Life is constantly teaching us lessons. Listening to the lessons others have learned can teach us many things, shine a light on a different perspective, or even just be reasons for a good laugh. As I look back at the 21 years of my life, here are a collection of some of the most eclectic, important lessons I have learned.
1. Take a random class in the arts while you're in college (i.e. ceramics, creative writing)Giphy
2. Keeping up with people is important.
Keeping up with people is so important. Whether its Facebook, Instagram or just mingling at a party, listen to people and store information. Not only is it endearing when people remember facts about you, but it better enables you to connect with people, skipping the awkward start-up conversations and pauses.
3. Growth is inevitable.Giphy
Don't try to fight it or deny it. You will grow and so will everyone and everything around you.
4. Things grow apart, but some grow back. Some do not.
Friendships are key to remember here.
5. You'll probably gain weight in your late teens/early twenties.Giphy
And you'll look back at pictures from high school to when you deluded yourself into thinking you were "fat" when it was probably the skinniest you'll ever be. However, you'll have more confidence now than you ever did then.
6. There will be times when your friends know your next course of action before you do- and it will never ceased to freak you out.
7. You'll always have regrets- no matter how much you try to do everything.Giphy
No matter how involved in organizations, volunteering, tailgating, hanging out with friends, going to every party, you won't be able to do it all. You'll have regrets about missing out on things, but at the end of the day we have to realize regrets will always be a part of life and there will always be something you miss out on.
8. Social media gets oldGiphy
Counting likes, posting obligatory pictures on people's birthday- all of it gets old. Just give your friend a call or text them a nice message to wish them the best.
9. A lot of important conversations and decisions will occur in your car
Many people will weirdly attest to this, but 85% of my most important decisions occurred in my car.
10. The second you try to plan something to the T, it will flop.Giphy
Life has a way of messing up well-thought out plans, so maybe just semi-plan.
11. You will use cleaning as a way to put off life.Giphy
We all hated cleaning as kids, and for the most part don't love to do it now. However, I have never seen myself and my friends clean more than when we should be studying for an exam.
12. Your clothing style will change drastically.Giphy
It seems as we get older we get more attracted to clothing we used to run from when we were younger. But now I'm ashamed to admit how much of my closet is neutrals and basic t-shirts of various qualities.
13. Invest in some quality business casual clothing, you never know when you might need it.
Finding business clothing the weekend before your event or interview is near impossible to do on a budget. Or worse, you'll end up wearing ill-fitted business attire from senior year of high-school.
...when you were 15 pounds lighter.
14. If you haven't worn an article of clothing for over a year, you never will. Go donate itGiphy
15. It's important to splurge every now and then (on stuff that is not food).
Whether it's a nice jacket, a nice foundation, or even nice no-shoe socks- just do it.
16. You can't predict the consequence of every action so just move forward with your best intentions.Giphy
17. Sometimes your friend/coworker just needs you to listen to them and acknowledge what they are going through, don't force them to listen to you and acknowledge you during this time.The Mistake I Made With My Grieving Friend
Read this article. It truly has changed how I interact with my friends' emotional issues.
18. Not every piece of advice given to you needs to be taken.Giphy
People will have a plethora of experiences and advice to share with you. However, just because an experience or method worked for someone else, it doesn't mean that it is what you need. Listen to all advice, but only take what you need.
19. Do with all your heart or not at all.Giphy
I can't stress this enough. Take the job, internship, experience if your entire heart is in it, don't just always do it for the resume boosting.
20. Be present.
Put down your phone when you are with your friends, turn it face down. Be present in the discussion. Hang out with your friends, listen, communicate, laugh. Your phone will be there in an hour, the messages, emails, notification will still be there.
21. Friends will always be the solution to a bad day.Giphy
Not every piece of advice is meant to be taken, not every experience can be replicated. Even with this being true, I hope these twenty-one lessons gave you some perspective, triggered some reflection on your own life, or really just made you chuckle. I'm sure that year 22 of life will only add to the lessons life continues to teach me!