On Sunday I turned 21 (I’m still feeling a little weird about this) and I thought I would do a blog post listing the 21 things I’ve learnt in 21 years. This is quite a common type of post but I hope you find it interesting nonetheless.
- It’s okay to lose friends:
It is definitely not easy, however losing friends is a natural part of growing up, and over the years I’ve lost more friends than I can count on both of my hands. However, losing the bad friends makes the good friends even better.
I have come to the conclusion that reading is something incredibly important, and I’m pretty confident when I say that reading has shaped who I am. Reading is not nerdy or weird so read as many books as you can, whatever genres you like. I’m currently reading Agatha Christies’s “A Murder is Announced” and I’ve got at least three other books in the pipeline. My top reading locations are, in bed, in the bath or while in the car (as long as you aren’t driving or travel sick.)
Write lists for everything, they are vital.
- It’s okay to say “no” once in a while:
Of course, saying yes to things is really important, for so many reasons, but you shouldn’t be afraid to say no to something if you know you won’t enjoy it.
- Night clubs don’t have to be fun:
It is possible to get through your late-teens without clubbing. If you don’t like them, don’t let others pressure you into thinking you should like them.
- Do your homework when you get it:
It is so easy to put off homework, but the sooner it gets started the sooner you can move on the the fun things.
- Failure is good:
It’s hard, and is definitely something I have told myself I am. I think we’ve all been there where we’re sitting in bed at night wanting to cry about the fact you’re a “failure” because you didn’t do something as well as you wanted to. As cliche as this might be, courage is what counts, and the more you fail the more courage you build.
- Don’t compare yourself to others:
Other people are quite simply other people. Although the world is competitive and fast paced, you don’t have to copy someone else to be validated.
- Eat cake:
Cake is really bloody nice, and if you’re offered cake, take it.
- Make your bed in the morning:
I have always been one of those people who has been taught by their parents to make their bed in the morning. Now, aged 21 I am proud to say I have never forgotten to make my own bed. Making your bed may seem time-consuming, but I genuinely think it’s starts the day off with productivity in mind.
- It’s okay to be a “fangirl”:
People label me as a “fangirl” quite simply because I grew up with a handful of celebrities which I like. And that is okay. It’s easy to feel embarrassed about who you’re a fan of, but it is not worth it, they make you happy and that’s the most important thing.
- Growing up without the Disney channel makes you different:
I missed out on watching things like Hannah Montanna, my television was purely CBBC and CITV and I am not complaining about it, in fact, I look back on those programmes with huge amounts of love and nostalgia. But if you have also grown up without these channels you will be familar with the phrase, “HOW HAVE YOU NEVER WATCHED *insert programme*” because in their eyes we missed out on a childhood, I like to see it as we had a different childhood.
- Growing up without the cult films makes you different:
It’s the same story when it comes to films. If you didn’t watch Harry Potter, you will miss out on 308 references, but you’ll also be different, which is great.
- Drink water:
I cannot stress enough how good water is for you. I’m bad at remembering to drink but 9 times out of 10 if I am having a drink it’s water. It’s SO good for you.
- Read the news:
Due to my degree, I’ve spent a lot of time looking at, then analysing the news. Although it’s not usually uplifting I find it is really important to keep your eyes on what’s happening in the world.
Education is not the be all and end all, and there is so much pressure put upon students, but if you enjoy learning then take it as far as possible, look up words you’ve never heard of (yesterday I saw the word “vociferously” for the first time), read conspiracy theories, learn about the Tudors, whatever you’re interested in, pursue it.
- Internet friends are the best:
Finding people online is so exciting, don’t be ashamed of it.
- Enjoy hot baths:
Spend an hour reading in the bath to escape the world.
- Organise your finances:
Make a spreadsheet, and keep your bills and receipts, stressing out about money is draining, time-consuming and unhealthy.
Travel can be fun. Whether it’s by coach or car or plane or train, go and visit new places, learn about new cultures, hear new accents. There’s a whole world out there.
- Turning 21 is the first age that feels significant:
When I turned 10, 16, 18, 20, it felt like they were milestones, but nothing has felt like 21. I’m now out of education, I’m halfway to 42 (thanks for telling me this mum,) I’m looking to start my career. This is where my life starts and that’s scary.