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The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Lasell chapter.

As I approach turning 21 on March 2nd, I want to reflect on the past few years. I have gone through many different stages of my life learning a lot of lessons and facing challenges. Everything I have gone through has taught me something and helped me to grow and mature. These are 21 things I learned in the past 21 years!

  1. Be present

It can be so easy to look forward to the future or hold onto the past, but there is so much value in being present right now. This moment you are in you will never be able to experience again, so cherish everything.

  1. Surround yourself with positive people

The people you surround yourself with can absolutely affect your overall feelings and your energy. If you are around negative energy and pessimism it will only rub off on you more.  Stick with those that bring light into your life.

  1. Don’t be afraid to do something that scares you

I knew going into college I wanted to study abroad before I graduated. As I got closer to that being a possibility I was so scared of all of the unknowns. It knew it would be an adjustment and hard at first, but I am so glad I pushed myself to actually go.

  1. Your values are yours

Stay true to yourself. You know who you are and what you feel is right for yourself. Everyone may not have the same values as you but that is okay. Stick to your gut and do you!

  1. Anything you post online is there forever

I will admit I posted my fair share of embarrassing YouTube videos, and maybe even some things I regretted posting online. Just be mindful that something you posted years ago can still be viewed by others.

  1. High school friendships don’t always last

While you may think the people you meet in middle school and highschool will be your best friends for life, just know that those friendships may fade and that’s okay. Some may still stay strong once you all go separate ways in college, but others may just have run their course. This goes for highschool relationships too…

  1. Cities are the best!

From growing up an hour from New York, going to college just outside of Boston, and living in London last semester, I am no stranger to cities. I have grown to love them so much and really enjoy the fast paced life and all of the fun activités you can do while there.

  1. Chicken and pasta will always be my favorite types of food.

Pretty self explanatory, I have always loved chicken and pasta in any form and I don’t see that stopping.

  1. Respect retail and food service employees!

After working in retail for years and having friends who have worked in restaurants I have learned just how much these people have to deal with on the day to day. Just be respectful of them and clean up after yourself, they are not your maids.

  1. Marvel movies are actually pretty good

As someone who was so opposed to watching anything Marvel other than Spider-Man or Guardians of the Galaxy, I learned that these movies are so good! Within the past year my boyfriend has gotten me to start from the beginning and watch all of the movies in order and now I am so invested in the MCU.

  1. Ask for help

There are so many people around you that do truly care about you and want to see you succeed. It never hurts to ask for help if you need it in any kind of situation.

  1. Being alone isn’t so bad

I have always been someone who loves being around people and feeding off their energy. For many years I struggled being alone and hated the idea of it. I have now had the chance to live on my own a couple of times and spend more time with myself going places alone. It can actually be peaceful to just sit in a coffee shop with no one else but yourself and take a moment for you. It is not as scary as it seems.

  1. Always wear sunscreen

Even if you think you don’t need it or that you won’t burn, you are wrong. Just wear the sunscreen.

  1. You will never look as good as you do now

One day I am going to look back at photos of myself and love the body that I have. Be less critical and appreciate what you have now. 

  1. You can have fun without drinking

Even being 21, you don’t need to drink to have fun. As long as I have good friends around me, great music, and I get to dance, I’m all set. There is no shame in not drinking even when most of your friends do. I have never felt the urge to drink, but I still love to have a good time. Just drinking my water is good enough for me.

  1. Periods suck

Do I need to say more?

  1. The “Notes” app will be your best friend

I write EVERYTHING in there. A weekly to-do list keeps me sane. I love having all of my thoughts organized into folders.

  1. Take the risk

Trying something new can be scary, whatever it may be, but you’ll never know the outcome until you try. 

  1. Be kind to everyone

You never know who is a friend of a friend or someone who might be your future boss. Always be kind.

  1. Trust your parents

Most of the time they probably know what’s best, just listen to them.

  1. Getting enough sleep is actually important

It’s fun to be up all night or it can be easy to save homework for the last minute, but getting that eight hours every night helps set you up for success. Sleep when you can and get enough of it so you can tackle every day with ease. 

Julia McNicol is a junior at Lasell University studying Fashion Media and Marketing with a minor in Journalism. She loves exploring the city, shopping, and watching a good rom-com! Her Instagram can be found at @juliamcnicol as well as @juliashannonxoxo for fashion-specific content.