21 Things That Should be Common Sense By The Time You're 21
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21 Things That Should be Common Sense By The Time You're 21

These are the now-written unwritten rules of being a human who has been alive for 21 years.

21 Things That Should be Common Sense By The Time You're 21

Here are 21 things that you should know and know how to do by age 21.

Please and Thank you


In the words of the eternally amazing Barney the Dinosaur: "Please and thank you are the magic words" and today Barney could not be more right. The amount of people who never say please or thank you at all is astonishing. I feel terrible whenever I forget to say thank you because no one owes you anything.

Replace the toilet paper when you're done

If you live with other people, this is just a part of being a decent human being, and if you don't do this then you are basically a monster.

Matching socks look better

I am guilty of this from 2010-2018 because I wore nothing but mismatched socks. I know. It is basically a crime. Now I have learned that it is better to rock matching socks, even more so if you are wearing sandals, sorry not sorry.


Please. Please. Please. Please wear deodorant. Boys and girls smell terrible sometimes, and deodorants job is to make you smell better. If you don't like the harsh chemicals then try a natural product. something. Anything. I beg you all.

Follow through 

You are no longer a flaky teenager who can blame flaking out on teenage angst. You now are at the age where it looks really bad professionally, socially, and academically to not follow through with arrangements that you have made. If you say that you are going to do something then you should do it.

Be nice to elders

The number of old people, who stop me in the grocery store, and thank me for being patient, helping, or seeming to be nice is crazy. The other day a woman thanked me and told me that I gave her hope for our generation, and all I did was hold open the door for her in the rain. it's not hard. it may not be convenient, but you never know who may need a little helping hand.

Park in the lines

Park. In. The. Lines. If you have a car then you took the driving test and passed. Parking in three spots is not OK anymore, you're (probably) not new at this.


If you need or want extra space, park in the back of the lot, so that you are not taking the front spaces from people who need closer parking.

Know when to say sorry

One of the biggest things that I have had to learn in my 21 years of being a functioning human, is when you need to say sorry, and odds are if you have to question whether or not you do, then you probably should just in case.

An apology is sometimes the best way to fix situations, and they are so simple that it hurts.

Always tell your best friend that you love them 

Two in the morning? Eleven at night? Tell them because they need to know they are on your mind.

There is a reason that they are your best friend, and they probably would appreciate feeling the love.

Not everything should be DIY

Things such as furniture, perms, haircuts, clothes, and eyebrow dying.

Trust me: your furniture needs to be safe... you can't perm or cut your own hair, and you want your eyebrows attached.

Turning Signals 

The lever to the left of your steering wheel. It does wonders, and people will stop honking at you. Up is right and Down is left (most of the time). Good luck with this new skill.

Don't talk with your phone on speaker in public

This is one of the more considerate ones, it is so rude to talk on speaker in public areas, when people are trying to do things, and it for 99% percent of the time is a personal conversation that others don't want to be a part of. Think of others when you go to do this.

PSA: when you are using your cars Bluetooth and are in a parking lot, we can all hear exactly what you are saying, and so it would be best to not talk about medical conditions or family drama in this setting.


There is nothing more influential than a smile. When you are smiling, not only will you feel better, but it sends positive vibes out to all the people who see it. Smiling is the only thing that is good and contagious.

You don't have to argue with someone because they don't agree with you

A rule so nice I am gonna say it twice: You don't have to argue with someone because they don't agree with you.

It's 100,000,000% OK to have different opinions.

If you live with people be considerate

Some things to take into consideration as a roommate: noise level, coming in late at night, bringing strangers to the house, announcing visitors, doing your chores, etc.

Know your limits

Whether this is on a night out, or on a night in, it is best to know your limits. This goes for everything: Stress, School, Work, and of course, a night out on the town.

Balancing a checkbook

Storytime: I walked into the bank and had to fill out a check. Did I know how? No. So what did I do? I told them that I was never taught how to write a check, and they took the time to show me because at some point in your life you will have to write a check.

You never know when though, and it sneaks up on ya.

Grocery Shopping

Three things:

1. 10 items or less: if you have a full cart go to an actual person at a register

2. if you have 10 items and someone behind you has only 1 let them go first

3. Allow elderly people to go first, it will make their day, and if they need help volunteer to help them


One thing that I am eternally grateful for was the invention of Tide Pods. How many do you put in? One. Are you sure? Yes.

these magical inventions made doing laundry so much easier, and as a student not having to carry a huge thing of soap down the hill both ways was a lifesaver.

Be nice

It's not super hard, you get what you put into the world, and if you're nice then you are in for a treat. Be patient, be mindful and take time to make sure that you are not unintentionally mean to others.

Know who you are

Stay true to who you are, there is no reason to pretend to be someone you're not, and people will like you for who you are. Stick to your values (there's a reason parents gave them to us) and stick up for others.

Hope this helps, and enjoy being 21!

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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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