ll be grateful you look so young when you’re 30” comment that always comes after someone says you can’t possibly be in your twenties because you don’t look a day over 16 does not, in fact, ever become reassuring.

*sigh* I've begun to wonder if I will ever be able to even buy duct-tape without being asked for my ID.

12. People really do not care to hear your GPA for every semester or about the award you received for having a 100 percent attendance record.

It's shocking; I know.

13. Always make sure you leave a party or the bar with three things: your wallet, your phone and your pride.

Trust me; that's always a win.

14. If you miss someone, tell them.

But do not be that person who sends five-plus texts in a row with no response… A screenshot will be taken, and it will get sent around to their five closest friends.

15. If you can’t sit comfortably in silence with someone (and have zero personal-space boundaries, if you’re like me), then you’re not really that close.

16. You can be the ripest, juiciest peach in the world, but there will still be someone who hates peaches.

Unfortunately, some people will like you/dislike you, and it will have nothing to do with you at all.

17. Don’t drink beer if you don’t like it.

Luckily for people like me, there are these sweet little things called flavored malt beverages (aka Smirnoff Ice and Mike’s Hard Lemonade). Or, crazy idea, you could drink something non-alcoholic.

18. Never tell someone they look sick or tired.

Like, why? What are they going to say, "thank you"?


Even if you’re two seconds away from passing out with exhaustion on your bed, just do it—your skin will thank you in the morning, and you can avoid the whole raccoon-eye look.

20. It’s okay to be a nerd.

Books are friends, too. Plus, the whole sexy-librarian-look is a stereotype for a reason—being smart is HOT.

21. You really can’t change your past.

You can only obsess over it for a bit, have a few mental breakdowns, and then move on and figure out what to do next, figure out what you can learn from it.

22. There is nothing wrong with stumbling around as you try to figure out who you are.

A secret? Absolutely no one has it all figured out—that’s part of what makes life an adventure.

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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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