21 Things I've Learnt in 21 Years

Happy Mean Girls Day, and also happy birthday to me! Today, (3rd October) is my 21st birthday and I am beyond excited! If you know me in real life you will be aware of how excited I get for my birthday from around July and August. I'm not sure what it is about birthdays that I love so much but I count down the days for months in advance and my excitement builds every day. I'm not sure what this birthday will be like in a COVID world and for the first time since being at uni, I have my birthday at home as term has been pushed back a week (my birthday is normally the first week back).

I've seen a few people do these types of posts on "special birthdays" (though in my opinion, every birthday is just as special) so I thought I'd give it a go. 21 is actually a rather large number so I feel like I might struggle a bit to come up with 21 things but I'll give it a good go! I've been on this earth for 21 years now so I think it'll be fun to try and think of some wisdom that I have learnt in my 21 years of being alive.

gold foil 21 balloons beside bookshelf with ribbons
Photo by Kortnee Greenfield on Unsplash

1. Stand up for yourself more

This is something I've started to do a lot more and I'm much more likely to call people out on the shitty things they've done or defend myself. I never used to do that when I was younger as I didn't want any issues but now if someone does something to me that I don't agree with or has treated someone badly I will say something now and express how I feel.

2. Your skin will never be perfect

Ahh, my skin is something I always struggle with and is the bane of my life. At the moment (touch wood) it has been behaving itself for a few months now so I'm hoping it stays like that. I've struggled so much over the years and tried all sorts to get the perfect skin but I just need to accept that I will have spots and blemishes and move on.

3. You will never be tanned

Similar to the last point, I've tried for years to get more tanned with no results. I don't tan on holiday or home and fake tan looks ridiculous on me as I am extremely, extremely pale - ghost levels of pale! I need to embrace the natural skin and stop comparing it to others.

4. It's okay to cut people off

Like in the stand up for yourself point, it's been as a result of standing up for myself that I've cut people out after they've acted terribly towards me and it's absolutely fine to do that. I have a smaller group of friends now but at least I know they're not going to bitch about me behind my back or say horrible things so who's the real winner now? 

5. Be more confident in yourself

I have never been a confident person, and I don't think I ever will but I still need to learn to be confident in my own abilities and ordering something in a cafe or restaurant is not the scariest thing in the world.

6. Be proud of what you've done

It's easy to focus on what you haven't done in life without taking the time to appreciate the things you have. I'm most proud of being invited to The Guardian to record a podcast with an author when I was 15 - I was terrified but I felt amazing afterwards but I always forget that that's something I actually did and I need to be proud of it!

7. Sympathy probably won't be a strong point

I'll admit that I'm not the most sympathetic of people. I'm not sure why but I can sometimes struggle to empathise or sympathise with others which is a bad habit. I've definitely gotten better as I've become older and I'm not sure whether it stems from being the type of person who just gets on with whatever that I, therefore, cannot sympathise with someone who's going through a similar thing but makes a fuss? It's something I've improved dramatically though.

8. You could never do anything medical

The thought of being a doctor, nurse or anything medical is something I could not do. The human body (though amazing) is terrifying and I would not like to do anything near it.

9. You're probably too sarcastic for your own good

A few times my sarcasm has gotten me into trouble as people don't understand that I'm joking so maybe keep it to yourself sometimes.

10. Kylie Minogue is unlikely to magically appear in your life at any point

Ugh, I absolutely love Kylie and have done for years but sadly I don't think she's going to be popping up any time soon!

11. You don't have to be friends with everyone you meet

Following on from earlier points, it's more than okay to meet someone and not be keen on them without the obligation to remain friends. 

12. I don't need a life plan

21 is scary as I'll be graduating this year! But it's okay to not have everything figured out just yet or to know what to do with my life.

13. You're definitely a morning person

I thrive in the mornings (unlike my boyfriend). I feel the most productive and awake and if I miss the mornings I feel like the day has gone.

14. Crisps will always be your favourite snack

I'm a sucker for crisps - I love them! Particularly the Tyrrell's Sea Salt and Cider Vinegar or Tomato Wheat Crunchies (before they changed the recipe)!

15. Yorkshire puddings are a gift from the gods

I love a roast dinner but the Yorkshire's are hands-down the best part. If you don't have them on your roast then you're missing out!

16. Pigs are the best animals on this earth

When my boyfriend gave me a pig petting experience for my birthday last year my love for them was solidified! Best birthday present ever!!!

17. Social media can be a drain

It can be great but it can also not be great. Limiting your time on apps will make you feel much better and you don't need to rely on it.

18. You can't please everyone

You won't be everyone's cup of tea, and equally, they won't be yours so don't try to make things work. It's not worth your time or energy and people will come and go in and out of your life - it's not a big deal.

19. You don't need to drink

I tried drinking in first year but was not a fan. I did it to fit in but never had more than 1 as I hated the feeling of losing control. The idea of getting drunk fills me with dread - I don't know how anyone thinks it's fun but that's just me. If you enjoy it then that's cool but I'm not a fan and I don't need it to enjoy myself.

20. You don't need to buy so much stuff

I am definitely guilty of buying too much stuff, specifically clothes. This is something I am trying to change and hopefully, over the next year, there'll be a difference in my spending habits!

21. Be yourself

Back in school, I had a book blog which I was embarrassed about as some people used to make comments on why would you even bother reading or that I was a nerd. I didn't mind that and never took it to heart as I knew that it was something I enjoyed and hey, I ended up working with publishers and authors regularly and going to The Guardian to record a podcast(!!!) whilst they did nothing so who was really laughing? 

Well, 21 years have flown by and evidently, I've learnt a fair amount in my years! What do you think you'd learnt by the time you were 21?

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