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12 Things I Learned Before Turning 21

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at FSU chapter.

21. Most of us are counting down the days or years until we reach that magical number in our lives where we finally feel like real adults. Not to mention handing over our IDs with pride at that cool bar that all of our older friends go to. So, I am ecstatic to say I’ve officially become part of the “21 club” this past week! Are my wrinkles showing yet?

Getting older, going to college and leaving home to live in a new city far away from home can be stressful. I’ve grown up and gone through big changes in my life, such as transferring colleges, losing best friends, dealing with family issues or, most recently, the stress of finals week. I know I am not the only one either. Each of us deals with our own struggles every day.  It is important to take care of yourself through all of this so you can maintain your mental, emotional and physical health. Doing so will help you be your best self every day.

Luckily, now that I’m a ~wise~ 21-year-old, I have a few self-care tips I can share that I learned along the way!

1. Love Your Body

This can be interpreted in multiple ways!  Whether it’s loving the imperfections that make you you, or treating your stubborn skin with top-notch skincare, appreciating your body should be a top priority. Through experience, I’ve learned a lot of things. One, don’t buy a smaller size expecting that you’ll lose the weight and fit in it, enjoy it now in a size that actually fits perfectly! Two, the Drunk Elephant Sukari Babyfacial will do wonders for your skin!

Courtesy: Instagram


2. Enjoy the Little Things

We often find ourselves waiting for the next big chapter in our lives or counting down the days ‘till the weekend. This prevents us from living in the present. So, take a moment and focus on what brings joy to your day. Whether it’s the feeling of warm sheets from the dryer or watching the rain, try to always appreciate the little things.


3. Learn Something New

Getting stuck in a routine can make your life feel stagnant. Switch it up occasionally and do something new! Learn something you haven’t before, for me, this meant baking a cake from scratch. It can be easy and inexpensive and hopefully, you’ll leave feeling refreshed and ready to accomplish whatever you put your mind to!

4. Schedule “Me Time”

After a long week, or let’s be honest, Monday, sometimes you can’t help but feel burnt out. This is when it’s important to carve out “me” time. Stay at home, put your comfy sweats on, light your favorite Target candle, and curl up with Netflix and a glass of wine. It’s called self-care y’all.


5. Find a hobby

All that time you spend doing schoolwork or working at a job can definitely be rewarding. However, it is so beneficial to do something simply because you enjoy it. Whether it’s dusting off that old guitar and singing out of key or making photo collages, you don’t have to be good at it, just have fun because that’s what hobbies are for!

6. Practice Being Environmentally Friendly

Helping the environment is helping yourself and our future generations. Feel good about the choices you make even if they’re small. Turn your lights off when you leave, look up your carbon footprint, and stop using plastic water bottles!!! This reusable bottle is my fav. You can be stylish and eco-friendly!

Courtesy: World Market


7. Splurge on Yourself

Self-care is #treatingyoself. You desperately want that gift you bought for your friend? It’s okay to buy it for yourself. Get those shoes you’ve been eyeing all semester; they won’t be in stock forever. Occasionally you’ve got to live your best Carrie Bradshaw life. I support it.


8. Laugh

Laughing is the best medicine. Yes, that sounded super cliché, I know. But seriously, when you’re feeling grouchy laughing can totally fix your mood. Luckily YouTube and Netflix exist. My favorite thing is to sit back and watch John Mulaney or scroll through funny vine compilations or cat videos online.

Courtesy: Instagram

9. Stay Inspired

Remember that feeling when you were a little kid and everything seemed magical? Don’t let go of that. Your imagination is vital to staying young and is the best defense against cynicism. Go out and look at the stars on a clear night or let those New Year’s fireworks amaze your inner child. Stay inspired, it’s important.

10. Love Your Loved Ones

This is simple. Hug your family, hug your friends. Remind those who mean the most to you that you love them. If you were looking for a sign, here it is. No, this is not a sign to text your ex. Text your mom. Life is short and you’ll never regret spending time with your loved ones.

11. Get Fresh Air

Nothing is better than the feeling of warm sunlight on your skin after a long cold and rainy week. Don’t stay cooped up inside all the time. Walk to class instead of driving. When you’re home, go to the beach and look for seashells, or enjoy the way the sun melts the snow in your front yard.

12. Fake it ‘till You Make It

When you’re feeling gross and like you don’t have all your sh*t together sometimes you gotta pretend. Put some Taylor Swift on, apply that makeup, get your cute outfit ready, and act like you’re not intimidated by anything because guess what? You aren’t. Go out there and rule the world.

All gifs courtesy of giphy.

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Her Campus at Florida State University.