Newly graduated from the teens, the early twenties are confusing- you’re an adult but you feel like you’re completely faking this whole adult thing. I sometimes even forget that I’m ‘in my twenties‘ tbh. Here’s some things that I think we should all know by the time we’re 21.
1. Try doing one thing in life that isn’t anyone’s suggestion or experience
I know this is cliche and also applicable for late teenage but this is so important. You don’t want to be stuck studying something that will lead to a job that you hate. So no matter what you’re told to do by someone else or because it’s expected of you – try finding a way around. It’s easier said than done in some cases but trust me, in a few years you’ll thank yourself for making a decision for yourself.
2. You don’t have to go if you don’t want to
Often, we waste our time attending social gatherings that we feel we’re obliged to even though we don’t enjoy them. Skip it. Stay home and watch your favorite show while having pizza if that’s what makes you happy.
3. Hold on to those people who make an effort with you
It’s honestly extremely rare to find people who will invest their energy in maintaining whatever relationship they have with you. Meet them halfway. I cannot emphasize enough on how important it is to value those who make an effort. We’re all busy, if someone is prioritizing you- don’t take it for granted.
4. BREATHE. RELAX. TAKE A BREAK.
It’s okay to take a break. Taking unnecessary stress will only hinder your productivity so relax, take some time off for yourself every once in awhile.
5. Less is more with friends
You don’t need to have a large group of friends. If you have even two who will truly stick around and be there for you, you’re good. Quality over quantity.
6. Give time to your family
At this age you’ll begin to understand your parents a lot better than you did before, it might even change the dynamic of your relationship to a more mature one so spend time with your family. Talk to your parents, hang out with your siblings. Do more things together.
7. Have a healthy lifestyle
Eat clean. Exercise. Don’t smoke. Meditate. You won’t always have this stamina, so care for your physical and mental health. Your 40 year-old self will thank you for it.
8. Don’t let your ego get in the way of your relationships
We often lose people because we’re too proud to apologize or talk first- swallow the pride and say sorry. But also remember, there’s a fine line between losing your ego and letting people walk over you.
9. Never compromise your respect
Sometimes we let people treat us badly because we care so much for them and we don’t want to let them go. But, if someone doesn’t respect you- they either have to learn or leave. Nobody’s worth keeping in life if they bring that sort of negativity.
10. People will hurt and people will leave
That’s life, unfortunately. Best friends, friends, significant others- these people may come (and leave) in any form. But you cannot allow these experiences to change your capacity to love, always love openly and remember that the pain from these experiences will teach you lessons and help you grow. Sometimes you just have to let it go.
11. EMPATHY. Learn it, it will be your biggest asset in life
It’s a tough world and we need each other sometimes. It’s amazing to find someone who can empathize with us, but even better to be someone who can offer empathy to another person.
12. Don’t judge anyone unless they’re hurting someone
It’s a tough high school habit to break for some people, but not impossible. Judging spreads unnecessary negativity within you too, there’s no point in doing it. Let people be unless they’re actually causing harm.
13. Be open to learning and constructive criticism
Learning circular motion physics in class to learning from someone else’s bad experience to when your friend tells you that you need to develop better listening skills to when you get called out because you posted something ignorant on Facebook. They’re all learning experiences in many different forms, so don’t shy away. LEARN.
14. Prevent hurt and harm however you can
It’s extremely imperative to make sure your actions or words aren’t causing anyone pain. For example, there might be times when someone gives you their heart. Even if you give it back to them, make sure you do it with care.
15. Take care of animals
You’ll be surprised how many animals could use your help so adopt a stray. Rescue the helpless kittens. Put food outside for the stray dog. Leave water outside for the birds. Volunteer at the animal shelter. Pakistan is full of animals who are treated badly, it will do you good to help them.
16. Try doing things alone and enjoy your own company
We all feel lonely sometime, and we try to get rid of that immediately. Instead, embrace it. Accept it. Understand that you can rely most on yourself.
17. Take up responsibilities
Real life is just around the corners so start preparing yourself. Organize yourself, maintain To-Do lists, do groceries, take care of a plant, pick up your siblings from school, try and save money to buy something you want instead of having your parents get it for you, go to the dentist by yourself. Start with the little things and accelerate forward.
18. Take a chance on one of your dreams
Learn French, take piano lessons, sign up for Karate, read The Odyssey, take a trip with friends, try sushi. Just go ahead, and do whatever you can. These are the prime years of your life- make the most out of it.
19. Open up to someone and tell them how you really feel
Don’t hold back on telling someone how you really feel- you’ll regret it otherwise. You don’t want ‘what ifs’ in your life.
20. Cut toxic people out of your life and don’t feel guilty about it
Life’s too short to be around people who don’t bring you good energy. You’re better off.
21. Love yourself
Self-love is important, never ignore it. You are yours before anyone else’s, so be there for yourself and don’t compromise that for anybody.
Cover image via: stylishpie.pk