21 Things to Remember When Turning 21
Recently, I officially hit the last chapter in my book of milestone birthdays. I turned 21 (yay #finallylegal haha). I took a moment to look back and remember the last few years I’ve had leading up to this point. While they have been some of the most exciting years they have also been some of the most stressful years yet. From moving away to college, living with some of my closest friends (you know who you are), becoming a college runner, and getting my first experience in my career through internships to pulling multiple all-nighters, working double shifts on weekends to meet required hours of work, fading in and out of friendships, and feeling a want to be independent while knowing the struggle it takes to get there.
Now again, I am fully aware that life will only get a whole hell of a lot harder from here which I am really not excited about btw, but I feel that there are a few reminders we could all use to help get through it (we are in this together!).
- People change and so will you.
Throughout your life, you will realize that there are only a few things that are constant. Your early twenties are only the beginning of this inconsistency. People change and will move away, either you already have or you will when you leave for college. Don’t let this be your basis for happiness, and don’t let this change upset you. I have a hard time with this one, and the key I have found brings me into #2.
- Adapt to change.
Allow yourself to be open to the changes that will come. With moving away to college, I thought I would lose some of my closest friends and the people who know and understand me the best. I learned to adapt my relationship with them into something that worked for us both. Sometimes it’s as simple as getting together to catch up on holidays and catching up on what seemed like a decade of your life from the last time you saw them. Other times, it’s calling them when you need help, knowing that although your communication hasn’t been the best, they are still there for you and you for them, always. I could talk about this one all day, but the point is to just be open to keeping the friendship intact in whatever way you can.
- People who want you in their life will be in your life.
Keeping it intact may not always be the option. You don’t deserve to waste time on relationships and friendships where you are blown off, put down, or ignored. You don’t deserve it, and neither does anyone else. If they don’t make the effort, or if they aren’t there for you, let them go.
- Relationships are hard, don’t dwell on it.
Whether it’s family, friends, or significant other relationships are the hardest part of life. Just be open to slowing down and taking the time to listen to other people. It’s important to know that you won’t always get it right the first time, admit to your mistakes, and be open about what one another needs from the relationship.
- Give time to friends.
Pretty soon you will be thrown into the adult world and you won’t be with your friends every day on campus. Be sure to set aside some time in your schedule to make memories before you all move away and start full-time jobs.
- Take it one step at a time.
There is so much going on all the time. I try to just take one thing at a time and worry about the rest when the time comes. This has helped me with a lot of my stress and anxiety over things I can’t control and has helped me become a better problem-solver.
- It’s ok to be selfish.
Now to an extent, yes. I have said this before in my self-love post. The idea here is that you need to take good care of yourself in order to take good care of others.
- No one knows that they’re doing with their life and if they say they do, they’re lying.
Need I say more? If you’re a hot mess, embrace it, at the core everyone is and that’s ok!
- Do what you love.
Don’t settle for a career that you don’t want because someone else told you it was a good opportunity (sorry mom). Don’t settle for the job that makes you more money and pass on the one that will truly make you happy. At the very least, keep doing what you love on the side (this is why I keep blogging). In the end, happiness is the highest form of success.
- Stop the comparison game.
So often, we look to others for our success, compare us to them and equate what they have and what we don’t as a failure. It is hard enough to figure out who we are and who we want to be at this time in our lives, just be true to yourself and be proud of your accomplishments.
- Put in the hard work.
Things will never be handed to you. You must put in the hard work and the effort to achieve what you want. Just don’t give up and give it time, you will see success and progress towards the things you want in life.
- Don’t let anyone tell you “you can’t.”
There will always be those people who will tell you that you aren’t good enough, that you could never do that. Shut them out, and better yet, show them that you DID.
- Don’t go searching for you MRS. Degree.
You don’t need to find your future husband right now, and chances are you won’t find it if that’s the mindset you have. Just enjoy the experience and see what happens.
- Don’t be afraid to take a break.
You guys, I work four part time jobs, and can never say no. I definitely experience burn-out more than I’d like to admit or show to others. Please don’t forget that we all need breaks and we are still young, we should be having fun and being reckless (but only a little).
- Don’t forget where you belong.
More often than not, you will experience obstacles that feel impossible to overcome. Remember that you have a family back home that will always be there for you, all you have to do is ask.
- You can still make mistakes.
Yes, you are an adult, but you are still learning and you still need to forgive yourself for the mistakes you may make.
- Turning 21 is expensive.
You are now able to purchase your own alcohol, and you will want to. You will not be happy with how much it actually costs though.
- Treat your body well.
You’re not 16 anymore, you can’t expect your body to look or act like it. Start giving your body what it needs through proper nutrition and exercise, whatever is the best fit for you.
- You are beautiful.
No matter what happens, no matter how you feel on certain days, YOU. ARE. BEAUTIFUL. Have confidence in yourself and who you are.
- Trust that things will work themselves out.
It may not feel like it now but things will always work themselves out. It may get worse before it gets better, but know that God is standing by your side and he has a plan.
- Have fun.
You are only 21 once. Enjoy it. No matter where you are in your life enjoy every moment.