Here's a list of 22 things to know/do/be before you're 22!
1. You don't know everything-
Yes I know, you've been on this earth almost 2 decades and you know a lot. I agree. You probably do.. however, you still have A LOT to learn. Don't be too proud to ask.
2. Let go of entitlement - work for what you want-
There is nothing adults hate more than a spoiled brat thinking they deserve to have things handed to them before they've actually proved they've earned it. You think you're worth more money, a better position or more recognition.. work for it. "Rome wasn't built in a day.. or whatever.."
3. TRY NEW THINGS- (new to you anyway)
I cannot stress this enough! It's so important to do this! Go to new restaurants, explore the cities around you and what they have to offer. Eat sushi, spit it out.. but don't knock it until you try it! You should try new things for the rest of your life, but make it a point to do it while you're young!
4. Learn how to budget-
5. It's okay to be alone-
Don't over exert yourself trying to spend every waking moment surrounded by people. Spend time with yourself. Like who that person is.
6. You can still live with your parents and be an adult-
You don't have to own a house.. or a condo.. or even live in an apartment. Save money, and spend as much precious time as you can with your parent(s). If you're more helpful than a burden and you CHIP IN EVERY NOW AND THEN... that's mature.. of course you have to set boundaries and have a plan.. but just because you're not "on your own" doesn't mean you're any less adult-like. (better than moving out and having to come BACK am I right??)
7. SAVE SAVE SAVE SAVE SAVE SAVE-
"Rainy days" happen more often than you'd like to think. It's also a good thing to practice and be good at.. while you're young and you still have a chance.
8. Leave no quarrel unfinished -
Reconcile. Forgive. Let go. So you can move on.
9. Speak up-
You have a voice, use it. Establish your beliefs based on what your own convictions and morals and stand by it. No matter what.
10. Involve yourself-
Not everything is going to be handed to you. You won't always have an invitation. Put yourself out there. Push for more. Be present. If you don't place yourself in front of people, they may not notice you.
Never stop learning. From books, from history, from people... maybe even from Google. Always improve yourself and you will be happier and a better person for it.
12. Make mistakes- (but learn from them)
Not like "I woke up and I have no idea where I am" mistakes.. but more like challenging authority, going with your gut and standing up for what is right and boldly standing your ground even though you're horribly, terribly wrong. Mistakes are humbling and full of growth opportunity.
13. Invest in Friendships-
Old friends have gone, new friends have come.. a lot changes on your way to 20.. and beyond.. But, you have to learn to stick with the people you've got.. and grow with them. That is true friendship. If someone moves away, or gets married.. nothing should change but the circumstance. Learn who is good for you, and who isn't. Don't hold on to friendships just because you feel obligated to.. if it's draining you consistently.. I'd take a step back and decide who is worth investing time into.
14. Get a hobby! -
Find an outlet! Do something you enjoy. Don't make it about talent or money.. just enjoy yourself! You need to express yourself. Having a hobby can be a great stress reliever too!
15. Sorry but, you've got to ....Change -
Get used to it. Nothing stays the same.. especially after you've hit the big 2 0. Be open to change, it can be scary but it is also necessary.
16. Don't apologize-
Now before you think I am condoning being flat out rude.. just listen. I have found that being really good at something, or being content and confident in who I am doesn't always get the best feedback. Especially to those who are older than you. If you're getting "critiqued" and it feels more like hate.. it's probably because you are intimidating. I'll say that again YOU ARE INTIMIDATING. It scares people to be around a confident young person..because let's face it.. it takes a long time to get there. So don't apologize.. because you're awesome. Own that.
17. Follow through-
I am bad at this. Following through may not seem important at the moment.. especially when you're tired and want that extra sleep.. or you have had a long week and just want some alone time.. but it is. You don't want to be labeled as flaky or unstable. & all and all.. it's just good character. So meet that person for coffee, help out your friend who is painting their room for the 8th time.. and just be there.. because even though we don't like to admit it.. people need people.
18. Believe in yourself! -
Age is just a number! That is so true. Just because you're young, that doesn't mean that you can't be great. You and what you have to offer matters.. and the world needs it.
19. Don't over-share-
In this day and age over-sharing is common to say the least. Why have mystery when you can tweet a picture of your food you took on instagram at the restaurant you tagged yourself at with your friends on Facebook..? Because although not as popular as it used to be, privacy is important. Feelings change, people change.. and over-sharing is considered rude. It will benefit you and the people who "follow" you. (but people can actually follow you if you keep posting where you are every 10 minutes.)
20. You don't have to be married in your 20's-
If you're forcing relationships because you're afraid that if you're not married and have children by 26 that you're somehow a terminal bachelorette (or bachelor) ... STOP DOING THAT. & Stop listening to the voices that tell you, you aren't a strong independent woman (or man) because you ARE! So get off of E-Harmony and relax.
21. You don't have to NOT get married in your 20's-
If you have found someone worth spending your life with and you're ready to make that commitment.. don't wait! Don't let your age get in the way of your happiness! I know plenty of couples under age 25 and they're extremely happy! Marriage is a beautiful thing, don't take that for granted.
22. You don't have to know everything-
You're young. You're immature biologically, mentally and emotionally.. Face it. Let go of some of that control and be okay with it. You have your whole life to pretend you know everything.. at least do it when people actually believe you. Get some knowledge wrinkles..