21 Things I’m Learning as a 21 Year Old


I am officially a twenty-something! And like every twenty-something before me, I can safely say that I have totally figured out this whole life thing. Well, I mean I get what I should be doing but actually doing it is a whole other bag of cats. Here are the 21 lessons I am teaching myself every day.

  1. I don’t have to drink. Or at least drink to get drunk. There is nothing wrong with being the sober one at a party.
  2. It’s too easy to say “Thank you” to not do it. Come on, Sarah, write those damn thank you cards. Think how happy it will make your grandmother!
  3. Saying sorry is much harder but just do it anyways. How come when someone elbows me in the face as I’m walking down the street I immediately apologize, but when I say something hurtful to a friend I’m like “Meh, deal with it.”? The first is because of the patriarchy and the second is because of immaturity.
  4. Not everyone can like me. I could sit in my room and cry about it but it doesn’t matter. Some people will hate me before they even know me name. But actually, it’s such a relief. If I were friends with everyone then I would have so many more Instagram photos I would feel obligated to “like”.
  5. Stop the lady hate. I am trying my hardest on this one. Really, I’m just jealous of your shiny hair, flawless skin and amazing Instagram skills but that’s not an excuse. How can we (as ladies) ever expect to smash the patriarchy if we’re too busy judging each others’ Twitter feeds? Priorities.
  6. I must must must love myself. I’m working on it one piece at a time. Last week I decided I loved my ability to memorize Hilary Duff songs. Today I’ve decided I love my eyebrows. It’s an ongoing process.
  7. Try to stay in contact with friends. It’s sooooo much work to keep in touch with people I don’t see every day. I have to actually make plans and then FOLLOW THROUGH WITH THEM. But I know down the road I’ll cherish those friendships that I’ve been able to maintain.
  8. Thank my mom and dad more! They do so much for me and expect nothing in return. They literally gave life to me, a wonderful life. And all I do is ask my mom to pick up bananas from the store.
  9. I’m not better than others. I mean, I probably am, but I need to stop thinking and acting like I am. It’s a tiring and lonely way to live.
  10. Don’t dwell on the past. I can learn from the past but I can’t get stuck in it. People, places and things change, but usually it’s for the better.
  11. Don’t worry about the future. I’m always thinking weeks, months, years into the future, just planning for things that might never even happen. I’m a worrier and I worry most of all about the future. Next on the list is earthquakes, followed by premature graying. There is just so little about the future that I can control and I need to stop freaking myself out.
  12. Don’t get stuck in the present. Every moment will pass. Just take a deep breath and count to ten. “You can stand anything for ten seconds.”
  13. Take more selfies! I haven’t taken selfies since it was just me, my Canon point-and-shoot and a bathroom mirror. A lot has changed, but I’m still pretty cute. I deserve the chance to take a guilt-free selfie!
  14. Stop spending money on dumb things. I have to learn to save money, ugh. But I know if I learn now, future Sarah will thank me.
  15. Buy things that make me happy. Did I need cat-themed pajamas that say “I’d rather be watching cat videos”? Most people would say no but those pajamas are the best investment I’ve ever made and have brought me endless joy. Let’s see a government savings bond do that!
  16. Stop caring what other people think. I wish someone could just whack me on the nose with a rolled-up newspaper every time I cared what other people thought about me. If you paid that person, they would have a full-time job….Wait, I think I just solved unemployment!
  17. Question people who say they’re not a feminist. I want them to tell me exactly why they’re not a feminist. I have to defend myself as a woman all the time, maybe they can defend themselves for once.
  18. Be more assertive. I’ll never get anywhere in the professional world if I continue to tip-toe around everyone just like “Woo, don’t mind me, I’m just a cute, little girl.”
  19. Accept that adult acne is real. I will never escape it. I can either let it pull me into the deep, dark abyss that is hormonal acne, or I can embrace it!…And wear more foundation.
  20. Realize that everyone gets pimples. My peers these days have just gotten much better at covering up their acne compared to my peers in high school.
  21. Stop calling my dad “Daddy.” It’s getting a little weird.

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