7 Things I’ve Learned at 22

This month, I turned 22. Considering I started writing for this lovely organization at the baby age of 18, it seems only right to dedicate one of my final Her Campus articles to what I’ve learned over the years. Hopefully, these words of wisdom will help my readers better navigate the trials and tribulations of not only young adulthood but life in general.

 

1. Trust your gut. And I mean really trust it. It is almost always right, particularly when it comes to making decisions around relationships. To validate this, I have yet to regret a decision made as a result of an intense gut instinct. 

 

2. Don’t be afraid to say “yes.” As a naturally shy, introverted person, I used to be (and still sometimes am) quick to say “no” when my friends invite me out to do things. However, as a senior, I’ve made a conscious effort to say “yes” more often to fully take advantage of my last semester. So far, I’ve experienced a lot of new things, met a lot of interesting people, and visited a number of new places. I can safely say I’ve done more in the last several months than I’ve done throughout my entire undergraduate career. I wish I had started saying “yes” sooner!  

 

3. Make time for yourself. This one is fairly cliché, but I know a lot of people who do not dedicate adequate time and energy to their self-care needs. As I’ve learned over the years, sometimes getting enough sleep is more important than staying up until 2 a.m. studying or working on assignments.  

 

4. It’s okay to ask for help. It is often the case that the strongest people are the ones who have benefitted from a significant amount of outside support. Seeking out counseling or asking friends or family members for their advice/guidance doesn’t make you “weak.” You can learn a variety of important skills from those around you, and this is perfectly okay. No one expects you to have all of the answers.   

 

5. Everything happens for a reason. This is another cliché one, but it’s true! It can be difficult to recognize this in the moment (like immediately after a hard breakup, for example), but over time, even the most confusing, frustrating situations start to make sense. Trust that the universe has a plan for you.   

 

6. You do not have to be productive all the time. This is still a lesson I am learning, but it is all too common to hold yourself to high expectations of productivity. When these self-imposed expectations aren’t met, we feel defeated, and perhaps as though we aren’t good enough. Nope—that’s just not true. Make a better effort to acknowledge your daily accomplishments, no matter how small, and to stop expecting so much of yourself all the time. It’s okay to take a few hours (or even a few days) all to yourself.   

 

7. It’s better to live in the moment. The older I get, the faster time seems to pass by. It seems like just yesterday I was moving into my freshman dorm, and now I am only months away from graduation. When I look back on the last few years, I wish I had made a better effort to live in the moment, to really cherish time spent with friends and family. This is certainly something I intend to do more of now and in the future. 

The way to the cabin Photo by averie woodard on Unsplash