They say you won’t forget the year you turn 21 and well I didn’t want to forget it. So, I’ve decided to write a post all about 21 things I’ve learnt whilst being 21! Here they are!
1 – Mistakes will be made
I have put this one first for a reason because I need to be told this every single day. Instead of feeling put down about my mistakes, I have learnt to accept them. Making mistakes is a part of being human and sometimes they seem bigger and more life alternating than they really are. I have made so many mistakes in my 21 years of life some of them only small, other being quite large but I am here and I am a much stronger person because of those mistakes. You aren’t defined by your mistakes and you need to remember that!
2 – Be yourself no matter what
I realised that this year I needed to be more myself. It a lot of situations I was pretending to be someone else or the person that people expected me to be. It is so hard to hide the real me but I was terrified people wouldn’t like me for me. The thing is I like me for me and that is all that matters. You are the only person who has to be happy with the person you are and if you are then excellent. I may be childish in some situations and still enjoy doing childish things but I am also mature in other situations and that is me and no one can change that about me.
3 – Challenge yourself
Make sure you do things that are outside of your comfort zone and take those risks. Do those things that you have always wanted to do but weren’t sure you were good enough or smart enough or even talented enough to do. Interview that author. Design that logo. Read something new. You get so comfortable in your daily routines and often forget how much we are really capable of. Make sure you step outside your comfort zone and see what is out there.
4 – Tell people you love them
This one is extremely important. A few years ago I lost someone extremely close to me and I regret not telling her how much I loved her and how much she meant to me. Take that opportunity to tell the people you love that you love them because life is short and you never know what is going to happen next.
5 – Spend more time with nature
Take yourself outside at every opportunity that you have. Do it right now if you want. It is quite astounding what fresh air can do to your mood. If I am ever having a bad day I take myself on a walk outside on my dinner break or after work, it makes me feel so much happier just being out. There are so many beautiful things, places and opportunities out in nature and it is all breath-taking. Take time to spend time with nature, it will do more for you than you think.
6 – Do what you love
Whatever you love, just do it, do all of it. Do everything you love and never stop doing it. I stopped reading whilst in High School because I was bullied about reading and I regret it so much now. I was just doing something I loved and something that made me extremely happy. I am back into reading now well and truly but also so many other things I stopped doing and I feel so much happier for doing that. Spend time doing the things you love and with the people you love because there is really nothing better.
7 – Eliminate toxic people
Say goodbye to those people that are toxic in your life, they don’t belong in it. Toxic people well and truly suck the energy out of you and cause so much damage to you. It is hard to cut these people out but it is necessary. I have cut people out of my life this year because my relationship with them was toxic and it was difficult to cut them out but I feel so much better for doing it. There are a lot of wonderful people out there, so don’t waste your time on ones who make you feel terrible.
8 – Spend time alone
Take time to be with yourself and be your own best friend. When I was younger I hated being alone, I didn’t like doing things myself but this year I have stepped out of my comfort zone and taken time to be alone. Taken time to explore unfamiliar places alone and really value my alone time. You don’t always have to be alone because company is nice but sometimes take time to be with yourself and enjoy it.
9 – Ask questions
A year ago I was terrified of asking too many questions. Over the course of the year I have learnt that it is completely fine and perfectly normal to ask questions. Be inquisitive, it is an excellent quality to have. Ask about things you are unsure of, ask for advice, ask about things going in the world, ask, ask and ask again. Everyone that you meet can teach you something so don’t be afraid to ask questions when the opportunity presents itself.
10 – It’s ok to not be ok
You are a human and a part of being human is knowing that it is okay to not be okay. It is okay to be sad sometime, it doesn’t make you a worse person, and it just makes you human. Not one person has it completely together all of the time and the more you learn to accept that the better we will all feel. It is okay to not be okay and admitting it makes you stronger than keeping it to yourself.
11 – Take lots of pictures
There are so many special moments in life that are worth capturing on camera. Make sure you take pictures on your days out, holidays, with friends and family and of anything you will cherish the memory of in the future. I love looking back on the pictures I have taken throughout my life but I am terrible at taking pictures myself. This year I have got better at taking pictures but I have very few from the last few years of my life and I would love to have more. So, take out that camera, take them pictures and look back on the memories and smile.
12 – No one has all the answers
No one of this earth has all the answers. My boyfriend is always asking ‘why’ to honestly everything in life and nothing will change this. He doesn’t know all the answers and neither do I and I have learned to accept this. I have learnt to be comfortable with the fact that I will never know everything and somethings will be left unanswered. Learn to be okay with that because no one knows everything, even if you think they do.
13 – Everything happens for a reason
Whilst I was 21 I was wondering why I was stuck in a job not on the career path I wanted and my family and friends reminded me that there was a reason that this was happening. I would find the right place for me when I am meant to. They were right. I am currently in a job I am loving and on a career path that I am excited to continue down. Just remember things will work out just as they’re supposed to.
14 – You won’t please everyone
There is absolutely no point in striving to make everyone happy in life. It is a game that you won’t ever win. We are always trying to impress people be that a teachers, a parent, an employer or just a friend. After trying for years to please every single person in my life, I have come to the realisation that there will always be someone who is unsatisfied and that is completely okay. As long as you are happy with yourself that should be enough. Don’t waste your time and energy chasing other people’s approval.
15- Mum knows best (so does your Grandma)
This is one I have known for years for I know is even truer after this year. Mums and Grandmas know best. There are so many times they have told me not to do something and I haven’t done that. Later on, without fail I will find out the hard way that I should have listened to them in the first place. Your parents are right about more things that you would prefer to admit. Mum and Grandma you are amazing and just the best!
16 – When in doubt listen to your favourite music
When you are having a down day, just put on your favourite artists, favourite playlists or just your favourite album. You’ve got this day and you will show it that you do. Your favourite music will give you that confidence boost that you need and trust me you’ve got this.
17 – You don’t need to drink to have fun
When you turn 21 there is a hype around two thing, having a big party and going out to drink to celebrate. I have never had any desire to go out partying or to drink. The amount of people this has shocked is unbelievable. It is my choice that I don’t want to drink, that doesn’t mean I will never drink but I would much rather have a Dr Pepper than a glass of wine and I am going to stick to that. There are other ways to have fun that don’t include alcohol, remember that.
18 – Live your life for you
Do the things that you enjoy more. Do the things you want to do and not what other people want to do and enjoy to do. You are the one living your life and you should be living it for you. Want to visit that castle but your friends don’t. Just do it. Want to read a book that your friends don’t. Just do it. You are living your life for you!
19 – One book can completely change your outlook on life
One book that you read can completely change your entire outlook on life. Read all of the books that you can and apply what you learn from these books into new ways of thinking and acting in the world. That one book you have been meaning to read for such a long time could be the one book that changes how you look at life.
20 – Welcome criticism
Criticism should always be welcome and not neglected. Asses the criticism to see what is true and useful to you or negative and hurtful. If it is true and useful to you make changes and you will become a better person. If it is negative or hurtful, then ignore it, you are on the right path.
21- Have fun
Have the best time, life is short and we are only here once. Just have fun.I loved writing this post and would love to do another next year all about things I’ve learnt whilst being 22. I will certainly be looking back on this post for years to come!