This is it! The big 2-1! I can now legally drink and gamble in the eyes of the United States (Not that I am willing to drag myself into even more debt, I have student loans to thank for that). In my short 21 years of life, I have had many experiences and lessons that have kind of stuck with me. My hopes in sharing this with you guys is that I impart some wisdom that I have learned from my not so wise (or sometimes very wise) moments.
1. No one knows what they are doing…like ever…
This is actually the most important thing that I have learned and I’m still trying to force this lesson into my mind-scape honestly. The sooner you realize that no one has any idea of what direction of life they are headed in, or what career they want, you’ll be a better person because of it. No one has it all together, no one knows what he or she is doing, and no one really knows what they are going to do. (I barely know half the time what I’m going to eat for dinner).
2. Live in the moment
I think this a really hard thing to learn in today’s culture where we are all about capturing pictures of the moment and putting it on Insta and Facebook for our 17k followers to see. But, make sure you take the time to truly appreciate the moment that you are in.
3. Keep Secrets.
Nothing is wrong with a little mystery. I learned that over-sharing your whole personal life to anything and anyone who will listen is most defs not the best way to go about living. Someone who I look up to a whole lot (Lilly Singh) says in her book that you are like a strong fortress. “The more people you let in the more vulnerable your fortress becomes to personal attacks.” In the end, the only person who needs to know all about you is you and God. Save yourself the heartache and the trouble, and stop oversharing.
4. Pick your friends wisely
Did you know that you can choose the people that you hang out with? Wild right? Well now that you know this, you know that you have a choice in your friend group. So if you’re hanging out with people who want to get drunk every night (trust me I’ve been there) and you don’t want to do that anymore, then stop hanging out with them. The greatest privilege you have of being a functioning member of society with the capacity to think for yourself is that you can exercise that power. Make new friends and do it wisely.
5. Learn to be alone.
This is probably the most important lesson that you will ever have to learn in forming relationships. You need to know that it is 100% okay for you to be alone, because being alone is how you learn about yourself, and like the person that you are. And in the end, can you really like and be around another person if you don’t like to be around yourself? (ooooh think about that for a bit).
6. Pursue something that you are passionate about.
Having a passion for something and being good at something are two totally different things, first of all. Like you can be good at basket-weaving, but have zero passion for it at all. I define passion as something that makes your eyes light up when you talk about it. If I asked you if you’re passionate about what you do and your answer is “eh I guess” then you’re not. So go and find your passion.
7. Keep a Journal
I have found that writing down my thoughts at the end of the day is really, really, REALLY, helpful, and keeps me sane and normal human being. By journaling, I can write down all of my thoughts, feelings, and emotion and kind of de-stress from the feelings of just general life.
8. Date Yourself
Take yourself out, be your own trap queen, be fly on your own damn time (cred: to Fetty Wap and Twitter). But really in all seriousness please date yourself. I mean this ties back to “Learning to be alone.” You learn to like yourself and in turn find that you are more able to give yourself to a relationship when the time comes.
9. Dare to be different.
OH MY GOSH being like everyone else is the most boring and tragic thing ever. Like ditch the early 90’s all black choker vibe that you and your “squad” have as your go-to look every Thursday when you go out to the club, and be different. Like wear some damn color and scrub off the pitch-black lipstick that everyone is wearing. You are an individual, not a Kylie Jenner (ugh don’t even get me started on her) clone. You are you, so start acting like yourself.
10. Allow yourself to make mistakes
I don’t know about you but I am so critical of myself, and it’s hard to get in the mindset that I am human an I make mistakes. But I am human and I make hella amounts of mistakes. But like my girl Lilly Singh says, it’s all about efficiently making mistakes. Meaning that when you make mistakes, you take those mistakes, learn from them, and build yourself up from there.
11. Network, Network, Network
This is something I just learned to do last year, in order to be successful in any field, you need me to make contacts and connect with people. It’s as simple as that. You never know who someone may know or what someone may be able to do for you.
12. Create a Personal Style
Having a signature style is very important to building who you are as a brand. Also, it helps you narrow down your closet items to things that you actually wear rather than just a bursting closet of shenanigans, with half the clothes being things you haven’t worn since like 2010. Also bringing consistency to your wardrobe kind of helps with your everyday life as well. It paints you as someone who knows what they want not only in their clothing but also in their life.
13. Start A Savings Account
I started my savings account during my second year of college, and it defs helps in putting you in the mindset of saving money and budgeting. Even if you only put like 5 dollars in every pay period…you're still saving money and practicing budgeting, so kudos to you.
14. Practice Patience
No one is like you, no one thinks like you, acts like you, or has the same time management as you do, so you can’t expect everyone to be on the same page as you all the time, and always know what’s going on. Chill out! No one is a mind reader, so be patient and communicate.
15. Enjoy the little things
Like one dollar tacos, always appreciate that.
16. Master the art of planning
Trust me if you start practicing how to plan now, it will help you a ton in the future. This is doubly important if you are like me and you always have a trillion things going on at one time. Making plans without planning can be a huge headache and will inevitably lead to something falling through.
17. Set Goals and Act to Achieve them
I tend to think Goals and Dreams are different. Like I dream of dating Michael B Jordan, but that’s a dream, and it has very little chance of happening (unless it does happen, otherwise I take back everything I say…also Michael B Jordan please date me...JK he's like 30) because you don’t actively set out to achieve those. Now Dreams become Goals when you make the effort to put in the work it takes to have them.
18. Manage your emotions
Keep your emotions in check, because there's a time and a place for them. Now I’m not telling you to be some sort of robot person, who feels nothing, and yes if something upsets you, you have the right to feel some type of way about it. BUT don’t live in that feeling, and don’t make decisions based on your emotions and how your “feeling” because odds are they may not be good decisions.
19. Learn to cook
If you can read then you can cook. It’s not as hard as some people think it is. It’s only hard when people who first start cooking want to just wing it without a recipe. Like chill out Bobby Flay, you are not there yet. Take a moment, pick a simple recipe off Pinterest, and get to work on that. Cooking is not only a way that you can distress, but it also helps you manage what you eat.
20. Have a physical activity that you really enjoy
There is literally something for everyone. Between yoga, rock climbing, racquetball, etc. etc. etc. You have about a thousand things to choose from. So get active with something that you enjoy. This way you don’t always feel like your exercising because you are having so much fun with it.
Please travel! The world is an amazing place and you need to see it. I can’t stress enough how important it is for you to take the time and experience the plethora of cultures and people that inhabit this planet.