21 Things I Wish Someone Had Told Me About Being 21

Turning 21 is an amazing milestone age to reach. However, it can be a bit confusing too. You're just finishing college and you have no fucking idea what to do with the rest of your life. There are certain things you should probably know by the time you're 21, and I wish I knew some of them when I was that age. Here are 21 of them:

1) Don't Compare Yourself To Others.

Whether it's career success, body goals or sports achievements; try not to measure yourself against the successes of your peers, it may take a dig at your confidence and make you feel inadequate. Your life journey is your own, and you should focus on the positives and all of the things you have accomplished thus far.

2) Enjoy Living With Other People Your Age.

While at college, it may be the only time in your life when you get to live with so many different people from different backgrounds. They may wreck your head and use the last of your milk sometimes, but try to appreciate it while it lasts, because once you hit adulthood it's a different ballgame and not at all like an episode of 'Friends'.

3) Don't Worry If You Hate Your First Job.


Most of us do, but look at it as a step up the career ladder, or at the very least, a paycheck at the end of the month!

4) Say,'Yes' More.

I don't mean to drugs or dumb dangerous shit, but I mean saying yes to adventures. Say yes to things that would normally be outside of your comfort zone, it can be terrifying, but you might just love it!

5) Hangover Get Worse, Much Worse.

Gone are the days when you can down a naggin of vodka and feel only slightly fatigued in the morning. Now, you drink two pints and wake up the morning feeling like you've done ten rounds with McGregor.


6) Your Metabolism Will Slow Down.

I hate to say this, but it's true. You will no longer be able to eat takeaway thrice weekly and not feel your jeans getting a bit tighter. Start loving the taste of leaves and fruit, as you'll now have to watch what you eat. *Cries into a bowl of salad*

7) Wear Your Retainer.

Please, just do it.  It's so worth it. Take this from a girl who has braces again at the age of bloody 22!

8) Secondary School Is Way Easier Than College.


Honestly, learn how to study properly while you're in school and it will make exam time much easier. By the time you reach college and the workload piles up, you'll have had this studying malarkey mastered!

9) You Will Have Your Heart Broken.

Sorry, but it's true. I think everyone goes through at least one breakup in their life where they can't eat, they can't sleep and they feel utterly distraught. Trust me, you'll get past it though and realise what an idiot they were to begin with.

10) Learn To Love Yourself More.

You are unique, there's only one of you ever in the history of the universe. So be you, and learn to love the you that you are!


11) The Best Nights Of Your Life Are Yet To Come.

You are still so, so young! 21 years of age is still a baby in the grand scheme of things, so get excited as the chapters of your life unfold and the know that the best bits are yet to come!

12) Stop Wasting Time With Guys Who Won't Commit.

Chances are, they're your age, and to be honest guys that are around 21 are idiots. They won't want to settle down, and why should they? They're only young too! Spend more time focusing on your friends, family and yourself.

13) Travel, Whenever You Can, As Far As You Can.

There is nothing more priceless than life experience. Try and muster up the money, somehow, to travel when you can. Before you're tied down with real life responsibilities and all that shit.


14) You Should Buy A One Way Ticket Out Of Here, At Least Once.

There is nothing more exciting than booking a flight and not knowing when you'll return home.

15) Tell People How You Feel.

You're at an age now where you're an adult, you can eloquently put into words exactly how you feel about a situation, and if something bothers you, just say it! Bottling up feelings will only leave room for resentment.

16) Take Picture Of Everything And Make A Memory Box.


When you're grown up you'll want something to look back on to remember your twenties.

17) It's Okay To Be Slightly Selfish.

In your teens and twenties, you shouldn't have any major life responsibilities. So be selfish to an extent. Use your time to learn more, and experience everything that you can while you have the time and resources at your feet.

18) The World Owes You Nothing.

It's a harsh reality, and one that's difficult to believe when we exist in a World that prioritizes instant gratification. But, believe it or not, nobody owes you a single thing. Be grateful when somebody does something nice for you.


19) Get To Know Your Siblings Better.

They'll probably turn out to be some of your best friends, you never know they could actually be pretty sound. Shocking as that may seem, it's true.

20) Learn To Take Some 'Me-Time.'

Being 21 can be a hectic time: you've just left college, you probably have two jobs just so you can afford to pay the rent and all while trying to keep up friendships and relationships. It's important to take some time out every day to reflect on life and totally chill out. You deserve it.

21) Your Parents Are Your Friends.

This is cheesy, but trust me. Your parents were 21 way before you were, and they know all the tricks of the trade. They honestly do have your best interests at heart, so take their advice sincerely and don't forget to call them from time to time.

Justine Halpin Mulligan
Article written by
22 year old Sociology and Social Policy student in Trinity College Dublin. Interests include romantic walks to the fridge and anything to do with elephants. Wants to be a TV personality when she grows up.

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