Lessons I’ve Learned as a Young Adult

As the day-to-day life of society felt the effects of COVID-19, my life as a student drastically slowed down. My time that used to be filled with completing readings and assignments was now used to watch the same five movies on repeat and embroidering sweaters for my family. Like many others, I had a pretty boring quarantine, but with those long days, I suddenly had a plethora of time to reflect on my life. Being my own therapist and doing a real deep dive into my psyche is all fun and games, but more importantly, I’ve compiled a list of life lessons that have (somewhat) successfully guided me thus far.

It’s okay to not know what you’re doing

No one goes through life linearly. There’s no formula for success and most of the time you can make all the right decisions. If you’re really lucky, everything will work out perfectly. However, the reality of the situation is that life gets messy, and external factors that weren’t part of your plan will always intervene. If you DON’T have a plan, that’s also fine. I think Gen-Z’s idea of success puts so much pressure on setting and achieving one big, ultimate, final goal that relies on always having a clear-cut direction and implies that if you’re not grinding then you’re not keeping up with the rest. Spending time to figure out what you truly want for yourself and your own, individual path will result in a much higher success rate than applying another person’s journey to your own.

You can’t please everyone

Oh, my days…I’m almost embarrassed to think about the extent and amount of times I would bend myself backwards for the needs of other people. Sure, it’s important to be considerate of those you care about, but you also need to prioritize yourself and act accordingly to what’s best for you. Trying to please and accommodate everyone will only leave you emotionally exhausted and unsure of your own identity.

Self-awareness is a major key

Self-awareness is often mistaken as being self-conscious, but reflecting on your actions and what led you to your current situation helps you cope with whatever is in front of you. It's easy to get caught up in acting impulsively or shifting blame onto other factors; however, having clarity in your habits and ‘why you think the way you do’ directly affects making sounder decisions and developing successful relationships. Paying attention to your emotions and the way you function will result in more effective self-improvement and growth. Take the time to recognize and understand your personal needs and wants, negatives and positives; they will be imperative to handling whatever life throws at you next.

Don’t hesitate to take action

Moving on from self-awareness, once you have an idea of what you want, speak it into existence. If you aren’t clear about what you want, you can’t be upset that things didn’t go your way. The first step is being self-aware, followed by taking the courage and initiative to say what you want. Life is simply too short to waste energy thinking about your hopes and dreams without putting those plans in motion.

I know it’s easy to come to these conclusions after the hurdle has been jumped, but as life keeps throwing curveballs, these little reminders help me sleep a little more peacefully at night.