21 Life Lessons I’ve Learned as a 21 Year-Old

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21’s a magical age, filled with adventure, successes, frustrations, growth, uncertainty, and having endless possibilities in front of you. It’s that age where you’ve got to start acting more adult-like, paying more bills, and begin really getting your stuff together; but you’re also young enough to still do totally crazy, spontaneous things and have it be okay.

With it being my last week as a 21 year-old, I’ve compiled a list of 21 little epiphanies I’ve had this past year.

1. Embrace that life will never be perfect. – Love life anyway.

2. Your life = Your own timeline – What everyone else is doing is irrelevant to your life path. So what if it’s taking you longer than expected to finish college, or if statistics say the average marriage age is 28? There is no one right or wrong set timeline in life. God’s timing is different for everyone, so don’t even stress!

3. When you’ve found an answer-your-call-in-the-middle-of-the-night, there-in-the-good-times-and-bad, makes-you-laugh-til-you’ve-got-a-six-pack, then-gets-dessert-with-you-at-2-am, lovingly honest, loyal, prayerful, iron-sharpens-iron kind of friend…TREASURE them with everything you’ve got! These rare gems are the friends your kids will call “auntie”/”uncle” someday.

4. Wherever you are, be all there. – Don’t waste moments living in past ones, worrying about future ones, or living vicariously through others’ on your social media feed. Live and experience EVERY moment FULLY. Be in love with the here & now.

5. If it’s raining, blast your music and drive with the moonroof open for a little bit. – Trust me on this one.

6. Alone time with God is the source of life. – Hands down, most important thing. It’s in prayer and through His Word that He’ll speak to your heart, reveal his incredible plans for your life, guide you through each day, comfort you, show you what real love looks like…I could go on forever. A relationship with Him is why we exist.

7. Dance! – In a tasteful way. Who cares what you look like? It’s fun and liberating.

8. Class goes a long way. – To the women who are strong, polite, selfless, ambitious, kind, intelligent, know who they are, and what they deserve…To the women who keep their assets clothed to let their dignity shine, who still believe in playing a little hard-to-get, who walk with confidence and grace…cheers to you! Honestly, dressing skimpy, throwing ourselves at guys, and being sloppy drunk are so cliché. Ladies, we’re better than that!

9. This is the time to figure out who you are and who you want to become. – What are you passionate about? Where do you want to travel to? Where do you want to live? What kind of personality do you have? This is a time to establish yourself; to get an idea of the direction you want to head in; to build a firm foundation of independence, and to develop yourself into someone you’ll be proud to be for the rest of your life.

10. Life’s not just about the destination, but the process of getting there.

11. Each person is like a treasure chest waiting to be opened. – We’re all human. Everyone we come in contact with has a unique story, heart full of ideas, and set of perspectives to share. Have REAL conversations with friends, the people at work, the person sitting next to you in class, that stranger waiting behind you in line…why not?

12. Some days you’ll feel like this is the most social time of your life, other days it’ll feel like the loneliest, and that is OKAY.

13. Worrying is a waste of time.

14. Take LOTS of pictures.

15. Comparison kills – You’re a masterpiece. You’re on your own life path. You’re gifted with your own unique abilities, passions, appearance, personality, and purpose. Focusing on others causes you to miss out on what’s right in front of you. Your Creator doesn’t compare you to anyone else, so why should you?

16. Hold out for your soulmate. – Love when you’re ready, not when you’re lonely.

17. Spontaneous trips to wherever are good for the soul.

18. When in doubt, go out. – We all have those nights…”Like half of me wants to go to that [event/hangout/whatever], but the other half wants to hang out on my couch.” GO OUT. You’ll remember great times with people, not the nights you got extra sleep.

19. Be proactive. – Being an adult takes initiative. Opportunities don’t typically fall into your lap. Make sure you’re taking the right classes, apply for that job you want, initiate new friendships, save money, take steps toward making your dreams reality.

20. Inspire everyone around you. – Leave each person better than they were before crossing your path.

21. You’re either living for the weekend, or living for a purpose. – You can either be that 21 year-old who is partying their life away, spending most nights drunk, and constantly chasing “fun.” Or you can be that 21 year-old who is driven, ambitious, focused on making big dreams a reality, and making a lasting impact on the world. We’re all equipped with the same amount of time and capacity to make the world a better place; don’t waste that power, maximize it.

22. Life is waiting outside the confines of your comfort zone. – If you never try, you’ll never know. Dreaming seemingly impossible dreams reflects an incredible amount of faith in God’s limitless power. Fear has no right to stand in the way of what could possibly be the best decision of your life.

Okay, so there were 22, bonus! This has truly been an incredible year. I pray that whatever age you are, you’re enjoying your life to the absolute fullest. Praying blessings over anyone who may be reading this!

Well, 21, you did me well. Here’s to a new year of feelin’ twentytwooo (cue Taylor Swift)!

Love,
Angela

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