These are 21 things you should know when you’re 21!
1. Adulting is hard! – Sorry to say it, but it’s not as easy as Mum and Dad make it out to be. Rent, bills, work, responsibilities… And it doesn’t stop! But you do get better at doing all of these adult things, I don’t know when, but if our parents can do it, then surely we can too!
2. You don’t have to have everything perfected just yet. – Trust me, I don’t know how many times I have beaten myself up because I’m not where I want to be in life just yet, but once I accepted the fact that I’m still young, and I don’t have to have everything in my life perfect right now, the calmer I have felt. We will get there one day, but it doesn’t have to be today.
3. It’s OK if you start out on a career path and you then decide it’s not for you! – The career you’re in now at 21 is probably the career you’ve had picked out since you were a child! It’s OK if you get a few years into your first chosen career and then you decide you don’t like it and would like to try something else. I say, go for it! We are still so young, we don’t need to settle for a job we aren’t happy with just yet!
4. Life is EXPENSIVE! – So thank your Mum and Dad profusely for the amount of money they’ve had to sacrifice for you because when you become an adult and have to start paying your own way, you realize just how expensive life really is! It’s RIDICULOUS! I’m 21 and I still need to borrow money from my parents, and I know I’m not the only one!
5. It’s OK to pick travel over career or buying your first home! – Travel, while actually really expensive, is also priceless and is something that everyone should experience, especially while we are young! So it’s ok if you don’t want to settle down with your life or career just yet, travel while you can!
6. You don’t have to be settled down with ‘the one’ yet. – I see so many people my age or younger who are getting married, having kids, buying their first houses and so forth. And then I see many other people my age who get really down about the fact that they aren’t settled down or haven’t found ‘the one’ yet. But at our age, we don’t need to be settled down yet. In fact, there will be many people you will date who you will feel are ‘the one’ before you actually find THAT one. We have plenty of life ahead of us before we should worry about settling down, just go have fun first! (Pizza is my ‘one’).
7. It’s OK to make mistakes – Mistakes are how we learn, and we will make mistakes in every aspect of our lives! Financial, job, our dating lives – and that’s ok. Take the lesson, learn from it, and you will grow!
8. You’re allowed to be a little bit selfish – It’s ok to do things for yourself or because you want to do them, without having to worry about others. It’s ok to put yourself first for a change, especially now at our age before we have to worry about spouses or kids taking up our precious time! hehe
9. It doesn’t matter what people think about you! – It didn’t matter before and it still doesn’t matter now, what people’s opinions of you are. I know it’s hard not to let people’s opinions bother us, but the sooner we learn to let it go, the happier we will be, trust me!
10. Life has a tendency to rain all over your parade – the storm will pass! – Or you learn to dance in the rain! But honestly, life will always get a bit tough sometimes, make you feel a little crazy and sometimes make you feel like you want to give up. But guess what, the bad times don’t last forever.
11. Quality vs. quantity is what is important in friendships as an adult! – You might have a lot of friends, but how many of them do you completely trust? When I think about what true friends are, I think about the people that I can completely trust, and I can count them all on one hand! It’s not about how many friends you have, it’s just about having a few really great friends! Quality over quantity!
12. Your parents are really more like your friends these days! – Growing up I always thought my parents were just really strict. But now when I listen to what they say, I realize they’re actually not being strict, they’re just trying to help us. And that’s what friends do, they help each other! I also find these days that I can have conversations with my parents about absolutely anything, so… parents = friends!
13. Your siblings are also more like friends than annoyances these days, too! – Has anyone else found that, as you and your siblings have gotten older, they’ve also started to become more like a friend, rather than some annoying person that you didn’t get the choice of being related to? Me too! I recently just found out that my brother is a pretty cool guy!
14. It’s OK to pick your career and/or buying your first home over travel – No judgment, but apparently, travel isn’t for everyone. Or maybe it’s just that you’d rather have direction and your life sorted a bit more before you go off traveling, and that is completely fine! Life didn’t come with a rulebook, there’s no set order we need to do things in.
15. It’s OK if you feel a little bit lost. – We all do sometimes. Sometimes things just happen in our lives; a falling out with a friend, a bad breakup or some other life event, and for a while, we just feel a little lost and forget who we are. The moment will pass, and you might be a different person, and that’s ok, it’s part of growing.
16. You’re still allowed to be young and have fun! – I know at 21 we are technically ‘adults’, but at this age we are also still young enough that we are allowed to go out and enjoy going to concerts and festivals, going to parties and nightclubs, letting our hair down and just having a good time! This goes for young mums out there too, just because you have a kid now, doesn’t mean that you’re not allowed to have fun anymore, too!
17. It’s ok to take risks – in fact, you should! – Take that job, go on that holiday, date that person, overcome that fear that’s been holding you back, do something totally crazy like skydive – just to feel alive! Take risks, take chances and step out of your comfort zone, it’s how we grow!
18. You’re not a bad person if you stand up for yourself! – It is completely OK to stick up for yourself if something isn’t right or if someone is treating you poorly, and that doesn’t make you a bad person. No one should have to put up with others walking all over you and treating you with disrespect.
19. Nothing is permanent! – Things are constantly changing. Look back at your life a year ago from now, can you see how much things have changed just in the space of a year? So believe me when I say, this rough patch you’re in right now will pass, just be patient.
20. It’s OK to ask for help if you need it! – We can’t be expected to know everything and be able to do everything on our own, so don’t be afraid to reach out and ask for help if you need it. We aren’t superhuman, so we don’t have to try to be, either.
21. YOU DON’T NEED TO HAVE EVERYTHING FIGURED OUT RIGHT NOW! – Nothing is set in stone, so just live your life in the moment and enjoy it. We are only young once, we don’t need to have everything figured out today.
By Tahli Benson