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23 Things I Learned Before I Turned 23

As I approach the old, wise age of 23 (hint the sarcasm,) there’s so much going through my mind. Time moves so slow day by day but when I look back in retrospect, it feels like seconds. After reading Elle's article written by Taylor Swift, “30 Things I Learned Before Turning 30,” I was inspired to reflect on my past 23 years. I loved the realness in her words as she shared the things she’s learned along the way and I thought I’d take the time to do the same. Here are 23 things I learned before I turned 23:

It’s impossible to please everyone.

It’s a common saying but not a common practice. I used to try and make everyone happy, even if that meant acting like someone I wasn’t. I’ve learned to be myself and that’ll be enough for the people who are meant to be in my life. 

Showing or saying how you feel doesn’t make you crazy. 

Nothing lasts forever and your time is limited with everything. If you don’t say how you feel in the moment, you risk not getting to say it at all. Showing emotion and being honest is a normal thing. Say how you feel, it might be the best thing that could ever happen to you.

Take care of your skin.

I’ve learned it’s so important to take care of your skin, especially when you’re young! Find a skin care routine that works for you and always wear sunscreen. And I don’t care how many glasses of wine you’ve had, get in there and take your makeup off because your skin deserves it.

Rushing through life is no way to live

Good things take time. So you’re not where you want to be in life right now, that doesn’t mean that’s where you’re going to stay forever. Work hard and be patient, the rest will come when it’s supposed to.

Tell your friends and family you appreciate them.

They’re there for you always, no matter what. They’re the reason you’re happy, so make sure they know that.

If something’s not making you happy, leave it.

Unfollowing someone who’s hurt you or leaving a bad job isn’t petty or irresponsible. Sometimes you have to get rid of the negative in order to heal and that’s OK.

Take a lot of pictures.

Sometimes living in the moment doesn’t cut it. Take a picture so you can remember it forever. And don’t let anyone tell you that you’re being stupid because you want to remember the moment forever.

Accepting things for what they are is the only way to move on.

People are going to hurt you and they’re not going to care when they do. They’ll leave with no notice and say things with no disregard for your feelings. No matter how hard you try to make them see what they did was wrong, sometimes they just won’t. Learn to accept things for what they are and move on to something better.

Be nicer to yourself. 

There’s always going to be someone that’s better than me at something—it’s the cold, hard truth. But that doesn’t mean I'm not amazing. I try to be the best possible version of myself and I've learned to love that person, because she’s pretty great.

Master the art of cooking comfort food.

Comfort food is the cure for any bad day. I’ve found most of the recipes online and they’re usually very easy to make. Mac and cheese, chocolate chip cookies and pretty much all soups are my strong suits.

Keep an open mind.

Coming from possibly the most stubborn-minded person there ever was, be open to new things. Negativity stems from close-mindedness. Exposing yourself to new ideas is how you gain perspective and quite possibly the inspiration for something great.

Don't put so much thought into things that don’t matter.

We all get sucked into overthinking first world problems, but try not to let it consume you. Post the picture. Eat the slice of pizza. Buy the expensive lipstick. It’s not a big deal, I promise.

Embrace the things you’re passionate about.

Show off the things you’re proud of, even if it’s something small. Don’t let the bitterness of the world discourage you from doing things you love.

Organization really is key.

Write things down, create a schedule or a to-do list. Utilizing a planner or some type of online calendar can make all the difference. Make it easy for yourself to prioritize things and get sh*t done.

Being alone isn’t all that bad.

Even in a relationship, learn how to do things as an individual. I’ve learned to cook for myself, go places on my own and independently manage my own life. And let me just say, it’s a great feeling to know I don’t need anyone to take care of me.

Don’t chase after people who love the chase

Mind games are stupid and so is entertaining someone who clearly doesn’t care to make an effort. Be straightforward about what you want and if they’re not willing to try, walk away. You were okay before you met them and you will be okay after they’re gone.

Take care of your body.

Yes, it’s important to exercise and yes, it’s important to eat healthily. But there is such a thing as overdoing it. Don't spend so much time obsessing over the reflection in the mirror. Pay more attention to how you feel more so than how you look.  it. Don't spend so much time obsessing over the reflection in the mirror. Pay more attention to how you feel more so than how you look. 

Develop your own opinions.

Just because someone important in your life has an opinion about something doesn’t mean you have to have the same one. Form your own thoughts, especially when it comes to social issues and politics.

Take accountability.

Take the blame when you know it’s yours to take. Apologize when you know something was your fault. The first step to bettering yourself after a mistake is acknowledging it.

Laugh at yourself.

Life’s too short to take everything so seriously. As someone who falls a lot, get up and laugh at yourself. It makes the situation a lot less awkward.

Doing makeup is a huge stress reliever.

In the past couple of years, I’ve learned a lot about makeup and how to do it on myself. It really takes my mind off things and allows me to focus on what I’m doing at that moment. To me, makeup isn’t a necessity but more of a way to express creativity. You’re able to create something different every time and I love that.

Appreciate the hustle.

Watching people get everything handed to them in life frustrates me to no end. But I have something they never will and that’s determination and a good work ethic. Appreciate the things you do have and work hard for the things you want.

Everything is temporary.

Sad feelings will go away and happiness comes and goes. I try to take in the moments of joy when they come and look forward to the next one when I’m in a bad place.

There they are: 23 things I learned before I turned 23. Even though I feel like an old lady, in reality, I’m so young and still have so much to learn. This is just the beginning and I’m excited for what this life has in store. Happy 23rd birthday to me! 

Images: 1, 2, 3

Kristin is a senior at the University of Central Florida studying advertising and public relations. She loves cats, makeup, shopping, chocolate and all things The Office or Friends related. When she has free time (rare but it happens occasionally) you can catch her eating sushi, watching old vines or spending time with her friends. She enjoys writing about beauty, fashion, lifestyle and girl power. You can keep up with her on all her socials linked below!
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