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Turning 21 Made Me Realize How Young I Am

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

Since right before my eighteenth birthday, the weeks leading up to October have often been a time of reflection for me. The first poem I ever wrote was actually a reflection right before I turned eighteen. 

This year has brought much reflection. While spending nearly two months in Costa Rica, I often thought about my future, realizing I only had two more years of college left, and then it would be my decision what to do next. 

This realization brought on an empowering sense of endless possibilities in my future career and passions. It was the first time I started considering where to live after leaving Indiana and what area of nursing I’d like to pursue. I also realized I was the only one who can pursue my passions, such as becoming a published author, spending more time in Costa Rica, and traveling. 

Through my teen years, I always wished to be older. The next year would bring more freedom; I’d be more independent, closer to my degree, better somehow. This year was the first time I accepted that I am where I am now, at twenty-one: working through my junior year of nursing, in Indiana (even if that is not where I’d always like to be,) with everything accompanying my life in this town, at home, in Costa Rica. It was the first time I opened myself up to the idea of enjoying exactly where I am, focusing on my growth while knowing I have endless possibilities ahead of me. 

I feel we, as a society, tend to always focus on the next move so often we lose sight of the beauty in the present. Today, my twenty-first birthday, I am challenging myself to live in the here and now, knowing I will never be in this exact moment again. 

Tatiana Cleffi is a writer for the Her Campus chapter at Indiana University of Pennsylvania (IUP,) who enjoys writing about her personal experiences, particularly in regards to her Latin culture. She is a senior nursing student who is eager to graduate in December 2023. Tatiana is passionate about bridging the language gap in the healthcare setting. She studied medical Spanish abroad to become better equipped to provide nursing care to a diverse range of patients. In her free time, Tatiana enjoys visiting her husband in Costa Rica, going to the beach, singing on the worship team at her church, and eating pumpkin pie.