Yay, I am officially old. Last year was the big 21 and I reflected on how I did not have a shot day. This year I decided to reflect on the past 22 years and dig deep to see what I have learned in this crazy life so far. I hope you can find some wisdom and truth in here that relate to your life as well.
1. When you go to the mall, park at a department store.Giphy
I learned this from my mom and it has been drilled in my head since I was a kid and we HAD to park at JCPenny's. Parking at a big department store makes it easier to find your car whenever you leave because you aren't searching all over the mall for a spot, AND it is easier to find a spot.
2. How to make chili.Giphy
Chili is something that is quick, easy, filling, and can last a long time. I learned how to make chili and it is a recipe that I know by heart now, so it's always my go-to.
3. People who were there at the start might not be there at the end.Giphy
Whether it is death or just plain leaving, not everyone is going to be with you for your whole life. Saying goodbye is hard but it is something that you need to learn to say!
4. Finding a community is everything....Giphy
Community is a HUGE thing, especially in college, and it is definitely something that you need to establish. Whether it is a group of friends from home that you can go to for everything or a group of people that you have collected in your time in college, they are the key to surviving in this world.
5. .... and it doesn't always have to cost a fortune.Giphy
College is the time of the Srat Star (or Frat Star). Everyone who is ANYONE is in Greek life, but you don't have to be. If it doesn't align with your beliefs, time, or wallet, you can 100% find your place outside of Greek life. It could be a club, small group, literally anything! Sometimes it can even be better than Greek life.
6. Podcasts are free!Giphy
Believe it or not, I almost went all the way through high school thinking that I had to pay for a podcast. My friend had to explain to me that, along with subscribing on YouTube, podcasts are free. They are also the best source of entertainment for a long road trip or walk to class!
7. Just go to class.Giphy
I know, it sucks to get up and go, but from my experience, you just need to. I find that if I don't want to go to class and then I force myself to go, I wind up being more productive for the rest of my day.
8. If you hate your job, just quit. They don't care.Giphy
I've left two jobs for differing reasons and I was so nervous to send in my two weeks. Guess what? No one cared. I wasn't treated any different, it all went OK, literally NO ONE CARED. I was so scared to quit that I stayed longer than I would have liked and it made me more miserable than just quitting beforehand.
9. Cats just MIGHT be the superior animal.Giphy
Growing up with a dog, I was a die-hard dog person and there is a part of me that still is, but when I got a cat in college it shifted. I love having a cat for so many reasons that would just take up a whole different article so all I will say is, iykyk.
10. Don't let others steal your little joys.
If you love taking pictures of your coffee and making little setups for pictures, or whatever else you may love to do, just do it. Don't hold back because people might be watching or because you feel like you might be judged. Just do it. You could end up with some cool stuff.
11. If a coffee shop serves coffee AND alcohol, there is a good chance the coffee is shit.
I've tested this theory in other states and nine times out of 10 (with the exception of one amazing coffee shop by my house which no longer serves alcohol) the coffee is always sub-par if there is a beer tap behind the bar. Note: I am writing this, drinking really bad alcohol/coffee house coffee.)
12. You need a planner: no matter how much you think you don't, you do.Giphy
Life is tough and trying to keep the 100 things I need to do in a day in order doesn't work if I just try and remember it all. I write stuff all over my hands, my planner, I even printed out a yearly calendar for the sole purpose of writing all my class assignments on it.
13. Find a hobby and fall in love with it.
I discovered that I could paint in my junior year of high school and I fell in love with it. I love painting and I'll paint for any reason. I'll paint whatever I want, even if I know that it won't be wall-worthy. Find something that is relaxing and fall totally in love with it. It will save you on a rough day.
14. Collect whatever you want if it makes you happy.
I love my nail polish, my coffee mugs, books, and I have more sweatshirts than any sane person should. My apartment might be a slight mess because of all the overload of the things I collect, but it all makes me happy and I can connect all of my collections to a moment or a feeling. If you have something you love, just go out and collect it. It is what makes you unique and you are going to find someone who finds it charming, trust me!
15. Just because you walk into a store doesn't mean that you have to buy something.Giphy
I used to have this theory because it felt awkward to walk out without buying something, especially if it is a small store, but you don't need to waste your money. From my retail experience, they really don't care. Save your money and use it on something you really want or need, not because you felt obligated to spend it.
16. Have no shame in your music taste.Giphy
Music is something that can show who you are inside and express how you feel and who you are with words you couldn't form yourself. I listened to the new Lover album for a month straight on repeat after it came out no matter who was in the car. I don't know what that says about me but I really love T Swift and the album, so does it really matter? No.
17. Travel despite the anxitey.
I don't know why, but I always get serious FOMO and anxiety whenever I am about to go on a trip, especially without my boyfriend. But I left him for a week to go to Colorado and it was the best 'yes' I have ever made to date and I would 10/10 do it again.
18. Living with someone (especially your S.O.) is harder than you think.Giphy
My boyfriend of almost 5 years and I would always spend the night together for the past 2 years so we thought that moving in together would be easy. No. It is so hard and I find out new things about him every day. It is hard because you thought you knew them so well when maybe that wasn't the case. You're also never alone. Someone is always there, so just be aware of that.
19. Shopping for two people is a lot harder than shopping for one - and it's more than a price increase.
For just yourself, you can make cereal for dinner every night, and that's fine. For two people, you need to plan things out. I used to never take a list to the store but now, if I don't, I forget the main ingredients for our dinners or forget sides. It's also so much harder to plan a meal for two people when you both like opposite things.
20. The older you are, the less justified those random spending sprees are.
Being 22, you are about to start real life and you need that money for food and rent and whatever else until you have a steady income and job. Going to Target and raiding the dollar section and then hitting up Starbucks for a venti cold brew isn't really OK anymore. You need to be smarter with the way that you spend now.
21. Dressing up every day isn't worth it.Giphy
I used to wake up every day in high school at 5 a.m. in order to do my hair and makeup and pick out a killer outfit. I carried this habit to college where, as a freshman, I would wake up two hours before my first class and do the same thing. I learned that it isn't worth it, because A. no one cares, and B. going to the gym with makeup on isn't great for your skin. I nearly killed my hair with heat and regained some of my crazy acne. Truth is, it isn't worth it and 100% of people will ask why you're 'dressed up'.
22. Take a leap of faith.
Shoot your shot. Take that internship. Do that thing. It will be worth it in the end and have 100% confidence in it because you are the shit and the world needs to know that.