5 Things I Learned Before 21

 Last year I dedicated my twenties to being authentic, to become the purest form of myself. I had to step back and look at my life and evaluate what was elevating me and what was holding me back. I had to let go of a lot of toxic people to enter this next decade of my life. Now, this December I am going to be 21 and I’m beyond excited to continue this journey of self-growth. Here are the 5 most important things I learned before turning 21.

  1. 1. Being Authentic

    We live in a world that analyzes everything we do under a microscope. Being judged is almost expected, so why not be yourself in your purest form.

  2. 2. Have Integrity

    Having integrity and being authentic for me go hand in hand. Having moral standards is key, this world will throw things at you that can try to deter you from your character. I vow to remain true to my beliefs and my standards.

  3. 3. Material Things Are Just That: Material

     I will be honest I like having nice things, and my parents are guilty of spoiling me. However, as I got older I realized I wasn’t as close to them as I would like to be, we didn’t have a deeper connection. My parents would apologize or settle their guilt by buying things. But once you die you can’t take anything with you, you should be able to look back on your life and remember the great memories you created with the ones you love not just look at or hold the things they bought.

  4. 4. Loving Yourself is the First Love You Should Experience

    This might sound crazy, but I now live by a quote by Will Smith discussing happiness within a relationship, “Her happiness is not my responsibility. She should be happy and I should be happy individually. Then we come together and share our happiness. Giving someone a responsibility to make you happy when you can’t do it for yourself is selfish.” It’s lengthy but true you have to find love and happiness in yourself first to be able to allow that energy to enter your life.

  5. 5. Be That Go-To Friend, but Learn When to Back Away When it Becomes One-Sided

    This one is pretty short and simple, some people just drain the nice out of you. It’s very easy for people to take your kindness for weakness, but you have to know when to cut people off and call them out when you feel like they’re using you. A friend is not a friend if they can come to you, but you can’t go to them.

This list is short, but these are some of the fundamentals I now refuse to compromise. Taking time to step back and reflect on what adds meaning to your life and what drains is an exercise I encourage everyone to do.