1. Shit happens.
The biggest lesson I learned in my 21 years of life on this planet was just simply that shit happens. Bad things happen, good things happen. It happens and time moves forward. So should you.
2. Your circle of friends will grow both bigger and smaller.
You will discover that your circle of friends will get smaller, but your circle of friends and acquaintances you make through life just continues to get bigger. This isn't high school anymore, you don't choose a clique and ride and die by that. You network, you have different circles for different things. Work, School, Personal. You learn who is true to you and who is worth your time and who isn't worth the effort of keeping up with anymore.
3. Relationships aren't the center of your You-niverse.
You will live through relationships, you will live through breakups and heartbreak. It takes time, but the universe you live in is based off of you and what you want. Not trying to meet the needs of someone else who can't carry their own weight. It takes two to work out a relationship, not for you to carry the whole fucking team through everything.
4. Money matters.
Learn how important a dollar is. Value it. Don't get greedy though, because that shit will consume you. Some friendships aren't worth fighting over money matters, your time is better spent elsewhere than chasing someone for the two dollars they owed you from dinner the other week. You probably would have spent it elsewhere on something useless you didn't need.
5. Memories and moments are priceless.
Worrying about money is important, but skimping out on a trip because the idea of spending all that money you saved is too horrifying defeats the purpose of saving the money in a way. Reward yourself. Give yourself a trip, let yourself get loose. Escape. My trips I've taken in the last few years have been memorable every single time. I've had trips where I'm down to the last $5 in my account before I overdraw, but I look back and smile each time with warm feelings. Travel while you can. Everyone says, "You can travel when you've graduated and gotten a degree." When you graduate and have your degree in hand, you'll be working at a career that limits your freedom or even worse you'll be looking for a career to pay off those loans for that piece of paper. Get it done while you can, do it while you've got your energy and freedom.
6. Take in your experiences.
In the world of modern technology and media, pictures to prove you were somewhere is common. Put the phone down, take in the twinkling lights around you at the show, feel the vibrations of the speakers. Put your arm around your best friend and just enjoy the moment. Live in the now. Sure maybe 10 years down the line you won't be friends with that same person who you went to Miami with, but those memories and that moment and being was a memorable one for you. Some days, friends are what get you through the hardest moments of your lives. They are the support that catch you and break your fall when you're going over the edge. Cherish them.
7. let those who you love know.
No one is around forever. I've lost so many dear people to me in my life, my biggest regret for most of it was not telling them how much I loved them. Not telling them more or listening to the sound of their voice when they talk or hearing the stories that they have to share with you. The wisdom they've learned in their times. Once somebody is gone, it will feel like it was never enough time. So let them know.
8. moving on is the best thing you'll do.
Thinking too deeply about shit sometimes will drive you deeper down the rabbit hole, you'll overthink and overreact. Some things are simply just black and white, they are what they are. There's no use in you wasting your energy and time pondering on shit that might already just be over with. Time is precious, never forget that you have more important things to do than stress over it. Let that shit go, and then go with the flow.
9. Hard and humble hustle gets you far.
It gets so stressful trying to make it out in the world sometimes you get so damn frustrated about shit. You get days where it feels like everything is falling apart. Where you feel like you're falling apart. Like you can't breathe or get a break. That's okay. Everyone starts somewhere, some have it easier than others but nothing is more satisfying than when you're working for something and you finally get it. You know your struggles for it, you can wear it proudly on your chest knowing so. What I do when I get down and out about it sometimes is I look at all these successful people. I'm only turning 21 right now, but these successful people I admire. They're 23 or 25 maybe like 27. I'm only 21. There's 3 years that I can use to work my way up there. It just tells me it takes time to get what you want, not everything's handed to you on a platter and fed with a silver spoon. You don't think anyone's watching or anyone's going to notice your hard efforts, but little do you know there's someone out there somewhere. Maybe they're not as verbal or open about it, but there's someone.
10. Growing up is hard.
They never said shit would be easy did they? We all thought 18 was the big year for everyone, legally an adult they said. Where you're no longer considered a minor. They didn't tell you how you had to learn about all these random things you never knew existed. Taxes? Oh my parents take care of that since they claim me. Rent? How do I pay that? It's not the adulting that gets you though, it's being on your own. Fending for yourself. You've gained your independence, yes, but you gotta earn your adult card. The insane thing about it all though honestly, is that it's going to be okay. When you work hard and grind through all the hardships, you learn that at some point - maybe it's not today and maybe not tomorrow - you will be okay. Things will begin to fall into place. That's just life, and that's the cycle. It eats you up and spits you out.
Strive to survive people.
Today, I turn 21 and these are my experiences to share with you and will continue to.