Today is my 21st birthday! WooHoo! One whole year into my 20s…

I’ve been doing a lot of reflecting on the past year and I wanted to share some of the valuable lessons that I’ve learned:

1. Let go of the toxic things (people) in your life, or anything that doesn’t serve you anymore.

2. I’m still not sure that I believe in ‘the one’ but I’m pretty convinced that soulmates are real. Excuse me while I get really cheesy for a second, but meeting and falling in love with Paul has brought out a whole new version of myself that I didn’t even know was there before. I love the version of myself that I am when I’m with him and I’ve really begun to believe that our personalities were made for each other.

3. Make time for the people who matter, no matter how busy or stressed you are, because they are what is going to make your life easier and less stressful in the long run.

4. Make time for yourself. I am the type of person who fills their plate and tries to do everything for everyone but I’ve learned that I am never truly fulfilled unless I take time for myself to do the things that I enjoy or to just be with myself.

5. School isn’t everything. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve always been the student who does all the assigned homework and studies hard for every test, but, I’ve also had people tell me my whole life that university is some of the best times of your life, so enjoy it. Leading up to my final year of my undergrad I finally started to realize that I should listen and make the most of my time… which sometimes means not studying all the time.

6. Don’t take things out on other people. It’s easy to push away the people we love when the stress builds up, and I regret that I have definitely been guilty of using my loved ones as a metaphorical punching bag to handle my stress at times.

7. Everyone has different values and that’s OK. You’re not always going to believe the same things as your parents, or live by the same morals as your friends, or hold the exact same values as your partner, you just have to learn to be understanding of others and be open to their perspectives.

8. It’s important to put yourself first to make sure that you’re taken care of, but if you’re trying to share your life with someone you and your needs can’t always be the number one priority.

9. Listening to others and simply being empathetic can go a long way.

10. There is no way to understand someone’s grieving, and there is really no way to take away someone’s pain. The best thing we can do for someone who is hurting is to hold space for them; to be open arm if/when they need it.

11. It’s incredible how much you can grow when you let go of your fears.

12. Choose to do the things that make you happy rather than choosing to do the things you feel obligated to do. This will bring you both more satisfaction and success.

13. Growth takes patience. This is something that I am still learning. When you have goals and you want them badly it’s easy to expect a lot from yourself, and very quickly. I’ve been trying to learn to be patient with myself and trust the timing of my life because I know that growth does not happen overnight.

14. Being a little scared is a good thing. Pushing your own boundaries is how you escape your comfort zone and try new things.

15. Don’t compare yourself to other people, instead, compare yourself to a past you. You are on your own path and shouldn’t be compared to anyone but yourself.

16. Never say no to ice cream. When you’ve grown old, you’re not going to look back on your life and wish you had eaten less ice cream, you’re probably going to look back and wish you’d eaten more.

17. Things aren’t always going to go your way and maybe that’s for the best.

18. Balancing school and blogging and trying to get Instagram content is HARD. Definitely harder than I thought it would be.

19. Cherish your girlfriends. Having a solid girl gang is something special.

20. Don’t take the little things for granted. I’ve found it becomes really easy to forget about the everyday privileges like being healthy enough to walk to class, or lucky enough to attend university when I get caught up in my stress or it’s raining outside. But I try to remind myself that the little things can make the biggest difference, and today I’m just feeling extra grateful to be alive.

I feel like this year has come with so much growth and change and has built up so much excitement for what’s to come.

So, here’s to 21 years and 20 valuable lessons that I learned while I was 20!


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