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The golden age of 21 is a year we all look forward to in the United States — becoming a legal adult is a true accomplishment one should be proud of! Therefore, it’s good to reflect on our past and see how much we’ve grown. It is a chance to take the lessons we’ve learned to better ourselves in the future.

Here are 21 things I learned now that I am 21:

1. Be kind to yourself. 

Don’t be so hard on yourself.  

2. Women in power empower.

It’s important we use our power for good and uplift other women.

3. It’s okay to not be okay.

It is very important to take a step back to take care of yourself when feeling overwhelmed. 

woman in white long-sleeve shirt looking out a rainy window
Photo by Leonardo Pavão from Pexels

4. Cherish your family

I’ve learned to be more grateful living at home during this time — there probably won’t be a time where I get to spend every day with them again as much in the future.

5. Learn about topics you care about 

Whether it’s an instrument, social justice, or climate change, these are all topics that deserve love, attention, and most importantly, action. 

6. Be more open-minded

Many times, we believe our personal constructs of our life make us right — at the same time, it can make us ignorant and wrong. And that’s okay. 

7. Try not to overthink everything

A good reminder I try to tell myself the past couple of years is to take it one step at a time and trust the process

8. Go outside more

Whether it’s to do work, take a hike, or bask in the sun, it’ll boost your serotonin levels.

9. There are bigger things happening around you

2020 has taught us to open our eyes to the systemic corruption happening in our society, and the importance of educating ourselves about these issues. 

BLM sign
Photo by Chris Henry from Unsplash

10. Actually, YOLO

As cliché as this phrase is, it’s highkey very true. Like Donna from Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again said, “Life is short, the world is wide, I wanna make some memories.” 

11. Don’t buy things unless you know you’ll actually use them

Realizing how damaging this is to not only my wallet but to the environment, I’ve been more frugal with how I spend my money (especially with clothes).

12. It’s okay to not have everything figured out now

If you do, great! More power to you. We are all on our journey to find what makes us happy, and that could take years! 

13. Capitalism sucks

Taking a few Sociology and Political Science classes in college have truly opened my eyes to the travesty capitalism has created. 

14. Ask for help

I’m the type of person who hates asking for help — I try to find the solution by myself before asking someone else. I always think I’m bothering the other person and wasting their time. This is another lesson I’m still learning, because I still get anxious asking for help. 

15. Start a Roth IRA

This is a great starting point to set up a retirement fund without the worry of paying taxes. For more information about setting up a Roth IRA account, click here!

16. Social media is unhealthy

We’ve heard this a million times. BUT, it is the truth. The more we recognize we’re going down a rabbit hole, it will be easier to put the phone down to do something more worthwhile.

17. Don’t be so selfish

Taking care of yourself is very important, as well as asserting your beliefs and morals. However, if it’s at the cost of other people, it completely defeats the purpose.

18. Being single is a wonderful thing

It’s time to stop thinking that being single means you are lonely. 

woman smiling at reflection in mirror
Photo by Andrea Piacquadio from Pexels

19. Our planet is actually dying

Yeah, so hate to be the bearer of bad news, but our planet is dying as we speak. Now, it’s damage control, and we all have an important role to play. 

20. You’re not boring

You are you, and no one can take that away from you.

21. Don’t take things too seriously

It’s a good reminder for myself to not dwell on the little things or anything that is out of our control.

Kristen is currently a third-year studying Communication and minoring in Technology Management at the University of California, Davis. She enjoys spending her spare time making new memories with friends and family as well as a relaxing night alone at home. Her future career goals include going into the marketing business field.