21 Lessons I Learned By 21 That Are Worth Sharing

21 Lessons I Learned By 21 That Are Worth Sharing

We are three years into adulthood, we are legal to consume alcoholic beverages, and we don’t really have it all figured out yet.

Some of us 21-year-olds are getting engaged and starting families, some of us are in college or finishing cosmetology school, some of us are working away and joining unions, but there are three things we have in: we are three years into adulthood, we are legal to consume alcoholic beverages, and we don’t really have it all figured out yet.

However, I’ve journaled down thoughts that I’ve learned over the years and I think they may serve as nice reminders for you all. So here are the 21 things I’ve learned by 21:

1. You’re young — know the difference between being selfish and valuing yourself.

It’s OK to put yourself first, your future depends on it.

2. When you’re upset, mad, or frustrated with someone, don’t start texting them a million things that you’ll later regret.

Take a breather, and call them and meet up with them later. Texting solves absolutely nothing.

3. Forgiving yourself and forgiving others is not an easy task, but it’ll set you free and allow you to move forward with your life.

4. Quality over quantity, especially when it comes to friends; valuing close, genuine friends is so much more important than being surrounded by the masses.

5. Your greatest power is being you, embrace that with everything you have.

6. No matter how old you get, you have to follow the golden rule: treat others how you want to be treated because being kind and loving doesn’t cost you a thing.

7. Make decisions that excite you, don’t make decisions based on what someone else wants you to do.

You’ll end up going in circles.

8. When you put in the extra mile, it always pays off.

The effort will serve as guidance for what the next move should be for you.

9. There are spiteful people in this world that are venomous with their words, but those people don’t deserve a place in your universe.

10. Although there are hurtful people out there, there are also absolutely incredible ones who bring so much light and love into your life.

11. With that being said, you never regret telling people you love them, value them, and appreciate their existence.

Whenever you get the chance to engulf others in your admiration, do it.

12. Enjoying your own company better be on your to-do list.

People come and go, but you’re a constant and when the day turns into night, your mind must be kind to you.

13. You don’t have to be who you’ve always been.

There is room for change and growth and realizations to become who you are meant to be.

14. You aren’t going to be liked by everyone, you’ll be too much for some and not enough for others.

That discernment has nothing to do with you, and entirely to do with the person making those judgements.

15. You DO NOT need a significant other to be whole.

You DO NOT need a boyfriend. You DO NOT need someone to tell you you’re pretty, valued, and worthy; you should know you’re all those things without relying on those words of truths from someone else. You are complete, whole, and enough on your own.

16. Taking the opportunity that fuels your curiosity and excitement is one well taken.

Whether that’s moving, taking an internship, exploring a new country, you will find out new things about yourself along the way.

17. Holding onto rage and anger hurts you more than anyone else.

Let that baggage go and know you don’t have to be bitter.

18. Your circumstances do not and will not define you.

You aren't a statistic, you are a person and you can beat the odds.

19. Sex can wait, but it doesn’t have to; whatever you prefer is right.

Whether you’re in love or looking for a fun time, you must remember to be kind to your body and soul and make sure to value yourself and your sexuality. You don’t have to give yourself away to anyone who asks.

20. Let life take you where it wants you to go, you’ll end up exactly where you’re meant to be.

21. As cliche as it sounds, really, don’t let the fear of striking out keep you from playing the game.

You are an important and have a valuable mind that is unique, so know you have the ability to stand out and achieve all your wildest dreams. You will fail, oh you will fail plenty, but you just have to keep getting back up and try again.

So if you take anything away from my lengthy list, it’s that you are important, loved, and valued, and you should live your life with your urgency and drive.

Cover Image Credit: Ashley DeBoer

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Success Is Great, But Failure Is Better

Fail and fail often.

Don’t let success get to your head, but don’t let failure get to your heart. Know that things don’t always work out as planned, and that is OK!

For many millennials, it’s easiest to just give up when something doesn’t go your way. But take heart. Success is great, but failure is better. The reality is, you’re going to fail... a lot.

Failure does not mean your idea was not good or that your dream isn’t valid.

Failure means you have more to learn.

Failure is GOOD.

It shows you that you did something wrong and that you need to take a redirection. It’s an opportunity to come back stronger with a better attack plan. It’s a second chance.

Having failed many times in my life, there’s one thing for sure: failing sucks. It sucks being disappointed. It sucks not succeeding on the first try. However, you can learn to become a good failure.

Failing is inevitable, which is why it is important to learn from our mistakes. You’ll learn more from a single failure than a lifetime of success. Here’s what you can do when you mess up: accept what you can’t change, keep an open mind, maintain a positive attitude, and know that nothing will be perfect.

When I was a sophomore in high school, I was on an engineering team at my school. I was extremely confident in our abilities as a team, so when we didn’t advance to the world finals, I was devastated. The next year, however, my team placed second at the national competition, and we advanced to the world finals. If I had allowed that initial failure to consume me, I wouldn’t have been successful the next year.

It was not easy to advance to the world finals, but because I took my previous failure as a learning opportunity, my team succeeded. I knew I couldn’t change the past, so I didn’t focus on it. I kept an open mind about the competition and did not allow my bitterness to harden me, thus maintaining a positive attitude. My team wasn’t perfect, and I knew that. But I knew if we worked hard, we would succeed. We did.

Every failure is feedback on how to improve. Nothing works unless you do, and nothing works exactly the way you want it to. Failure is life’s greatest teacher; it’s nothing to be scared of. If we are so focused on not failing, we will never succeed.

So fail, and fail often.

Cover Image Credit: Pixabay

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7 Things English Majors Go Through

Yes, I'm an English major. No, I'm not throwing away my education.

I love being an English major.

And no -- I'm not lying.

While I do advocate for womxn in tech and the rise of STEM majors, my heart belongs to the humanities and more importantly: English Literature.

Here are some of the things as an English Major that I have experienced:

1. So... Do you wanna be a teacher?

As an English Major, my sole purpose of getting my degree is not to just become a teacher. I also want to be a writer. Get it right. I also want to be a teacher, though, so...

2. Writer's Block

Writer's block = hell unleashed. My brain is my most valued. My heart, too, but my brain is what helps me actually write my essays and poems. When my brain isn't working, I'm not working, and with those two not working -- I'm not getting anything done.

3. Having Friends Ask You To Edit Their Papers

My mood 24/7 when people ask me to edit their papers. I'm working on my own, leave me alone. Seriously though, I know I'm an English major, but there's a reason why office hours were created -- but if you REALLY need my editing/revising, pay up.

4. Reading "Whatever" Literature

There are some great works that I love reading (Frankenstein, Great Expectations, Dr. J & Mr. H, etc). But if I'm forced to read another book that EVERYONE has "read" and ends with the classic patriarchal ending -- I'd rather not. Give me some more Mary Shelley, please.

5. Reading AMAZING Literature

OK BUT WHEN THE CLASS READS SOMETHING LIKE MRS. DALLOWAY -- I AM SO HAPPY (I love you, V.W). But, honestly, I love most literature (especially classics). It's only with very few works that I'm upset with reading. (50 Shades of Grey? Blegh.)

6. Getting Trash-Talked About Your Major

OkAy, SuSaN, I get that you're happy with being in the business school, but frankly I don't care, so don't worry about me or my major. We, English majors, get trash-talked about our majors. Back in the day, our major was considered noble and great -- and now it's considered as "throwing away our education".

7. Knowing that We Chose the Right Major

In my experience in college so far, I've met very few -- actually no one who has changed their major from English Lit/CRTWRT. (Disclaimer: I'm sure there are some?) But those of us who stayed with this major know that we chose the right path for ourselves. While our friends in STEM, Business, etc. are "having fun" with their path, we get to read our favorite works, write, and appreciate the arts. So... who's the real winner? ;)

Cover Image Credit: Study Breaks

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