The day has come, you have passed one of the most celebrated birthdays ever to come to the ripe age of 22. Maybe you celebrated this special day hard by jamming Taylor Swift's 22 a hundred times, or maybe you sat in your room all day contemplating how fast your life has gone by. Regardless of how you celebrated, I have been 22 for several months now, and I have learned a lot in my 22 years.
You feel a lot older than you did at 21...
Once you turn 22, you feel like you've aged a lot more than a year compared to when you turned 21. You've experienced quite a bit of things, I mean come one, you are over two decades old. 21 you vs. 22 you are entirely different.
But you still have A LOT to learn.
Hate to break it to you, but no matter how old you feel, you still have a lifetime of lessons to learn. Each day is a reminder that no matter how much you want to, you don't know everything.
Don't be afraid to ask for help.
You don't know everything, but we need to use the people in our lives to help us move forward and succeed. Swallow your pride and ask for help when you need it. When someone asks you for help though, don't make them feel bad for not knowing something. We all have been there.
If someone is below 20 years old, they are an infant.
Sorry, younger friends, but if you're below the age of 20, you have the rep of being a baby. There isn't really a huge age gap in reality, but it ages us older folks hearing that you were born in the 2000s.
We're caught in this weird pop-culture shift.
You can say YOLO proudly like its 2013 and know what it means. The word yeet might come out of your mouth time to time, and you wonder what exactly you are saying. You're caught in this pop-culture gray area where you're young enough for some popular things right now, but you're still a little lost on the lingo from time to time.
You can't eat like you used to.
Back in the good old days, you could chow down without a worry in the world. One it seems like you can't physically eat as much as you did in high school. Two, if you do eat like you used to, it looks like your metabolism slows down each year, and you find yourself eating more and more salads. You do have your occasional binge nights/afternoons/morning, where you eat your weight in food with no worries.
Not everyone you've met is your friend.
Whether it is your roommate, coworker, or your chem partner, not everyone you meet in life will have your back You learn the hard way sometimes that even if people might "be in your corner" they don't want to see you succeed or be happy.
There is nothing wrong with having a smaller friend group.
On the flip side, you start to find your people. The ride or die, the ones who will laugh and cry with you throughout all of your adventures. No matter the distance or time, your friend group may be smaller than when you were in high school, but your friendships are stronger than ever before.
Your family is everything.
As you grow older, you realize the importance of family in your life. As a teenager, it seemed like you spent a lot of times rolling your eyes or being embarrassed by family, but now you would do anything for them.
Expensive doesn't always mean better.
It doesn't matter if your cost total looks like a phone number, more expensive items don't always mean they are better. You realize that there are products that worth splurging on that work best for you, but there are inexpensive and dupes for products that will meet all your needs. You just need to learn this before running up your credit card bill.
Everyone is faking it till they make it.
A terrifying but also comforting thought is that we all don't know what we are doing. As you grow older, you learn and listen to older adults who admit that no one really knows what's going on. Life is a lot of winging it and opening for the best.
Your life does not need to look like Pinterest.
Your life is not always going to look like Pinterest. It can be planning your wedding, an outfit, or what you will be having for dinner. The sooner you realize that life is not always going to look like what you see on a screen, the sooner you can find happiness with the things you do have.
You start to look at a lot of clothes for your career not just for fun.
At 22, you're at this teetering point in your life where you need to start focusing more on your career than "fun things." You look up business suits, or the best sneakers to be on your feet for 12 hours or anything that will make you stand out and fit in in your job.
Your patience is still thin.
Patience is still a virtue. No matter how old you getting, there will be moments where your patience is as thin as ice and you're this close to having a tantrum.
No matter how old people get, there will be some who are immature.
Fact: you will meet people in life even if they are decades older than you, who still act like they are 16. There is nothing with being a child at heart, but we will deal with people who are immature and have no thoughts about their actions ever.
Naps really can help you during your day.
Naps are not just for children, if you have the time and chance to get a few z's. Do it. Give yourself a chance to rest even if it does not include sleep. I feel like in our lives we are constantly moving at 100 miles per hour, and we need a moment to recharge our batteries.
You need to find "your thing."
You need to find things that create happiness for you. You need to make sure to have these things, whether it is reading, working out, or cooking, to give yourself "me time." Sometimes it is okay to be selfish and set up time just for you, because guess what you are important.
The next most exciting birthday is when you're 25.
Lower car insurance. You can rent a passenger van. You can get this gif as a birthday cake. A sad reality is once you are past the age of 21, there isn't the "excitement" of something happening. Except for 25. Then when you turn 50, you start to get AARP discounts. Yay for getting older!
Being rejected is needed.
Sometimes, you just need to be told no. It can be from a person you thought was your soulmate, a scholarship, or an organization. Being told no is a humbling experience and is a chance to reevaluate what you truly need. The pain is worth it in the end.
Life is too short to live it for other people.
Your happiness matters, and if people in your life are bringing you down, you do not need them. There is a difference between a supportive friend who gives constructive criticism and a friend who doesn't want you to succeed. Do not sell yourself short for the sake of other people's happiness. It is okay to be selfish sometimes, but you can't always.
There is still so much left to do.
There is a lot to do on your to-do list and in life in general. 22 is still so young, and the world is yours for the taken. Go make it yours. See the world. Pet all the doggos. Eat all the pasta. Live your life, YOLO.
22 is not the end of the world.
It can be a little sad once you go from 21 to 22, but 22 is not worth being upset about. There is no crying in baseball and there shouldn't be crying in another year. Not everyone has the chance to live to the age of 22, and so many people would love to go back to the age you are now.
I'm only 22. I've laughed, cried, and everything in between a lot throughout my life, and I know there is a lot more for me. Age is just a number, somewhat, and I can't wait to see where the next 22 years will take me. Being 22 isn't the lame duck year, its the year of starting to really figure out who you are and what's next.