Today, I am 22.
Am I 'feelin' 22'? I think so. I'm finished university, I'm out in the real world and have all the freedom that 22 year olds should have. In one way, I am very wise and have learned quiet a lot about this crazy world during my 22 years on it. On the other hand, I am completely immature. I'm not really sure how to steer my life in the direction I want it to go. I will stay in bed past noon, I will drink way too much alcohol, kiss a guy I shouldn't kiss, put off grown up responsibilities, I could go on and on. But I think thats what being 22 is.
I remember when I was 16 or 17 and I thought 22 was so mature, very grown up, at 22 you were an established adult, you would be wise and sophisticated and have your life together. But now that I am 22 I realise that growing up is actually an unending process. We are constantly rethinking our lives and remodelling ourselves. There is no point in your life where you say 'right, I'm completely mature now, I have nothing more to learn, I am exactly who I want to be'. I definitely have a long way to go. I have a lot to experience, a lot to learn and I will probably change my thoughts and perceptions of the world a million more times.
However, I thought it would be nice and maybe even helpful to share with you 22 things I have learned in my 22 years.
- Don't ever 'settle' Whether it's with friends, boyfriends or you didn't get the food you ordered. Never settle for something that is not what you really want.
- Don't care so much what other people think about you Every teenager does this I'm sure. I was terrible for this in secondary school and it caused a lot of sadness. Now, I try to be myself, be respectful and kind and if they don't like your personality it's not your problem!
- Don't be a sheep, be your own person You don't have to do what everyone else is doing. If you'd rather stay in than go out, do it! If you love collecting pictures of cats, do it, who cares if people laugh!
- Don't compare yourself to others They're will always be people who seem happier, more confident, more outgoing and prettier than you. You just got to recognise your own qualities and be happy with that. Only compare yourself to who you were yesterday.
- Take loads of pictures Memories fade, pictures never do! I love how I took so many pictures from 17-20. I really wish I took more of recent events.
- Time really does fly It goes so fast! far off years will arrive before you know it. Enjoy every stage of life!
- Relationship does not equal happiness I have been in relationships during which I cried myself to sleep every night and I have been completely alone and incredibly content too.
- Be thankful Stop focusing on what you don't have and be grateful for all of your blessings, there are many if you look hard!
- Be cautious with who your trust Don't trust anyone based on what they tell you. People lie to get what they want. Actions always speak louder than words.
- Remove negative people from your life I don't mean be nasty and tell them to f off haha, I just mean take a step back from people who bring you down or make you feel bad. Literally, even if they are your only friend, you will be better off alone. Besides you can always drop me an email and I'll be a better friend ;) haha.
- It's OK to cry. When your lying in your bed crying, don't feel like a pathetic loser. Remember, everyone cries and when you're finished you will feel much better.
- Mum is always right and she knows everything too, don't even try to lie to her! haha.
- Save, save, save Spending money is always fun but it's really important to save for a rainy day, even if it's just 10% of your income. You will be so glad when something in your car breaks!
- Things always get better Even in the worst of times there is always hope for the future. I wrote a blog post relating to this idea, you can read it here.
- Don't worry too much about the future Sometimes, we all need to stop worrying, chilax and trust that everything will work out OK.
- You will lose friends I've had a few best friends that are now nothing more than strangers with memories. Don't feel bad about yourself if your friend seems to have found someone new or doesn't seem to want to talk or hang out any more. There's nothing wrong with you, people just grow apart sometimes.
- Move on from the past I'm still trying to do this but I've come to realise how important it is. Don't let something that happened in the past hold you back.
- Nobody has everything figured out That super popular girl in school, that scary man giving you your job interview. None of them are perfect. Don't feel intimidated by them, we're all just humans trying to get through life.
- People do change So your best friend has found a new group of friends, has done a complete 180 on their personality, and doesn't like anything she used to like. You could wreck your head about how this has happened. Insist that they're being fake and not themselves but maybe it is only now they are being themselves. Learn to let go.
- Some people won't like you This relates to 'don't care about what people think about you'. Just because some people think you are too quiet or too loud doesn't mean everyone will and it doesn't mean you need to change.
- Don't worry about your appearance A lot of people think that appearance is more important than it really is. Honestly, being pretty will only get you so far. It may make a good first impression but it is your personality that will really determine if people will like you.
- Live in the moment Don't wish your life away, don't be dying to turn 18, or to leave school. Enjoy every age. Appreciate the positives of every stage in life.
Gosh, that was a lot, it makes me feel kind of old thinking that's how many years I am haha.