21 Things I Have Learned Before I Turned 21

I am not sure how or when it happened, but somehow I grew up. Other than the fact I can legally consume alcohol now, I’m sure that 21 will not feel any differently than 20. But one thing is for sure, 2019 has taught me numerous lessons that have made me grow both mentally and physically. Therefore, I wanna share my snippets of wisdom with my readers! So here are 21 things I learned before I turned 21.

  1. 1. The only person that can bring you happiness is yourself

    There are always going to be those people in your life that can instantly turn your frown to a smile and make life worth living, but you are the only person that can truly control your happiness.

  2. 2. No stress is worth hurting your mental health

    Stress is a normal part of life; no one is immune to it. But when your mental health starts to decline due to your stress, it is essential to reflect on what is truly important: yourself. I learned this the hard way this year. I promise you, one bad grade or a single mistake on a work project does not make you a failure.

  3. 3. Not everyone is going to like you

    Even if you are the kindest soul to dance the earth and grace everyone with love and happiness, there are still going to be people out there that don’t like you. Whether they are just jealous or think you are annoying, not every human you meet will like what you have to offer. And that is OK! Guess what, you aren’t gonna like everyone you meet either. 

  4. 4. Hurt is temporary

    How can we have happiness without pain? Exactly, we can’t. While going through hard times, it is important to tell yourself hurt is temporary. Heartbreak over a significant other or losing a best friend is temporary; everything will heal with time.

  5. 5. Dancing fixes everything

    Ok, maybe not everything. But at least for me, dancing fixes 99% of my problems. In fact, if you know me, I think you’d agree that I take, “dance like nobody's watching,” to a new extreme. Boost your endorphins and get those limbs moving. 

  6. 6. Call people to tell them you love them

    Telling your friends and family you love them is SO important. You can’t be there at every moment of every day with all your friends and family, so make sure you call and check on them; they may need it. You don’t always know what your loved ones are going through, so let them know you care. I repeat, never stop telling them. 

  7. 7. Learn to be content alone

    This goes hand and hand with the fact that you have to find your own happiness. You cannot rely on others all the time, so it is best to learn to be content alone. Alone time is important. This does not mean becoming shut in; this means finding your own unique passions and hobbies without someone influencing you. Do you like to paint in your alone time, play guitar, hike, knit? Find peace in solitude.

  8. 8. Body does not = beauty

    Your weight does not define beauty. One extra cookie or even five extra cookies does not change how beautiful you are. Everyone perceives beauty differently anyway. Weight fluctuations are normal, especially in women; focus more on how you feel than how you look in the mirror. This is still a hard one for me to grasp onto, but I know it is true. 

  9. 9. Friends come when you least expect it

    Everyone I am closest to at the moment in one way or another was my coworker. I never expected to become so close to these people, and a day doesn’t go by where I am not thankful for them. S/O to my Charming Charlie girls, Sally, & my hOUsing friends. I love y’all so much. Friendships form in unique ways.

  10. 10. Don’t overshare

    Not everyone has your best interest in mind; therefore, there is no need to overshare. Keep things about your life private; not everyone needs to know everything about you. Believe it or not, you are not a Kardashian, even if you want to be one. Some things are meant to be public, but some things should be kept private. 

  11. 11. He may be dreamy, but if he won’t fight for you, he isn’t worth it

    If you are putting effort into a relationship and it isn’t going anywhere, let it go. Don’t fight for someone that wouldn’t fight for you. If he wants to choose someone else over you, let him. You deserve to be #1.

  12. 12. There is a difference between being lazy and resting

    Resting is essential for both physical and mental health. Avoid being lazy, put your “all” into your relationships, school, and work. Take needed breaks, but never get to the point where you aren’t trying your best in all that you do.

  13. 13. Ask for help when you need it

    There is no shame in needing help. Lose the ego and ask for help when you need it! I go to my friends for advice almost every single day. If you need professional help, that is cool too! Going to my professor’s office hours for extra help has saved my grade before. Therapists are also great tools.

  14. 14. Like what YOU like

    Do not let others influence what you like. It is okay to like the same things as others, but do not pretend that you like something to impress someone else. I would rather die than pretend I liked some of the trash music some of these hooligans listen to nowadays.

  15. 15. Surround yourself with people that make you the best version of yourself

    As cliche as it may be to say you are who you hang out with, it is somewhat true. Surround yourself with people that hype you up instead of bringing you down. Surround yourself with people that push and challenge you. Surround yourself with people that you are proud of and who are proud of you.

  16. 16. Being an “adult” is not all that it’s cracked up to be

    Honestly, I can’t even imagine living on my own and having to take care of everything by myself right now. Freedom is a great thing, but paying bills is not my cup of tea. When I was younger, I would always wish I was older; but now that I am older, I wish I was a child again. Responsibility is bittersweet.

  17. 17. Love comes, and love goes

    If we got to decide when we fall for someone, life would be much easier. But alas, we can’t. When love arrives, welcome it with open arms, and when love is spent, let it go. A new love will have different quirks and features than the last, but love will always arrive when it’s ready. Never force it.

  18. 18. Post what you want

    Social media can be a beautiful thing; it allows you to express yourself creatively. Post what you want and what makes you happy. If your page annoys people, then they can unfollow you. 

  19. 19. You don’t always have to be right

    Naive Darian always wanted to be correct, but it turns out, I am wrong 90% of the time. The great thing about being wrong all the time is that I get to learn from my errors. Learning allows us to grow. If I make a mistake and I am wrong, then I won’t make the same mistake twice. Or maybe I will, and that is okay too!

  20. 20. Taking care of your body can be fun

    This past year I fell in love with the gym. The more I went, the more I began to love how my body felt afterwards. Not all workouts will be fun, but my personal favorites are Zumba and Yoga. Working out is even more fun if you do it with your friends! It is also exciting to try new healthy recipes at home. Veggie stir fry is not only healthy and easy to make but it also doesn’t break the bank!

  21. 21. You don’t have to have your life figured out

    Yeah, I may be 21 now, but I am ONLY 21. And even if you are 90, it is perfectly fine not to have everything figured out. None of us are perfect, and there is always time to change your direction. Quite frankly, I still don’t know what I want to do when I graduate, and that is alright because I still have time. Everything will happen how it is supposed to, and if you are not happy with an aspect in your life, it is never too late to change/fix it. Your story is still being written, and it’s okay if you don’t know how you want to fill the pages.