21 things I’ve learned in my 21 years of life

Live a little, learn a lot

On January 2, I turned 21 years old. Throughout the years I've learned quite a lot about myself, others, and the world around me. Here are 21 lessons I've learned and deemed worthy enough to share.

Mom is always right

Perhaps immediately after motherhood begins, the universe bestows a mystical power making moms all-knowing. Whether she tells you to go to bed early or doesn't like the boy you have a crush on, mom's advice is spot on 99.9 percent of the time.

There isn't always an answer

You can't search for an explanation in a place where there's none to be found. It's human nature to want answers, but as hard as it is to believe, sometimes things just are the way they are.

Your group of friends may change throughout life and that is OKAY

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When I was young I thought my three best friends and I could withstand going to four different schools while maintaining our friendships. Aside from being miles away from one another, we all grew individually in the first few months of college. While I still consider two of these girls my best friends, I've lost other friends, and gained amazing new ones.

Not everyone is going to like you

I used to be convinced I had to do things to make everyone happy when I was younger. I thought I had to be friends with everyone. Now I know it's better to have a few real friends than plenty of mediocre ones.

Margs on a Wednesday night is always a good idea

If you've turned in a 14 page research project and taken two exams in one week, let your friends talk you into drinking a jumbo margarita—maybe throw in some queso too. Everyone needs a break once in a while.

Take as many pictures as possible

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Capture every moment.

Not everyone has the same heart as you

At once I might have disagreed with this statement, especially considering I choose to see the good in everyone. I believe in second chances, and people can change, but eventually I recognized it would be naive to think everyone cares about you as much as you care about them.

Pursue your passions

"Be fearless in pursuit of what sets your soul on fire."

Do it for you

We live in a society where we thrive on Instagram likes and Twitter reactions. Do the things you do because you want to do them, not because you want to impress others by doing them.

Make yourself a priority

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Do one thing for yourself every day.

Stay hydrated

You'll thank me later. Next Friday night, drink one glass of water for every drink at the bar. It's cheaper than Pedialyte.

Live in the moment

Whether you're having dinner with a friend or enjoying a trip to your favorite city, put away your phone and enjoy your suroundings.

Trust your intuition

If something doesn't feel right, it probably isn't.

Eat what makes you happy

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I don't mean you should eat junk food for the rest of your life, but eat what makes your stomach—and your heart—happy.

Form your own beliefs

Your parents and peers have a huge impact on you, but know everyone has a right to form their own opinions.

Celebrate the little victories

And the big ones.

Don't settle

If you think you can do better, you probably can.

Never be afraid of failure

Sometimes this is how the best lessons are learned.

Self-love is important

No one should have to know what it feels like to look in the mirror and not like what they see. You're worth it. You are always more than you think you are.


Try to surround yourself with people who will push you just as hard to succeed as your parents did when you were in high school.

Spread love

Love others without holding back and never let yourself believe your love isn't good enough. You never know how much of an impact love can have.

Life can be tough, and it will never stop challenging you, but the lessons learned along the way are worth it.

Ohio State