So, I officially turned 21 years of age last week and honestly, despite being away from my family and with the immeasurable love I received from the people I am surrounded with (both in spirit and physically), this was easily one of my happiest birthdays.
Naturally, most bloggers have a ’20 things I learned in my 20s’ segment, having said this, even though I am in the infancy of my 20's, I feel like the growth I have experienced this past year is worthy of a reflection post.
1. It’s okay to graduate later
LOUDER FOR THE ONES IN THE BACK PLEASE. 2017 is the year I have seen a number of my classmates of 2014 finish university and go onto the next parts of their lives and I am so happy for each and every one of them. Graduating later comes with the assumption that you are a failure, but university is different and there are an array of factors that can influence your university life- ultimately you will receive that degree you came for. What’s important is that you don’t give up and remain focused and patient.
2. The world doesn’t rate me or hate me
"The world just hates me" was probably my excuse for just about everything that does not go right in my life, including a broken nail. The world doesn’t hate me, it doesn’t care.
3. You don’t need to drink to have fun
THAAAT much. Be responsible.
4. I’ve been doing squats wrong
Knees behind your toes, sit all the way back and squeeze your glutes when you come back up. #comingforallyourmen.
5. If he doesn’t want to stay let him go
Don’t confuse salt for sugar.
If he wanted to, he would.
Boys should not confuse you, there's Friedrich Nietzsche to do that.
6. Follow your passion no matter what anyone says
Even. If. That. Anyone. Is. Your. Parent.
There is no need taking up something that you’re not passionate about.
7. Never stop learning
This one is essential, we can’t keep using the “I didn’t know” line in reference things like racial discrimination or homophobia, or to continue to perpetuate gender stereotypes. It is 2017.
Oh, and Africa is not a country, its not that difficult to conceptualize- I promise.
8. Give without expectation. It’s more blessed to give than receive
This is something I am slowly learning from my parents. They annoy me with this attitude because I feel like giving should be a bilateral thing, but yay self- improvement.
9. Family= important
It took me coming to university in a different country to realize that in one way or another I have been taking my fam for granted. I miss not being able to see everyone’s faces back home, and its doesn’t get easier each time I have to leave home again. I value my time more with them because it’s timed these days.
10. It’s okay to put yourself first
You don’t need to do shit just to please others. If you don’t want to do something, don’t do it.
11. Bad things happen so that you can learn from them
We all have bad things happen to us. There will be days when I do not want to leave my bed. But shit happens, and it only gets worse before it gets better, so when you look back, a few weeks, or months, or years, you will realize you needed that to happen. Everything in life happens for a reason, and it bears a lesson. It will all be OK.
12. It’s never too early to work towards the life you want
My mom always tells me how we are the ‘microwave generation’- we don’t know how to save and we have no intention of working towards financial independence. So plan, save, get experience- the earlier you start, the easier it will be when you get there.
13. Energy is real.
You can feel it, you can transfer it. Use it how you will.
14. Spend more time with yourself
Alone time Is highly recommended- people can be draining.
15. You do not have to have all of your shit figured out…
… or where exactly you are headed in life. You’re young, it’s okay. Give it time.
16. Not everyone is going to like you
i grew up making sure a good majority of people in my proximity liked me. I am learning to grow out of this. As soon as you learn this you will be much happier. If someone doesn’t like you, it is not by force and it doesn’t necessarily mean there is something wrong with you.
17. Go to school
Just go. Especially if you have the opportunity to, don’t take it for granted.
Go to class even when you feel like sleeping in and attendance is not mandatory.
18. You. Are. Not. Your. Mistakes.
Seriously, everything that has happened in the past should be left there. Keep it there and keep moving forward and blah blah, your mistakes do not define you- you get me.
19. Love wholeheartedly
Love yourself, love your family and love your friends. Lend a helping hand, serve food at the homeless shelter, hold the door open behind you in a busy building. When did showing love become such a hard thing to understand in this world? It is so much easier to show hate than to show love in this cold, cold, Trump world.
20. Be kind.
Even when you’re angry or frustrated. Be kind especially when you least feel like it. It is scary to know every single person is going through their own battles, and unfortunately, I have seen the culmination of lost battles through people taking their own lives. Everyone has their own shit to deal with and you want to be thought of as kind and not an asshole.
21. There is no universal standard of beauty
There really isn’t.
Except thick thighs- that's universal.