20 Lessons from 20 Years of Existence

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I turn 21 tomorrow (or more precisely, in two hours) and to be honest, 21 feels a lot like 20 does. The only thing that’s different for me is that I am of legal age to vote. I have no crazy party plans for tomorrow night, neither do I plan to go do all the things I can do now that I am (legally) an adult. Sounds boring, doesn’t it? Then again, I have never been one to get myself involved in anything crazy, and my idea of a perfect evening is staying at home with a movie or TV show to watch. In some way, this has caused me to have an existential crisis, but I’ll save that for another story.

I digress. Anyway, being 21 hasn’t given me any mind-blowing epiphanies, but 20 years of existence has taught me a few things about life, people, and the world. Today, as an ode to officially being an adult, I have decided to compose a list of the 20 things I have learned over the past 20 years of my life.

1)     Family members are the best friends you will ever have. Even if they get on your nerves 99.99% of the time.

2)     Some memories will haunt you for a lifetime. No matter how much you try to repress them.

3)     The people who mean the world to you will eventually break your heart.

4)     Hard work is essential.

5)     With that said, it is better to get things done yourself instead of waiting on others to do them.

6)     Dreams are meant to be chased. Never opt for the “safe” bet.

7)     Goals are necessary. Nothing is worse than being aimless and having nothing to motivate you.

8)     Change the things you can control, don’t cry over the things you can’t.

9)     Self-confidence comes from within. A person, event or thing will never be able to validate your self-worth better than you can.

10)    Appreciate the ones who appreciate you before it’s too late.

11)    You alone have the power to decide what happens next.

12)    The person you love might not love you back, but that is okay. Life goes on.

13)     The most unexpected people can turn out to be the best friends you’ll ever have.

14)     Braces are more painful than they look.

15)     Kindness should be repaid with kindness. Evil should be repaid with kindness.

16)     Ironically, sacrificing your comfort will bring more comfort in your life.

17)     Altruism is the most difficult trait to pick up, but try anyway.

18)     Life is too short to hold grudges. Harbouring ill feelings towards another person destroys you.

19)     Learning is the greatest joy in life. Reading comes a close second (because what is one without the other?)

20)     Success is temporary, but hard work shouldn’t be.

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