21 Things I Had To Turn, And Be, 21 To Learn Wholeheartedly
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21 Things I Had To Turn, And Be, 21 To Learn Wholeheartedly

What living through my 21st year has taught me.

21 Things I Had To Turn, And Be, 21 To Learn Wholeheartedly

I can remember being 16 and thinking "wow, when I turn 21 I'm going to have it all together.

I'm gonna be an adult and everything will be smooth sailing from then on". First off, am I dumb or what? And secondly, flash forward to December 2017 and I am 6 months away from turning 22, and let me tell you I certainly do not have it all figured out, things have not been smooth sailing, and I'm definitely not that much of an adult. If anything, I feel like I was more put together when I was 16. But what being 21 has done for me is teach me a whole lot about life, choices, love, responsibility, and who I am.

Here are just 21 things that I've learned being 21.

1. It's okay to admit that you don't have the answer to everything

Being 21 and considered an "adult" it may seem that a lot of people expect you to be some sort of expert and know so much. While it is true that you've gained a lot of knowledge and experience, you don't need to have an answer to everything. "What are you doing after graduation", "When are you going to settle down", "When are you going to get a job". All these questions don't need an answer, and that's okay.

2. Take some time to have fun

We all know that turning 21 is a time to let loose and have a little fun. But once the celebration dies down and things go back to being stressful, remind yourself its okay to take a Friday night and have fun with your friends. You're 21, you can!

3. Always be open to learn something new

Take time to learn from those around you. Whether that be from your professors in your last semester of college, your co-workers at your internship, or even just your friends and family. Everyone has experiences and knowledge that you can benefit from, so always be willing to listen and learn.

4. Just because you're an "adult" doesn't mean you can't cry

Just because your a big bad adult now doesn't mean you can have a crappy day here or there. It's okay to cry, it's okay to say "this sucks", and its okay to not like the situation you're in. Let the tears out sometimes, its healing and it helps.

5. Sometimes you have to put yourself first

I could write about this in itself. Put yourself first with school work, put yourself first in relationships, just put yourself first. Sometimes you need to look at situations and say "I need to do what's best for me". It's hard and sometimes you don't want to do it but you'll be happy you did.

6. It's okay to say you need help

This is another big one. Whether it be with school work, emotional health, physical health, or anything else, if you're feeling like you need someone or something; say it! You have to be your own biggest cheerleader and advocate for yourself sometimes. You know what you need and sometimes you have to speak up to get it.

7. Take a mental health day

Take a day here and there and do some self-care. Sleep all day and lounge in your PJ's, do a little shopping, turn your phone off and catch up on your favorite TV shows. Do something that can put your mind at rest and recharge you. If you don't take that time you'll burn-out too fast.

8. Be vulnerable

This has been a hard one for me to learn. I have found it hard over the years to let people in and be my true honest self with them. Being truly and honestly vulnerable with people scares me, but it has also been so rewarding when I have done it. Getting to that place where you can be vulnerable with others is so important.

9. Be honest

Be honest with your thoughts, be honest with your feelings, be honest with your actions. Remember to be honest with others and yourself too. Honesty is so important in every aspect of life, learn how to practice it.

10. Give of yourself in relationships and don't expect anything in return

Be selfless in friends and relationships. Do things for your friends, your family, your coworkers, your significant other just because. Don't expect anything in return. Do it out of pure unconditional love for the other person.

11. Let toxic relationships go

Although it may be easier to just stay, let them go. Staying in toxic friendships and relationships only hurts you in the end. Remember that you deserve more and you're worth more that staying in something that is toxic and hurtful.

12. Love yourself -- your whole self

Come to the place in your life where you full accept everything about who your are. All the bad and all the good. It doesn't happen in a day and it doesn't happen in a year but start to love the little things about yourself and eventually you'll love the big things too.

13. School is actually important (who knew?!)

Now I always knew that college was important but being in my senior year and working my internship I've realized that school is actually REALLY important. I remember my youth pastor saying to me once when I told him I felt like school was wasting my time "time spent sharpening your tools is never time wasted". The rings so true now. I've realized that putting school first is not only important not but it's important for later as well.

14. It's okay to call your mom sometimes

Being 21 doesn't mean that you don't need your mom sometimes. Everyone needs their mom to say "it's gonna be okay". That sense of comfort and safety is something that we all need to be reminded of sometimes. So give your mom a call every once in a while. You'll be happy you did.

15. Be responsible with your finances

Although you might not have any bills to pay or responsibilities attached to your finances now, making sure that you are responsible with your money will definitely help you out later. Also, PLEASE DO NOT GET A CREDIT CARD. It may sound like a good idea but trust me, it's really not.

16. Take any and all opportunities to travel

If you get the opportunity to travel somewhere new, whether in the US or outside the US; do it! There is nothing like getting to experience a new plan and a new culture. Traveling will expand your world view and give you some of the best memories.

17. Learn who your real friends are a keep them close

Eventually you'll come to a point where you'll find out who your real true friends are. Different stages of life happen; some friends will start to get married and have kids while others graduate and go out to travel the world. It's normal to go through a period of loosing friends. But when you find those that stick around remember to keep them close and cherish them.

18. Remember to slow down and enjoy the little moments

Sometimes I feel like I don't have time to catch my breathe. Being 21, you're always running doing something. Remember to take some time to slow down and spend moments with those that really matter. You don't always need to be running.

19. Be confident

Be confident in yourself. Be confident in what you know. And be confident in what you want.

20. Don't settle

No matter what, don't settle. Don't settle for a guy that doesn't treat you right. Don't settle when it comes to your education. Don't settle with friendships. Know what you want, know what you deserve, and stick to it.

21. Remember you still have a long way to go

Although being 21 you might feel like you are at the peak of life. But remember you still have so much to do. So many more years to learn and grow. So many more experiences to have and so many more mistakes to make. Being 21 isn't the be all end all of life. Remember that.

I am so grateful for my 21 years on this earth. I feel like I have learned more this past year than I have before. Being 21 is hard, and scary, and stressful but it is also fun, and exciting, and the opportunities are limitless. So remember, when you're going through your 21st year, enjoy it because theres never going to be another time like this in your life!

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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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