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  • Writer's pictureNoni

21 lessons for 21 years

I turned 21 a few weeks ago, and as I'm wrapping up my month long celebration, I wanted to share a few gems that have been dropped on me over my years with you. It's kind of a long one, but it's also a fun one so here we go.

1. Learn how to relax.

Don’t take yourself too seriously. Laugh often and make fun out of everything. Find friends who allow you to be silly and make it a priority to enjoy yourself as often as possible…whatever that means for you.

2. Learn to love who you are.

You can’t get anywhere if you’re pressed to keep up with other people. Love those curves. Love that voice. Love that skin. Love those quirks. It’s all you have, so make it work. Don’t just make it work, make it look good. You owe that to yourself.

3. Don’t bother trying to convince others of things they clearly don’t care about.

If I’ve learned anything, it’s that people’s main focus is themselves. If they’re showing you that they don’t care about you, it’s not your job to convince them otherwise. It's your job to take their word for it and be on your way. You don’t have time to waste, my love.

4. Money is nothing to play with.

Save it. Count it often. Know how much is in your accounts. Invest it wisely. And keep learning about new ways to build wealth. The younger you start, the better off you are.

5. Be frugal, but have fun.

Treat yourself, but don’t get out of hand. Don’t live outside of your means but also don’t deprive yourself of fun things and experiences. Find fun and frugal ways to enjoy yourself until you can live lavishly (if that’s what you desire).

6. Try all kinds of things with all kinds of people.

Don’t limit yourself to a certain group of people who do a certain group of activities. Branch out because you never know what kind of people will make you feel most like you.

7. Call your mama, call your dad, call your grandparents.

Don’t get too big for your britches and forget to keep in touch with your family. They know you best and they keep you grounded. Your relationship with your family grows and changes as you get older, and that's a beautiful thing.

8. Cry.

Alright so this one is different for every person but I know that crying is very important and necessary for me. It helps me to sort through emotions and release stress. If you’re not a crier, then scream, or talk. Do whatever you need to do to really feel the emotions that you want to hide. Your soul will thank you for it.

9. Create a healthy routine and stick to it.

Still working on this one, but the earlier you establish a routine and stick to it, the more you will get done. This goes for workout routines, morning routines, and work routines, and spiritual routines.

10. Get rid of bad friends with the quickness.

Who has time for people who have shown you that they don’t value you? Nobody. Get rid of them. Easier said than done, but it's so necessary.

11. Make new friends everywhere you go.

Talk to people everywhere. You never know who you’ll connect with and who you’ll inspire.

12. Be kind.

Now this one is a golden one. Be kind as often as you can. Your intentional kindness not only benefits those around you, but it makes you feel good too. Give it a try.

13. Give compliments.

You know that feeling you get when a random stranger compliments you on the street? Doesn’t it make your day, make you feel seen for a moment? Why not give that feeling to someone else?

14. Create a signature style for yourself.

Figure out what you like to wear and what clothes and accessories make you feel alive and wear that. Don’t worry about what’s in style if that’s not you. I really believe that when you look great, you feel great.

15. Figure out what kind of music makes YOU happy.

I like trap music as much as the next girl but if I’m being honest, when I’m alone, I play 90s R&B, pop, and a little country because that’s what makes me happy. Don’t let people shame your music taste and listen to what you want.

16. Make one trip with the grocery bags.

To each her own, but I don’t believe in taking several trips back and forth to the car for grocery bags. Don’t break your back obviously, but you’re strong. You can do it. (slightly kidding, but also very serious)

17. Don’t work too much.

Coming from the girl who works 6 days a week on average (working on this), do not burn yourself out! Paying your bills is obviously not optional, but getting burnt out in the process is a bad alternative too. Make balance a priority.

18. Take classes that aren’t mandatory outside of your curriculum.

Learn about things that you would never have a chance to learn in your core courses. Take a cooking class or a sewing class. Learn sign language if you’ve always wanted to. There are a bunch of free classes (and several that aren't free) that are open to all ages.

19. Volunteer.

It's just fun. Find organizations that align with your passions and beliefs and give your time and resources to them. It’s good for you, I promise.

20. Center yourself in a faith.

I’m partial to God because he saved me and all, but whatever your beliefs are, make a lifestyle out of it. Serve and believe and live according to the God you serve. Faith gives you perspective and gives your life purpose.

21. Enjoy your birthdays and be extra if that’s who you are!

I'm extra and I really don’t know how to be any other way. Celebrate those birthdays and those big wins. If you work hard, you deserve to play hard. Get that birthday fit, pose with the number balloons, do the photo shoot. Travel. Celebrate you, because you deserve it.

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