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.
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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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To The Nursing Major During The Hardest Week Of The Year

I know that no grade can possibly prove what kind of nurse you will be. I know that no assignment will showcase your compassion. I know that no amount of bad days will ever take away the empathy inside of you that makes you an exceptional nurse.

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To the Nursing Major During Finals Week,

I know you're tired, I know you're stressed, and I know you feel like you can't go on. I know that no part of this seems fair, and I know you are by far the biggest critic of yourself. I know that you've thought about giving up. I know that you feel alone. I know that you wonder why in the world you chose one of the hardest college majors, especially on the days it leaves you feeling empty and broken.

But, I also know that you love nursing school. I know your eyes light up when you're with patients, and I know your heart races when you think of graduation. I know that you love the people that you're in school with, like truly, we're-all-in-this-together, family type of love. I know that you look at the older nurses with admiration, just hoping and praying that you will remain that calm and composed one day. I know that every time someone asks what your college major is that you beam with pride as you tell them it's nursing, and I know that your heart skips a beat knowing that you are making a difference.

I know that no grade can possibly prove what kind of nurse you will be. I know that no assignment will showcase your compassion. I know that a failed class doesn't mean you aren't meant to do this. I know that a 'C' on a test that you studied so. dang. hard. for does not mean that you are not intelligent. I know that no amount of bad days will ever take away the empathy inside of you that makes you an exceptional nurse.

I know that nursing school isn't fair. I know you wish it was easier. I know that some days you can't remember why it's worth it. I know you want to go out and have fun. I know that staying up until 1:00 A.M. doing paperwork, only to have to be up and at clinicals before the sun rises is not fair. I know that studying this much only to be failing the class is hard. I know you wish your friends and family understood. I know that this is difficult.

Nursing school isn't glamorous, with the white lab coat and stethoscope. Nursing school is crying, randomly and a lot. Nursing school is exhaustion. Nursing school is drinking so much coffee that you lose track. Nursing school is being so stressed that you can't eat. Nursing school is four cumulative finals jam-packed into one week that is enough to make you go insane.

But, nursing school is worth it. I know that when these assignments are turned in and finals are over, that you will find the motivation to keep going. I know that one good day of making a difference in a patient's life is worth a hundred bad days of nursing school.

Keep hanging in there, nursing majors. It'll all be worth it— this I know, for sure.

So, if you have a nursing major in your life, hug them and tell them that you're proud of them. Nursing school is tough, nursing school is scary, and nursing school is overwhelming; but a simple 'thank-you' from someone we love is all we need to keep going.

Sincerely,

A third-year nursing student who knows

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To The High School Graduating Seniors

I know you're ready, but be ready.

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Seniors,

I am not going to say anything about senioritis because I was ready to get out of there and I'm sure you are too; however, in your last months living at home you should take advantage of the luxuries you will not have in a college dorm. The part of college seen in movies is great, the rest of it is incredibly inconvenient. It is better to come to terms with this While you still have plenty of time to prepare and enjoy yourself.

Perhaps one of the most annoying examples is the shower. Enjoy your hot, barefoot showers now because soon enough you will have no water pressure and a drain clogged with other people's hair. Enjoy touching your feet to the floor in the shower and the bathroom because though it seems weird, it's a small thing taken away from you in college when you have to wear shoes everywhere.

Enjoy your last summer with your friends. After this summer, any free time you take is a sacrifice. For example, if you want to go home for the summer after your freshman year and be with your friends, you have to sacrifice an internship. If you sacrifice an internship, you risk falling behind on your resume, and so on. I'm not saying you can't do that, but it is not an easy choice anymore.

Get organized. If you're like me you probably got good grades in high school by relying on your own mind. You think I can remember what I have to do for tomorrow. In college, it is much more difficult to live by memory. There are classes that only meet once or twice a week and meeting and appointments in between that are impossible to mentally keep straight. If you do not yet have an organizational system that works for you, get one.

I do not mean to sound pessimistic about school. College is great and you will meet a lot of people and make a lot of memories that will stick with you for most of your life. I'm just saying be ready.

-A freshman drowning in work

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